Barn Raising: Day Two

Rested (hardly) and refreshed (barely). Ready for raising, day two.

Sam takes over at Henry’s controls.

Above, I peg together one of the stop-splayed scarf joints on a top plate. A pair of ash wedges are driven in opposing directions at the center of the joint to bring the joint tight before drilling and setting the pegs from above.

Once the three-piece top plate is joined, it’s ready to be lowered into place. Meghann gives it a little “bump” (above) to line up the mortise over the tenon.


A rare break in the action (above).

The top plates were assembled while resting on a pair of 6-inch long 2×4 blocks that suspended them just above the tenons on the post tops, with 2×4’s scabbed onto the sides of the post tops to keep the top plate from sliding sideways. When it came time to lower the top plates onto the post tenons, we rotated each block 90 degrees, then lowered the plate. Before dropping the plate fully home on its tenon, we had to insert the six braces. All in all, there are ten mortise and tenon joints that all come together simultaneously for each top plate. It’s a team effort.

With the top plate engaged with all brace and post tenons, we pull the joints tight with winches and straps (above and below).

At this point, the frame for the drive bay section of the barn is up.

Before we can continue to the roof trusses, Marion and I begin the process of drilling and pegging the frame members together.

A pallet on Henry’s forks made for a convenient work platform.

Marion’s brother, Toad, looks on.

While I drill, Marion holds the speed square next to the bit to keep me boring straight.

Once the pegs are in place, Meghann follows with a saw to cut them flush on the outer walls.

Sam prepares a sling on a roof truss (above).

Ready to fly in a truss to the frame.

Looking back, I can’t imagine what we would have done without Henry.

Once each truss was lowered to the top plate, we measured for the support posts, fitting between the collar tie on the truss and the anchor beam below.

With the truss support posts in place, we pulled it all together with the winches and pegged the trusses in place.

It took a stack of team members (Cat, Meghann, and Sam)  to relay tools to the top plates as I peg the roof trusses in place.

Sam, another of the stellar A-Team members (above).

The sun drops below the trees as we put the second truss in place.

Toad aligns the truss as we check the fit. By day’s end, we had three trusses on the frame.