Red Suspenders Timber Frames

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We are working at the Timber Sizer this week. Here we will plan the rough sawn red oak timber cants to further square the timbers and provide the first dimensional cut as we bring the timbers into tolerance. Planning is difficult and hard work as each timber in the frame is first run through the sizer. Part of the crew is in Louisiana raising another frame so John's crew is helping out. Although we are seeing only one day of operation, it will take the better part of the week to plan all of the red oak used in the frame, but this should give you a good idea of how it's done.

Image Not Available Tim and Keith are moving the timber cants into position at the staging section of the roller table. Tim and Keith will handle the infeed to the Timber Sizer while John and his crew man the diesel drive and the outfeed.

You can learn more about the Timber Sizer by following this LINK . Click on your browser's back button to come back to this page.
John is checking out the diesel to make sure everything is set properly before starting the machine. John will "ride" the engine speed control to make sure the timber sizer has the proper power applied to handle the dense oak. Image Not Available
Image Not Available Tim and Keith are feeding the first timber cants into the machine. Notice that Keith is wearing hearing protection. This machine is loud when operating. The spinning cutter blades produce a great deal of noise. Everyone working around the machine must wear ear protection.
Tim handles the machine infeed. He is managing one of the infeed roller and belt drive tension controls to make sure the infeed roller can properly handle the dense oak.

It takes at least 4 men to operate the machine safely and handle the timbers.
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Image Not Available This is a close-up of the infeed roller and one of the timber cants as it enters the machine.
You can see the timber cant emerging from the machine in this image. The long outfeed roller table is used to move the heavy timber into the Layout Barn where Victor and Mike are stacking the planned timbers. Image Not Available
Image Not Available Mike and Victor slide the timbers onto a staging platform where they can build a stack of timbers for storage. You can see some of the planned timbers resting on the forklift tongs to the left of this picture.
Keith continues to feed timber cants to Tim as they keep the planning operation going. You can see the "snow" of oak chips behind Keith as the pile of shavings continues to grow. Image Not Available
Image Not Available Victor pulls the first load of planned timbers out the Layout Barn. Because red oak is so dense, this small load of timbers is very heavy. Notice how the bottom of the tractor tires are pushed flat against the concrete floor of the Layout Barn.
How many men does it take... Well... the main drive belt did break after all!

One of the joys of working with such antiquated equipment is making the repairs necessary to keep it operating, and drive belts are not commonly available. That's what you do to have access to a really unique and important piece of equipment such as the Timber Sizer.

John is holding up the broken belt. Fortunately, we have several spare belts and Richard will repair this one when he gets back from the raising in Louisiana.
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Image Not Available Keith takes advantage of the down time to organize and sort the planned timbers. This will make layout go much faster when the crew starts up this stage of production. We will talk a lot more about layout in the next report.
This is a really nice close-up of the planned timbers. We are very pleased at the results and the quality of the wood. Image Not Available
Image Not Available Willow is doing her job inspecting the timbers but she can't understand why she can't ride the load back into the shop!

Keith finally gave her to me after taking her off the stack three times! She is persistent if nothing else!

Next, we will go to Layout as we transfer the frame joinery details to the red oak timbers.