Paul, Krista, and Caleb review the movie Roundwood Timber Framing with Ben Law. Paul says that he dislikes the word “forest” compared to Ben Law’s “woodland.”
They describe some tools used to work with roundwood, such as a rounding plane. You make your peg sort of octagonal and put it through what is more or less a pencil sharpener. The wood then becomes like a screw. Caleb explains his background working with wood and building, and Krista shares her background of having a family in construction and being pretty knowledgeable. Caleb talks about wood-on-wood joinery with wooden dowels to connect, and his experience with green woodworking.
He talks about the benefits of letting bark fall off on its own–the wood relaxes so you can read the grain and where the checks are. You can also better see what tension is built into the wood. They talk about girdling trees at the base as letting dead wood stand for a year or so is the best way to dry it out. The log will be 80% less weight when the water in it is gone.
If you are going to cut a live log, it is best to winter-cut it as the sap will be down. The wood as it changes will also move slower. Caleb says that it is definitely easier carving green wood as it shaves off “like butter.” Paul mentions how, when wood dries, its thickness will shrink more than its length.
Krista points out how in the video they emphasize the pegs being drier than green wood so that the green wood would tighten around the pegs as it dries. No need for glue. They discuss cedar shingles and Ianto Evans’ handsplit ones. They discuss Ben Law’s choice to build a building with no finish, no concrete, and a pole structure. Keeping the poles dry is the trick, and Caleb shares how you want totally dry or totally wet. Wooden docks will only rot at waterline, where it is sometimes wet and then dry.
They discuss Ben Law’s process for steaming logs so they could bend them for a curved roof structure. Krista brings up that the video showed a cordwood wall as well. Caleb brings up the aesthetic value of building where you live, and how that makes it a home, more than just a house.
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