Timber Framing - Structure - Timbers

Timbers

Historically, the timbers would have been hewn square using a felling axe and then surface-finished with a broadaxe. If required, smaller timbers were ripsawn from the hewn baulks using pitsaws or frame saws. Today it is more common for timbers to be bandsawn, and the timbers may sometimes be machine-planed on all four sides.

The vertical timbers include:

  • posts (main supports at corners and other major uprights),
  • wall studs (subsidiary upright limbs in framed walls), for example, close studding.

The horizontal timbers include:

  • sill-beams (also called ground-sills or sole-pieces, at the bottom of a wall into which posts and studs are fitted using tenons),
  • noggin-pieces (the horizontal timbers forming the tops and bottoms of the frames of infill panels),
  • wall-plates (at the top of timber-framed walls that support the trusses and joists of the roof).

When jettying, horizontal elements can include:

  • the jetty bressummer (or breastsummer): the main sill (horizontal piece) on which the projecting wall above rests and which stretches across the whole width of the jetty wall. The bressummer is itself cantilevered forward, beyond the wall below it.
  • the dragon-beam which runs diagonally from one corner to another, and supports the corner posts above and supported by the corner posts below.
  • the jetty beams or joists which conform floor dimensions above but are at right angles to the jetty-plates that conform to the shorter dimensions of "roof" of the floor below. Jetty beams are morticed at 45° into the sides of the dragon beams. They are the main constituents of the cantilever system and determine how far the jetty projects
  • the jetty-plates, designed to carry the jetty beams. The jetty plates themselves are supported by the corner posts of the recessed floor below.

The sloping timbers include:

  • trusses (the slanting timbers forming the triangular framework at gables and roof),
  • braces (slanting beams giving extra support between horizontal or vertical members of the timber frame),
  • herringbone bracing (a decorative and supporting style of frame, usually at 45° to the upright and horizontal directions of the frame).

Read more about this topic:  Timber Framing, Structure

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