Connecticut Timber Frame Gambrel Barn 1

We've been working on a large timber frame gambrel barn, cut entirely in white oak timbers.  Design by Uncarved Block and engineering by Fire Tower.  We'll keep adding pictures, and it will be going up soon.  

Mountain Top Arboretum Education Center 2

Brad was out in the woods with the loggers, hand-selecting the trees.  They pulled out some amazing curved and forked logs.  We'll be custom sawing them next.  

Mountain Top Arboretum Education Center 1

We're very excited that Uncarved Block was awarded the timber framing contract for the new Mountain Top Arboretrum Education Center in the Catskills of NY.  Architecture is by Jack Sobon, and shows his characteristic funky curvy framing.  The whole frame will be scribed.  All 23 species present in the Arboretum will be used in this timber frame.  

A little cruck frame from many years ago

I designed this little cruck timber frame many years ago, as an exercise for the Heartwood School apprentices in scribing.  I literally pulled the cherry and pine logs out of the firewood pile.  Heartwood and UB raised the frame at several fairs and trade shows, and we always stood out from the crowd.

New hybrid timber frame/double stud wall home 6

Lots of outdoor work lately.  We've completed the deck and porch framing and finish.  We framed the deck with galvanized steel joists, which are strong, fast (they're pre-cut), straight, and won't warp like large section PT lumber.  The decking will be thermally modified ash from western Mass.  The porch and deck roof is painted tongue and groove 2x6 over native cherry rafters.  The hips over the deck are irregular (meaning that they are not 45 degrees in plan view), so the jack cuts are different on each side.  

New hybrid timber frame/double stud wall home 4

We had a preliminary blower door test at the house, before the insulation (dense-pack cellulose) was complete.  The blower door is a very direct measure of how air tight the house is.  We had a great preliminary number of 465 cfm or 0.58 ACH50 (air changes per hour at 50 pascals pressure difference).  That's pretty impressive with 48 windows in the house, and beats the incredibly stringent Passive House standard of 0.6ACH50.  

I also put some pictures in of the elliptical ceiling in the upstairs hall.  We made ribs of 12' MDF, and sheathed it in 1/4 plywood.  We very slowly bent 1/2" sheetrock to the radius (they don't make 1/4" that long).  The ellipse comes in tangent to the wall surface, so it blends in perfectly.

New hybrid timber frame/double stud wall 3

Lots of activity on the job.  Framing is complete.  The interior air barrier (Intello) and service cavity are complete.  The entire house is off of the electric grid, so we're running all of our tools off of PV.  Dense-pack cellulose in the 12" double stud walls and 18" cathedral ceilings is complete.  And windows and doors are in.  While the sheetrock is being done, we'll be outside starting the south porch and west deck.  

New Hybrid timber frame/double stud wall 2

Lots of progress on the hybrid timber frame we've been working on it Becket.  In one quick week, we put the timber frame up, the floor panels from Bensonwood, the second floor wall, and the roof purlins. You can see some of the big 7x18 gluelams that spread the roof load to the outer walls. 

Bottom Lines Business Summit

Uncarved Block has been a member for about a year of NESEA's (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) Bottom Lines group--a business peer-review network.  Bottom Lines consists of 30 businesses (mostly builders) that are involved in building energy efficient homes.  Those 30 are divided into 3 smaller groups that are distributed across the Northeast.  

Brad was recently invited to organize and moderate a discussion at our annual summit on the use of technology in construction businesses.  The panel consisted of Mel Baiser of Baiser Construction Management and Ben Kelley of Building Shelter, both incredibly knowledgeable in the subject.  The presentation and discussions were great.  Pictured above is Mark Boudreau and Marlin May.

Second Video featuring Uncarved Block

Here's the second new video featuring Brad Morse of Uncarved Block.  Brad cuts a traditional pegged mortise and tenon joint, using more common carpentry tools.  At Uncarved Block, we use a number of very specialized timber framing tools that aren't shown in this video to make the process even more efficient and accurate.

New hybrid timber frame/double stud wall home

We've been working for the last year getting this project ready, and we're finally out framing.  It is an architect-designed shingle-style home right in town.  We helped specify many timber frame and high performance details.  There's also a LOT of beautiful red oak logs being milled into timbers, flooring, and trim.  We'll be posting more photos as we build this great project.

Timber Frame Entry Porch

We designed an built a small English-style timber frame porch for a house that we built several years ago.  The porch is all white oak, black locust, and copper, which will all naturally rot resistant and will be left to weather.  More pictures coming as we wrap things up.