May 27, 2017

Dan's Workshop: Making the Bents

What is a bent? It will probably be easier to show than explain, but I'll start this post by trying to put some words to it. In timber frame construction a bent is a one-planed structural unit that's assembled on the ground, rather than adding each timber to the structure one at a time - kind of like a roof truss. In Dan's case, it was pre-assembling the posts, beams, and kneebraces. He figured it would be easier to do the drilling and pegging on the ground rather than at precarious angles in the air.

In my last workshop post I showed you how Dan was cutting the joints and had also made these...

Trunnels (pegs) cut from 1" home-milled oak boards.

The next step was starting to assemble the bents. First he drilled holes one-inch holes in the timbers, but then had to trim the corners of the pegs to fit the holes.

Dan used his handheld grinder to trim down the corners.

More octagonal than square or round.

First size check: a tad too big. 

A little more needed to be shaved off. 

Perfect fit.

Next the peg was coated with linseed oil

and pounded in with Dan's homemade mallet.

They are pounded through until they stick out about the same on
both sides. They can later be cut flush, or the pegs can be pegged.

So here is Dan's first bent.


Now we just have to figure out how to raise this thing and set it in place. It's not exactly light weight!

17 comments:

Judy said...

Leigh - Please ask Dan to put on a pair of Leather Gloves when he is using the grinder, for me. Having worked 40 years in manufacturing I've seen some pretty ugly wounds because somebody didn't stop a moment to think about what they needed to protect themselves from the tools they were using. Thanks!

Judy said...

Computer did something weird before I could finish.

Anyway, This is interesting how he is constructing his framework. Is he going to use block-n-tackle to raise the bent?

Leigh said...

Judy, I'll pass that on about the gloves! He does wear safety goggles. :)

Figuring out how to raise the bents was indeed a challenge. You'll just have to stay tuned to see about that. :)

Sam I Am...... said...

Great job! I learned something. It's amazing that he even made his own mallet. You guys are something else...you are both very talented!

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

Very clever, love seeing old building techniques used in the day and age of alum keys and flat pack furniture.

Leigh said...

It seems that making one's own stuff is often the only way to go nowadays. Tools are usually too expensive and made with cheap materials, unfortunately. I'm just fortunate to be married to a creative guy!

Leigh said...

Well put. There's truly no comparison, is there?

Rain said...

Very nice explanation Leigh! Thank you :) The workmanship is wonderful. :)

Leigh said...

Pictures tell it all! :)

Goatldi said...

Anxious to see the next step and all the steps to the end product! Lovely mallet there. We are two lucky gals to have fellows who know their way around many of the needs on a homestead aren't we?
Good job!

Leigh said...

Very lucky! This has been an amazing project, especially since the timber came from our land. With the extra day off today, good progress should be made. I'll share the next step on Thursday!

badgerpendous said...

That looks amazing! And fun. Can't wait to see the next update!

Judy said...

Got a question - Is Dan going to leave some of the lower pegs long so he can hang things from them?

Leigh said...

It has been pretty amazing. I'll have more to show on Thursday!

Leigh said...

I'm not sure if he's decided on the pegs. The outer ones will have to be cut flush because of the siding. One of Eric Sloane's books shows several ways builders dealt with the pegs. I like your idea of using them to hang things from!

Farmer Barb said...

F O X Y !!!

Leigh said...

LOL