June 1, 2017

Dan's Workshop: Raising the Bents

Last time I showed you how Dan is making the bents for the workshop. (If you don't know what a "bent" is, check out that link.) Here's where we left off.

First bent for Dan's workshop

Ordinarily, large timber construction requires many hands to manipulate and position these heavy sections, but many hands was something we didn't have - we only had our four. So to raise the bent and set it in place, Dan used the boom on his tractor, a strap around the beam, and a chain.

The tractor is noisy, so Snoopervision kept their distance.

He started with a test lift and then adjusted the length of the chain accordingly.

First lift

This is as high is it will go.

Need to adjust the length of the chain.

If this doesn't do it, we'll have to think of something else.

A little maneuvering of the tractor helped get it in place.

Upright! (Whew!)

At this point I had to set down the camera and go help. The boom was able to lift the bent about half-an-inch off the ground, so we were able to get it on the piers. Then Dan braced it temporarily.

In place on the piers, and braced for the time being.

The second one went up a little more quickly.

Besides the boards as temporary cross-bracing, Dan employed straps and ratchets.

The pecan tree next to the goat barn came in handy for that.

No tree available on the other side, so the strap was anchored to the ground.
Of course making sure everything is square and level is important and determined the placement of the bracing.

Third one also went well.

The last one proved a bit tricky, but by dinnertime we finally wrestled it into place and Dan secured it.

All four bents in place.

The next step will be the girders. These will connect the bents along the top outside edges and hold them all in place. Hopefully that step will go as well as this one did. (Next ⇉ "Girders")


Michelle said...


Judy said...

Yeah! Like the cheaters for the tractor. ;>)

We did similar things to get the rafter sections up over the dining and living rooms. Those two rooms of the house were two stores high.

Leigh said...

We're impressed too! (Because we weren't sure it was going to work!)

Leigh said...

Not cheater - partner! LOL I imagine it was pretty impressive to watch it happen for your house. Two stories! We didn't even try to add on a truss for the roof, which would be more standard. It's an amazing way to build - makes sense, but still amazing.

Ed said...

One of these days after everything is completed, Dan is going to be staring up at those beams and remembering the work that went into them. It is a great feeling!

Anonymous said...

You reminded me of building our greenhouse (32'x86') only our tractor was bigger because our metal trusses were huge - AND- we dug 3' down into the ground so from floor to ceiling inside is about 25-30 feet tall at center. Hard work but fun to say I did it! Good luck on your project & thanx for sharing!

Living Alone in Your 60's said...

Brilliant work, surprising how we resort to the old principles to get jobs done. Looks great can't wait to see the rest. X

Mike Yukon said...

So far I'm impressed with the work Dan has put in so far. Can't wait until we can see it all finished.

Leigh said...

We can't wait! Once it's done I'm going to suggest he sign and date it on the inside with his woodburning pen. :)

Leigh said...

Thank you! Your greenhouse sounds amazing - what a project! Would love to have something that size. :)

Leigh said...

Just thankful those old principles are still around. :)

Leigh said...

Thanks Mike! Hopefully it will move along in a timely manner. I know he'd like to get out of the construction phase and get onto some agricultural type projects.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I am glad to read that all went well and hope the next step will also! Nancy

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Fantastic! I was holding my breath as they first bent went up, just like I do here at home when Keith using our tractor in the same manner. Sometimes we can get the help of a son or two with our projects but they all have jobs and families, so usually just Keith and I struggling through. But the satisfaction level is super high isn't it? Great work, stay safe you two!

Sandy Livesay said...


It's hard not having several sets of hands to help with the work however, with the right tools and the ingenuity Dan was able to raise each bent on his own. Nicely done!

Leigh said...

Thanks Nancy! Not sure what we would have done if the tractor hadn't worked! :o

Leigh said...

Times like this is when a true community would be nice, wouldn't it? I have to say that the tractor has been our best investment when it comes to work. Not sure how we managed before we bought it! And hopefully this will be the last big building project!

Leigh said...

So thankful for that tractor! The right tools and equipment make all the difference, don't they?