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John Page

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Everything posted by John Page

  1. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Over the last 8 years (shocked that it's already been that long) I've worked out of and visited somewhere in the range of 30 shops in all manner of buildings and scale, from the basement welding room that I started in to the likes of Baltimore Knife & Sword in MD and Jim and Jeff's shop out in Oakland. Since then I have a fairly good idea of what I want out of a workshop, but there are a few questions I have for the hivemind. Before getting into that, I want to share the plan that I currently have going, evolved from plans I started drafting a few years ago. The ultimate motivation behind the design in creating a space that inspires further creation. Although a bit nebulous to try and describe, it is a combination of aesthetic, function, and the culmination of design choices that establish the basis for inspired design. The shop I currently work out of, in historic Old Town State Park, a recreation of a Californian colonial era blacksmith and wood shop, does a fantastic job at portraying what I am after for the sheer fact of the weight contained in its history and the contribution of smiths for the better part of 150 years. However, the things that fill the space do not replace certain design pieces when applied to the space itself. What I currently have the general design worked out for is a 9 sided building dedicated to hotwork and other metalworking apparatus, a clean room attached to one end, and a woodshop above it and looking down into the metal shop. In and around the forge area will be a stone hearth for the obvious fire prevention reasons, as well as a contained portion where the quench tank will be. Ideally, I'd like to segregate the tools based on function, having a power hammer and press near the forge but not against the wall, allowing them to be accessed from a wider variety of angles. Underneath a slight overhang from the woodshop floor would be the grinding area, the thought being that extra bit of coverage would help contain the inevitable dust that comes from it, although with a few additional containment measures and fire-proofing in place. In the metalworking shop, having a large welding table in the middle of the room for layout, welding, etc. provides a valuable hot-metal-resistant surface to work on, while also allowing it to be used from other areas around the shop unhindered. Along another of the walls will (eventually) be a lathe, mill, and drill press. That leaves, accounting for doors and whatnot, two additional walls open for workbenches and storage. I won't go into too much detail on the wood shop and clean room, although the layout for those is reasonably organized at this point. Once I am able to upload a few cad drawings of what I am talking about, it will probably make a little more sense. The questions I have are this: For anyone who has recently built a shop or is in the process of building a shop, how did you decide on the overall square footage? Is it based on what tools you currently have with room for projected growth? Layout for tools is always open for change, but how did you account for any future acquisitions? On the logistics side of things, did you do anything to certify the plans for the space prior to building? I know building code varies considerably depending on where you are located and proximity to urban environments (what can be built as a 'barn' with no strings attached vice having to get special permits to put up a 10x5 garden shed) but what sort of complications did you encounter that you wish you would have been better prepared for prior to commencing the build? For anyone who is currently well established, what things work well in your shop that cannot be fixed by a simple rearrangement of equipment? Any issues with utilities (distribution of power, ventilation, lighting, etc...) that a little more planning could have solved? The building of a workshop that stands on its own as a place of craftsmanship is something that I have been putting a considerable amount of thought into lately, and, although constructing it almost entirely by hand (including the tools to build it) will take a tremendous amount of time, I am nearing the phase of developing a final set of plans for construction. I have a few imminent opportunities for substantial changes in life direction, this being the forefront of them. I'd love to hear from the collective experience represented here and draw from anything that can contribute to the success of it. I intend to keep using this thread as a long term exploration and documentation of the process, from now in the design phase, until the ultimate completion of the space. As always, thanks for reading John
  2. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Right-o, took a little longer to bring the screenshots over than planned, but here's what's going on with the frame and joinery. I shifted the adjoining roof down a bit so the intersection of the planes is now at the inner edge of the common rafter vice the middle. That allowed for the ridge beam to drop a few more inches but it's now at the limit of where I can move it to. Looking at the extruded face and how it interacts with the kingspost, the lines of the rafters come to a point somewhere inside the kingspost but higher than the peak of the ridge beam. However in practice the ridge beam is slightly proud of the joint between rafters and kinspost. Still working through some alternatives, but this is as close as I can get it without adding extra/unnecessary beams. Inside the frame, here's what the kingspost joint looks like. Took a bit of figuring on the size and interaction between the hammer beam ends, but this is what I've settled on for a few reasons. First, having the tennon ends meet less-than-full-beam-width, it allows some of the stress to be distributed and load taken partially off of the tennons. Second, it allows for a metal (forged, of course) reinforcement of the joint that cannot be seen from the underside due to the continuous ring formed by the trusses extending out to where the faces intersect (corner before the ends are chamfered). Last up for now is a look at the adjoining roof of the entryway. This one also gave some trouble, but reading about certain types of interior corner beams, I figured out a fairly easy and math free way of determining how to pitch and cant the angles of the intersection. Still some work needed to clean it up, but the skeleton is there. In going back to add the stairs back in, I had to adjust the floor heights again, which is an annoying but critical piece of the puzzle. Turns out building code for stair dimensions is not conducive to having a wall height divisible by 6" increments. In the end, I shifted the woodshop floor down 6", the hotwork shop up 1.25", and the grinding/clean room floor down by some other amount that gives 3 stairs at 7.75" each and a ceiling height of 9'4" or so. For the time being, I'm trying to refine the overhanging bit of roof that connects the two shops, and from there it's the finishing details of window dimensions and a few of the joints that I neglected to add earlier, and it's about done! John
  3. John Page

    Moonlight Seax

    Freeform Odyssey, indeed! Those photos came out great! Looking at the lower side of the twists, that's an awesome illusion of a shadow from the weld line, and I love how the surface texture of the twist holds up to the welding, creating a sort of quasi-wolf's tooth. Neat-o! And, that's an awesome place you've moved into! I was actually thinking about that very place the other day for some reason, and how much of a fantastic community that's going on there. If I can ever vacate the ocean, I'll try and make it up that way sometime in the later half of March. Joh
  4. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    To have them intersect, I see what you're saying and definitely agree. The previous iterations tried to accommodate the differences with adding timbers and extra supports, but became convoluted enough that I scrapped it. The only reason I constrained the height and pitch of the woodshop roof was to have it intersect the plane of the main roof at a location where there was an existing beam (happens to be in the middle of one of the faces) for sake of clarity in the frame structure. I added the hammer post to the middle of all the rafters and I see now what you mean about the difference in height, which I'm still trying to work through exactly what's happening. I think that if I lower the ridge beam of the woodshop by the height required to make it at a level with the extruded edge of the main shop rafters, the corner where the two roof planes meet will shift towards the inside edge of the roof panel that supports it (on the inside edge of that beam rather than in the centre where it currently sits). The top of the woodshop ridge beam is in line with the tops of the main roof principle rafters, but only on the corner where the roof plane meets the vertical face of the timber. None of that is easy to explain with words, so I'll do a few more edits to the model and show you what I mean. I think it also simplifies some of the joinery, or at least the beam cutting, to have the planes intersect at the edge of the beam instead of the middle, but it'll be easier to model than to do the math
  5. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Insane, indeed! Regarding the weird intersections, the peak of the two roofs will actually meet at the same elevation. The principle rafters of the main shop roof will come together to a kingspost like beam in the middle, but I haven't gotten around to flushing out those details yet. Geometrically, the ridge of the woodshop has to meet at the same place where the extruded posts all come together. Without that, the angle of the intersecting plane is off. I think I'm going to have the vertical kingspost beam extend a little above where the points all intersect to give it that extra height. Definitely don't want a leaky roof! Might make a sort of cap to put over the top of all the intersecting timbers too, which would lie underneath all the shingling to serve as a weatherproofing around all the complex joints and angles. For that other horizontal beam, that's just leftover from some previous experiments, although it's in plane with the top of the floor for the woodshop. That one and all the ones on the same face but 2' higher are going away. I'm working through how to have a higher stone wall for most of the parameter of the clean room so the outermost edge of the woodshop can be at ground level, and for the time being it's looking like stone will comprise the entire wall beneath the floor of the woodshop up to the vestibule for the stairs and include the perpendicular wall there to the same height. The rest of the run and the outer parallel wall (where the beam is circled) will be the same height as the rest of the foundation, leaving a normal wall's worth of height as timber. That being said, the top of the wall will align with the shop wall height with an extra bit rising between the vertical support there at the last scissor truss. Hopefully that makes sense! I'm working through the details in the model now to try and clean up the temporary timbers and things that won't be kept in the final design. John
  6. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    And now, for something a little different! Now that the main trusses are seemingly figured out, the question turned back to how these two roofs interact. Originally, I'm not sure how I did it, but it was simple. Probably because it wouldn't have actually worked that way. Regardless, I tried a few things to get it to mesh coherently- First attempt was to just push the lines all the way out of the walls and see were they intersected. Lots of weird voids and awkward spaces to fill with extra bits of wall, strange overhangs, and unsupported corners. No good here. Joints that do not intersect approximately parallel or perpendicular to the grains of the timbers are asking for trouble, especially when carrying the load of thousands of pounds of snow. The obvious solution was to just clip that bit of roof and add some timbers to support the new geometry. While vaguely deliberate looking, there are still a handful of unnecessary transitions on the insides of the walls/ceiling, which is more noticeable because you see it when you're in the building instead of floating around in space. This was several hours into the problem, and about all I could reasonably come up with at the time. Thinking on it for almost two weeks, I was convinced there was a better, simpler way that did not involve skew intersections, floating beams, and unsavory corners. I'm not entirely sure how I missed it the first time, but when I thought of the obvious (sneaky as it is) solution, the hardest part was getting the alignment right without existing reference surfaces. It turns out that, because I long ago made the innocuous-at-the-time-but-critical decision to centre the overhanging roof on the middle of the next tangent wall, I was able to tweak the pitch of the adjoining roof to match the extruded angle of the common rafter out along the axis of the woodshop. Because I had the fire and forget mentality on how the pitch of the roof needed to shed snow and not much else, it never occurred to me to backtrack and see if a different pitch made more sense. It does, specifically the one single pitch that happens to match the intersection of the other roof. It wasn't quite so simple as moving some angles, because of how lines in sketchup interact, but a few hours later it was moved around, the roof bents replaced with steeper ones, the frame lifted higher to match the point of intersection, and some other minor tweaks fixed (the corner of the roof break shifted to the centre of a post vice the edge, for instance). The other key here is that the break in the roof does not extend all the way to the roof intersection. If it did, the entire purpose of moving things around would not work. That shallower angle I thought necessary to preserve overhead clearance with the stairs leading up to the woodshop but there should be sufficient height with the alternative (speculation yet unproven). Due to the nature of the scissor truss, it is little more work to extend the outer edge of both timbers as it is to keep only one. Hard to explain, but the next picture shows it better. So, if I extruded that steeper beam down to the same breadth as the crossing beams, it provides a constant angle (adjusted to match the centre of the common rafter) the entire length of the roof plane intersection. If you've ever clad a roof, you can appreciate that simpler is in fact better. Taking out the break at the intersection removes about 4 different weird corners, twice as many beams, and an infinite amount of head scratching. Now, there is a bit of extra vertical wall that has to go in between the two arms of the scissor, but it's a small and easy price to pay for the return. I haven't gotten to cladding the entire roof yet (and might not, no reason to at this point) but the plane of that intersecting bit is a single surface that also covers the top half of the scissor trussed roof. A nice, ~50 foot piece of unbroken roofing real estate. You may notice that the roof is now significantly higher, which it is. About 5 feet higher at the peak, although only ~6" at the wall head (lifted to accommodate the line of intersecting planes). That gives a total ceiling height of just over 16' at the peak, which is lofty but considering the other half of the building is not ridiculous. Especially because now the ridge beam of the woodshop is in line straight to the peak of the main roof and can nest nicely in the mesh of other trusses coming together there. Looking back at it, it seems fairly simple, and it was probably just looking at a problem too long that made it take so long to figure out. In any event, the worst of that is now over with, and it's on to other details. Next up, supporting joinery, bracing, and seeing if there is too much of a spreading load in the woodshop roof to keep it free of other internal timbery. Cheers for now!
  7. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    First off, sorry for the delay, turbulent times over here! The initial time frame is roughly: -Imminent future: Finish the CAD model, get it vetted through the P.E. I've been working with and get the ball rolling in finishing stages of the design. Right now, it's about an 80% solution of which the level of confidence in that %% is much better than the first several iterations. Learned lots, fixed details in the right places, and ultimately realized that some things were silly and others necessary, and through now 6 (?) from-scratch rebuildings of the model, think that the transition from model to certified drawings is going to be faster, less painful, and (money maker here) more directly similar to expectations than when I first started. -Spring 2019: Find land. At this time, looking in the southern-central portion of New Hampshire, in an approximate 30-45min circle around the Concord and Manchester areas where those two distances (preferably) intersect. Primarily it's looking like north/north west of Concord, although the hunt is still on. My original assessment of Vermont was with the underlying idea that the proximity-to-civilization:land-availability ratio was more favourable, which was not, strictly speaking, the case. Besides, NH has a bit more going for it as far as small businesses are concerned, and a moderate albeit secondary slew of other reasons. And so, if/when able to make the trek out to the grand old Northeast, it's over the river and through the woods I go! -Spring 2019, the elder: Close on a piece of land, after a thorough conversation with people who know more about whichever-county's zoning laws, ground assessments for potential building sites, etc. At this time, the final site-specific adjustments can be made to the design, such as required foundation depth/thickness/etc. and the potential of the back end of the clean room being buried in a hill to allow the wood shop to have a drive-up door (highly desired but not deal breaking). At this time as well, I will be making the determination of how much material can be sourced from the lot. The sizes and locations I've been looking at will ideally provide enough of the raw resources (timber and stone) to begin the process internally. I expect that the time needed for curing timbers cut from the property (~1-2 years depending on size) will align with the later stage members I would like to use them for. If there is a suitable excess of timber, which is possible but unlikely given the enormity of the building, then I will try and take a trip out specifically to fell a decent number of trees, stack, and leave until I can return for them later. -Fall 2019: At this point, I will (if the wheel already set in motion gathers no moss) be at the tail end of a career transition. Meaning, I'll have about 2 months to solely devote to getting the foundation dug, stone split, and foundation walls/floor masoned. Herein winter will make it difficult to do any more work of that sort, so I would like to have it completely finished before the frosty winds pick up. -Winter 2019-2020: If able and resources located in the prior spring/summer, begin roughing timbers. This hinges mostly on if there is a barn on the property already, as I do not intend on building one, however makeshift, unless the situation absolutely demands it. In the future, I may build an outbuilding dedicated to processing timber, but that isn't in the cards just yet. So, provided the alternative does not present itself, this time will be a bit of a break from the project, doing adult things like being employed and surviving the winter... -Spring 2020: Here, timber processing will begin in force. If the CAD model is good enough and the correlates to the drawings with enough precision (or another model build modeling the drawings) I will have an entire cut list already done, and the assembly will be very easy, from an order-of-operations perspective, to visualize. Because of that, I can do the batch work and assembly at the same time, building as I go, and creating a stockpile of ready timbers when conditions do not allow me to keep erecting the frame (i.e. being unable to lift timbers by myself/weather/unforeseen circumstances). I expect to have a decent number of timbers ready, mostly the main structural members, by the time the weather is dry enough to start raising it. -Summer 2020 and beyond: Building season will be in full swing and a great deal of work will hopefully happen by the time winter comes around again. Enough that, if possible, I can use the 'clean room' (covered by the floor of the woodshop) to continue working through the winter. A lot of beam-hewing goodness to be done, repetitive cuts, riving, finishing, etc. to be done which does not need the full compliment of square-footage needed for those 30+ foot timbers. All said and done, I'd like to have the thing finished in 3 years. Of that, a lot will be gradual progress intermixed with moments of sudden excitement (roof raising!). For those, the won't be likely to happen out of the blue, and I'll do my best to put word out to anyone who might want to partake in the festivities. The old-timey fair style events of communities coming together for a frame raising are exactly the sort of community involvement, interaction, and merriment that makes me want to build a shop so large in the first place. Everything I know, after all, is a product of the very community of people who I one day hope to pass on the favour back to.
  8. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Changes a-brewing over here, as alluded to earlier. I couldn't shake the idea of removing the vertical supports and making the entire thing a clearspan, and with all the learning that's gone on with the software, it was less intimidating to go after. Been working away at all the internal joinery and the detail is revealing all sorts of interesting things as I consider the order of assembly. When doing some research into foundations and stonework, as aforementioned I realized that I didn't leave any space aboveground on the foundation to have the timbers sitting proud of ground level. In the process of changing all sorts of vertical dimensions, I came back to the question of whether or not I can get away with the vertical supports in the middle of the main room and took the time to start (another) new revision experimenting with various alternatives. Knowing little about the relative shear strength of non-reinforced and stacked/rubble masonry, I took a gander at some interesting yet oddly specific research about the displacement of wall segments under diagonal compression and there is a surprisingly consistent curve resembling a stress v. strain diagram ultimately leading to fracture. Anyway, the necessary thickness of the wall obviously compensates for the transverse loading, but the question is where in the distribution of force is localized loading greatest? The weight of the roof comes down seemingly as a vertical load, but determining if the corner posts are preferred for load bearing depends on if the spreading distributed evenly across the entire vertical post against the wall, or if it is more torsional and therefore concentrated most at the bottom end of that post. Trying to apply similar concepts to a wall that's about 2/3 wood and the bottom 1/3 stone, if I were to take a hammer beam and lower the brace so it's closer to ground level (stone foundation rising about a foot above ground) it’s probably safer to rely on the combined strength of the foundation and bottom most wall beam to absorb the spreading force of the trusses. By the info I've been able to gather, it looks like the loading at the top of the walls is mostly vertical, in which case the need for a tension ring (or amount of spreading absorbed by it) is reduced if most of the spreading can be deferred downward. Early draft of a modified hammer beam centred on the wall, later discarded Digging into the statics of hammer beam trusses, I happened across some designs that had 55+ foot clearspans, which is enough to convince me that I’m not crazy enough to try. I came up with two configurations, one with the hammers on the corners of the wall, another with them at the centre. The biggest concern I have is whether or not it is even viable, although other designs suggest it is, and the next is what to do about the spreading and weird torsion going on in the vertical wall beams. With some tweaking, I was able to fit the hammer beams on the middle between the intersection of the horizontal ring thing, keeping it there as a means of absorbing some of the spreading load experienced on the top of the walls which are less resilient to that sort of loading. Seems like there is a mixed opinion on whether it is mostly a spreading load or torsional that hits the tops of the vertical/outermost beams of the truss, but in either case I think the frame needs some sort of transverse stability. Because of all the radial symmetry, I'd have a set of 9 hammer trusses on either the corners or centre of the walls, filling the space between with a single long and fairly steep brace from near the bottom of the wall to somewhere midway up the rafter. Early frames use cruck (naturally bent timber cut down the middle to form an A-Frame sort of brace) and the same principle makes sense here for nothing more than conservation of space. I thought about doing some sort of scissor truss contraption where it is essentially two braces at different angles to the rafter, now used in the roof of the wood shop on either end, but it is inherently not suited for odd numbers of trusses. The main concern I have/design constraint of shifting around the truss system to accommodate is what to do about the tension ring and how the introduction of windows into the walls would impact the overall strength of the wall. To leave room for a secondary rafter segment at an angle parallel to the main outer roof rafter, I'd either have to shorten the size of the hammer beam and bring it all closer to the walls, or else find a way to intersect the ring of timbers connecting the tops of the walls. It's visually a lot cleaner to shift how long the timbers span (connecting the middle of every other wall rather than every third wall) but in doing that, the angle of the timbers is significantly reduced, thereby decreasing the amount of spreading load absorbed by the timbers in the first place. For the window situation, I figured it would be the easiest to add an additional beam, like in the hammer beams fitted to stone walls, that sits on the inside of the wall and provides support against the spreading of the truss and allows the braces to possibly extend farther down than the foot of the wooden part of the wall. Again, not knowing too much about the distribution of force and what it's doing at the top and middle of the wall interaction, it's mostly guessing. So, over the last few weeks I’ve done a lot more fiddling around with models and some more research into stress analysis. Wishing I had brought along the old college computer that had some of that sort of software running on it from the aeronautics side of things... Probably would have answered a lot of simple but very specific questions along the way if I had, but alas, it’s back to spotty research and guessing. As it is, I found an analysis around that compares the stresses in hammer beams v. modified beams that have a second diagonal member from the main lower brace up towards the horizontal one. There’s a surprising reduction in localized stresses, and I think just the ticket for what I'm trying to do. After trying just about every possible configuration of tension bearing assemblies on the top of the walls coupled with quasi hammer beam trusses, this is what I've come up with. I originally put the hammers on the middle of the walls for better absorption of spreading in the tension beams, and also by changing how far they spanned. But, dealing with doors and things I couldn't find a good solution that didn't involve a lot of awkward intersections. Also, it increased the angle of the tension beam terminations by almost half, thereby reducing their effectiveness. So I reverted back to the original layout for the tension ring beams and rotated the hammers to the corners of the walls. This seems better for the long term settling of the frame as well, since it is not relying on the clean stacking of wall timbers as a stress-absorbing plane. Using the compressive strength and doubling the purpose of the hammer brace as a support for the long span of the tension beams, it (looks like it) might work out. Based on a few other structures I've found, the odd number of trusses meeting in a single post in the centre of the peak shouldn't be a problem, and it's looking like it will be around a 18" diameter post up there. For the other beam sizes, I went with an 8x14, although it's easy to adjust at this point. Fits well with the other faces around and gives a suspected weight:rigidity ratio that's favorable under the loads and spans (unqualified opinion/complete guess formed by loose interpretations of other structures) The current configuration gives enough overhead room for everything I need it to do, and the bottoms of the hammer brace are set at 5'5" above the ground where they intersect the wall corner post. That's only 6" above the sill timbers (12" square) and with the rigidity there I'm hoping it will be plenty to keep the spreading/torsion in check. Anywho, that's all for now, hope to have some of the final designs (barring dramatic changes required by actual structural analysis) done by the end of the month. John
  9. John Page

    Moonlight Seax

    What a ride, it's purely magical! I love what's going on with the rings- the solution to the cleanliness of the aesthetic is wonderful. Top notch scabbardry, indeed! I must have missed something (or some lots of things the last few months), but you're in a new shop now?! When did that happen, and where did you go? Can't wait to get back and come out your way for a spell! John
  10. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Right! I've thought about trying to get over there for one of the courses. It's the perfect storm of location, approach to the construction, and style of building. Over the last few days, I've been doing some more research into the possibility of using hammer beam trusses to support the roof rather than tying up the floor space with vertical supports. While there's no question that they are stronger, being able to take the entire vertical load straight into the foundation, I'm concerned with how much it constrains being able to move things around inside i.e. power hammer, mill, lathe, etc. The spacing is fine, but if I can get away with removing them, I'd rather have the entire footprint open. Also, I realized I made a critical mistake in the foundation. When adjusting a few dimensions for vertical spacing, I realized that I did not leave space on the foundation for the space needed for the stone to sit proud of the ground. Key to preventing rot and moisture intrusion, I added some additional height to the stonework, but had to adjust almost all of the vertical beams in the process. Happy holidays everyone! John
  11. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Hello everyone! Long time without much update, but I've been slowly rebuilding the entire model using what I learned the first time around as a basis for enough precision to build the joinery into the beams. Through all the conversation on the structural engineering, I've tweaked a few things here and there, changing beam size from generic visual beams to sized timbers. Because of all the changes and the workflow differences, I'm on version 4 of the model now, and there will probably be more before the end. Adding in all the joinery is a bit of a trial by fire. I had to abandon layers due to all the weird interactions between lines and planes, so it's a lot more cumbersome moving around the model not being able to turn on or off various sections, but it's all for the better, because I've come across a lot of small but significant issues in the process. I may adjust the ceiling heights more before the end, but those have already changed some, and the roof intersection between the two sides of the shop are the current largest concern. Anyway, thought I'd upload some pictures of the recent model. I'm up to somewhere around 18,000 segments, and inside all the intersections all the joints are there, hidden under the main mesh, with exception of the spreading load-bearing beams on the top of the main walls. I've run into some numerical precision issues with whatever algorithm Sketchup uses, and after so many modifications, things become approximate, which the model recognizes but cannot avoid, so not all of the planes are perfect. Quite a few ~90 degree angles, which after thousands of different pieces coming together makes enough error to be appreciable... First up is the overall isometric view. Still in progress is the roof of the adjoined building. I've learned quite a bit more than I expected about different sorts of structural solutions to problems unique to timber framed joinery, and because of that the shape is constantly evolving. Still up for debate is how to treat the walls of the lower half of that adjoined building. I'd still like to have a place where I can open the top floor to ground level, and if that means having buried/stone/non-wooden walls for part of it, so be it, but where and how that interacts with the rest of the building frame and foundation is yet to be determined. Next up is a closeup of the wood shop floor. Another unique set of constraints here, both with the joinery, assembly, and load bearing properties of the floor. It will ultimately be holding a collection of small, heavy machines, and clear spans become problematic. By introducing all of the joinery inside those beams, it gives me a much better idea of how they are weakened through the removal of material due to the joinery. If I ever figure out how, I might take a few video screen captures showing what's going on inside the beams, but without motion, the scale and context is totally lost. Last up for now is an expanded view of the layered timbers for the horizontal timber ring on top of the main walls. Due to material constraints, having whole beams is either impractical on a handling perspective or prohibitive on an acquisition perspective. So, to remedy that issue I've come up with a series of staggered, interwoven lap jointed timbers. The six beams are repeated together a total of nine times, and supported by the vertical posts at critical points and bracing where held in the centre, as loosely shown in the first picture. Again, without motion, the context of the joinery is muddied, but the general idea is still there. Each of the lap joints is keyed so lateral motion is prevented, slippage is unlikely, and the two halves are wedged in the centre to prevent movement without making them impossible to handle due to either fragility or encumbrance. This type of joint, at least to splice the beams together, is one of the strongest for the type of load they bear. Also, by having the orientation of joints between each of the nine clusters figured out now, I was able to make each of them the same, so I only have to make one set of cuts nine times instead of nine different sets of cuts one time. Once they are all cut and stacked, I'll join them in the stack with forged bands that are tightened with steel wedges, again allowing for disassembly/repositioning/repair without compromising the entire stack of beams. Also it'll add an interesting aesthetic Reading up on historic timber framing and the progression of joinery as time, culture, and technology spread, it is more common to find repeated joints for obvious reasons, and although the repeated themes of how the timbers intersect bear similar joinery, there is a wide variety of how they all come together and the sorts of loads expected of the timbers. Anyway, that's it for now! John
  12. John Page

    Moonlight Seax

    Loving this so much! I'm about at the point, something like 5(?) months out now, that I'm starting to go stir crazy from lack of interesting stuff to do, and so I live vicariously! I can't imagine what those twists would have looked like at their original length, that's awesome they look that way after so much drawing out! The ruby situation is timely, and for reasons I'll explain next time I'm up in your neck of the woods, I'm hopefully going to have some interesting things to bring back from the other side of the world. Keep up the awesome work, looking forward to what's coming next! John
  13. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    For portions, possibly, although any windows on the main shop roof will likely be vertical rather than in plane with the pitch. The reasoning there being it is better forging light to be able to have a bit of darkness, and shuttering windows that high up would be a challenge! Most of it will be shingled, and depending on the feasibility of adding windows near the peak, it might not happen. In the wood shop annex, however, I plan on having plenty of skylights for natural lighting and the far end wall being almost entirely glass. I saw a beautiful shop built by the woodworker Mike Walker that has a similar vibe going for it and I can't get over the aesthetic!
  14. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    The last couple of weeks have been havoc, but a small amount of progress has been made in the design world. After a few discussions to the structural loading of the building, it was necessary to clad it in walls and the roof. I also added the interior divisions of the clean room/grinding area, but am yet to come to a conclusion on where precisely to put the bathroom/air compressor. Anyway, thought I'd share the progress, slow as it may be!
  15. John Page

    Building a Metal Dust Collector

    Great stuff Niels! This is a wonderful endeavor that I'm excited to continue watching- a very relevant application of engineering towards a frustrating problem. Have you tried a stack of neutral density lenses? One or two of those on a small aperture with an IR filter thrown in should do the trick. I'm not sure if the ND filters measure strength in the same way as the welding shade intensity scale, but it might be worth a try. Cheers!
  16. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Had some weird problems uploading images because of my connection, but should be working now--
  17. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Been talking to some structural engineers, and the possibility of a clearspan for the first layer spreading timbers is looking less and less likely, although not fully out of the question depending on overall scale of the building. During the discussions, the topic of 3D models came up and the necessity for clarity in communications, so I learned a little bit and devised a functional drawing. I'm glad I went through the process, as it made a few key points more obvious in their need for closer examination. While it isn't meant to be taken for dimensioning in any way, the way pieces align and the problems with intersections is much clearer. First, the clean room was lowered by another foot to accommodate the main roof beam of the woodshop intersecting with the metal shop roof. Second, and although I knew it would be somewhat of a problem, the way the column supports interact with the top/2nd level horizontal bracing beams is a bit off. Because the two overlapping triangles formed by the two positions of the vertical beams are concentric but not equal in size, there is no excribed circle which can join all 6 points at the same time. While in theory that isn't a problem, the later geometry is. Long story short, the extension from those beams to support the 2nd level beams is not perfect, and do not align with the corners perfectly. Maybe it's a problem, maybe not, but I'll leave that one to the engineers. Third, the grinding room/restroom segregations within the clean room look like they are still viable if I use the front bit of the clean room where it adjoins with the metal shop, annexing almost the full width of the adjoining wall save a piece wide enough (5ft?) for a hallway leading to the back. With an overall length of the annex extended to 35ft, that leaves plenty of space in the back side for equipment and workspaces. I'll make another model for that eventually, but work has been just short of actual insanity lately. Finally, the addition of the forge chimney. The way all the roof timbers intersect would make it near perfect for a near-circular chimney in the centre, but it is also looking like it will be scary tall. More to follow on that line of thought when I can do some more drafting. The alternative is still to have it on one of the north/eastern walls, there being enough space between main roof timbers to support a rectangular chimney there. And now, the real reason for the update, some screenshots of the 3D model so far. No walls in place for the sake of being able to see what's going on, but all the major structural elements are there. Cheers! John
  18. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Josh, The ceiling would be radial, and all the beams at the top of the walls are there to take some of the spreading. The original idea was to have them be either be 9 single, continuous beams with joinery wherever they intersect, or at most two beams joined in the middle (making each one ~17-20ft depending on the scale). The line on the top would be similar in shape to the beams on the tops of the walls, but in addition to helping with spreading, they would also be the support for the air-moving apparatus to help with circulation. It is, though, a frightening amount of timber/joinery to deal with. Introducing either metal or fabricated beams makes it less concerning as far as size to weight to strength ratio is concerned, but that will have to be made by someone more informed and certified than myself. Using the acute corners for storage would probably be what they end up as, but visualizing it from an other-than-top-down aspect makes more sense, especially with a primary compliment of hand tools around the edges of the space. The bathrooms though! Having the long edge being the adjoining wall makes it so much easier to figure out, because it doesn't sacrifice any of the transit space down the length of the room. Otherwise, I would probably have to put it all the way at the end away from the hot shop, and the question of the grinding room is still up in the air. For the long wall adjoining, it would be on the far right side and also house the compressor/washtub/water tank that have no other place to live. The engineering side of the project is finally starting, and so in the next week or two I'll have a more solidified idea of what is possible, and from there narrowing down the options accordingly. Once again, thanks for the input, it's greatly appreciated! John
  19. John Page

    Epona - a La Tène period Celtic sword

    Collin, that's incredible! Everything about it is in harmony, down to the wonderful textures showing in the bog oak. The fit between all of the handle components is impressive to say the least! Although beautiful in its own right, it looks like it wants to be wielded and worn beyond the simple guise of ornamentation. Wish I could see it in person! John
  20. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    All right! Finally able to get the latest revision uploaded. First is the various scalings of the building based on the constraint of a few of the different dimensions. The first limits the side length to 18ft, which is the closest whole number to the original size. It reduces the overall footprint by about 200 sqft, and the longest unsupported span to just under 43ft. Similar, the third one lengthens the walls to 20ft, but the longest beams are now 47,5ft long, and without any supports there it would probably be unrealistic to have them free floating without the introduction of some metal. The second one limits the unsupported beam length to 40ft, and therefore the overall size of the building shrinks another 200 sqft or so. Even so, I'm of the mind that any of these lengths of beam would require additional support and reinforcing as previously discussed. Finally, the last one enlarges the building to have a 50ft diameter (not radius like labelled) inscribed circle. Sitting around in the desert currently looking at the standard size of the shipping container barricades (each one 40ft long for a full box and 20ft for a half box) it seems like a floorplan around the previously sized-without-visual-reference is about right for the size of space I'd like to have. Next up are a few of the alternative adjoining rooms plans if the roof pitch joinery and angular relations don't work out. Each one assumes that the clean room foundation wall is in the same plane as the shop rather than having it rise up and enclose 3 full sides like the original designs. The only reason for this is solving part of the problem with building into a hillside. This allows for some additional covered space outside and ease of construction. That being said, the first of the two plans has the room oriented opposite the original plan, with the short end against the adjoining wall and extending outwards from there. The other two offset lines are an extension of the roofline, allowing for a covered area about 6ft deep running the length of the wood/clean shops. I figure it would leave outside storage space for wood and coal and other odds and ends. The shop oriented this way also makes it easier to run a gantry along the line of the ceiling, but it would be necessary given the lack of hillside. Then again, the orientation could still serve in that capacity so it is not limited in that way. Of course, if the terrain permits that, the roof extensions would not be feasible. Second has the wood shop occupy a space that is not rectangular. I'm not sure if I like this at all, but I thought I'd see what it looks like. The three options for the outside walls have it either 1) follow the line of the roof joists all the way out, which looks the worst from above but would probably be the strongest and easiest given the relationships of the angles. 2) a wall perpendicular to the face of the other two, making 90 degree corners. That leaves some weird geometry for the roof intersection, but would provide the most usable space inside. 3) having the outer walls extend straight out in the 'north' direction so that they are parallel to the centreline of the room. That makes the most sense aesthetically and holds closest to the original design of a rectangular room oriented with the long wall adjoining, but has the weirdest corners and most likely to have awkward or unusable space. In any event, I'll probably stop considering any of those ideas, but I thought I'd put it out there to more fully encompass the design process I'm going through. Focusing on the first one of those two with the rectangular room oriented with the short side connected to the metal shop. I particularly like this idea for the simplicity of roof junctions, the open wall looking down into the metal shop limiting the number of windows/containment needed, and the amount of wall/ceiling space for additional windows. I recently saw a picture of a woodshop which had more windows than non-windows, and the way the light interacts with the space is incredible. That stark dichotomy of wanting as much natural light as possible for a woodworking shop and relative darkness for a metalworking shop affords an interesting design challenge. Because of the geometry of the metal shop and window space, a lot of the usable natural light will probably come in through the woodshop windows, and this maximises on that opportunity. It's a bit difficult to tell what's going on, but I'm not quite knowledgeable enough in CAD to get a 3D model going. The floor of the clean room is a few feet below the level of the metal shop in order to bring the ceiling of the wood shop above it down farther. I'm still on the fence of how high of a ceiling I want in all of these places, but everywhere I've ever been, people say they either love their high ceilings or wish theirs were higher. 15ft seems excessive for the clean room given the type of work being done there, so I took it down to 12 and 11 feet to see what it does to the angles. 12 is looking like the better option, but I probably don't even need that much. For the woodshop ceiling, I measured 8ft from the floor to the shortest point on the ceiling (intersection with the walls) which gives the above proportions. I'm yet to be determined on if I like that or not. Most likely, the top of the roof would remain in place and I would adjust where the floor is/ceiling of the clean room. For a length of 30ft (might expand to 40 to accommodate for sacrificing part of the clean room to a contained grinding room, part for utilities/bathroom/air compressor) an even spacing of 4 columns on the roof extensions/covered walkway gives reasonable space for moving about, introduction of doors, and storage. If I extend the extra 10ft, I'd probably only add 1 more column so it doesn't get too close together to be useful. Finally, here is a theoretical layout for supports on the ceiling tensile rafters. Symmetry was my biggest problem here, but I came up with a viable solution. Putting an upright post under each of the beam intersections, whichever of the 3 different joints it would be, the posts are spaced too closely together to be practical. Having every other one doesn't work because of the odd number of sides. So, I found the most ideal triangle of the three overlapping ones based on configuration of the door and location of the forge if it is against the north/east wall, and another triangle offset from the first by 120 degrees but placing the posts under the middle of the beams rather than under the intersections. That gives a hexagon of supports that are about 13,5ft apart, and at closest 10,5ft from the nearest wall (using the original scale of 18,5ft wall length). If the floor-to-beam height is 15ft, there is enough room to put branching supports from each of the posts to the critical joints nearby without sacrificing any working space. Any fewer than these 6 beams and it doesn't look like the additional supports would be effective. Any more, and there would be too much space absorbed by their proximity to one another. In any event, that's what I've come up with for now, but as previously mentioned, it's time to finalise what I am able to do on my own and begin consultation with the structural engineers to see if this is even workable...
  21. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Sorry for the delay, but thank you! You've added a considerable amount that I am much better off for having read. Due to extenuating computer circumstances, I haven't been able to get any additional screen captures over to the internet, but in the next few days I'm hoping to have a few additional considerations and scalings posted. I think the major design choices remaining mostly tailor towards how to adjoin the other rooms and approximate sizes, but I'll do a bit more drafting based on your previous info. Thanks again!
  22. John Page

    Moonlight Seax

    You might say that turned out well The steel is incredible, those twists are perfectly sized for the proportions and space. I love how there is a pseudo square-wave sort of tooth thing near the tip. Also the evenness of the bands of wrought is surprising with how much length you got out of the billet but without the none-too-sneaky mark of hydraulics. Nice touch with the stones, too, just the right amount of regality that doesn't uproot its humbleness. Cheers from the sandbox and thanks for sharing! John
  23. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Once again, really appreciate the info! That'll take a bit to fully digest, and I'm now seeing more and more of the secret wizardry done by structural engineers. The point loading is a substantial consideration, and I think that the radial translation of force out from the centre of the ceiling warrants investigation. Previously I was basing the design on the assumption that timbers connecting the walls across the top would be sufficient to mitigate the weight and loading of the roof, but now I'm not so sure. Thanks for the references, I'll do some perusing, and the approximate scale of timber helps immensely, especially knowing how substantial a difference there is between the solid wood and laminated alternative. I think I may be rapidly approaching the end of what I am able to design on my own
  24. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Wow, the weight of snow adds up fast!! From what I understand, the snow load roof pitch codes that I found are based on the angle of repose for snow, but I'm not sure if that means the snow load will shed after building up a certain amount or something else. A 6-3/4" x 9" beam doesn't sound too bad, although I presume that is for an unbroken cross-section along its entire length. Any introduction of joinery would surely change those dimensions, although based on some of the documentation I read about static structural loading for notched beams suggests that if it's small enough and in the right places, they can be negligible. Not that I'd want to make those assumptions anyway, but that beam size is entirely reasonable. More likely than not, I'll probably try and find lumber in the range of 6x12s or 8x10s based on final loading configurations. Also some configuration of hammer beam trusses would help brace a portion of the span nearer the walls, but I haven't quite gotten there yet. Thanks for all the info!!
  25. John Page

    The Birth of a Workshop

    Josh, great ideas into the mix! I hadn't thought about putting the forge in the centre- that would also make for an awesome natural draft with the height of the chimney. Would using a central column have any effect on the overall transverse stability of the walls? Done right, it would take most of the weight of the roof and translate to compressive forces on the chimney and the walls, but I'd imagine there would still need some sort of auxiliary support structure on the rafters. Running some additional numbers, an (arbitrarily sized) 5ft diameter stack would still have the nearest timber be 10,25 ft away at the current scale. The length of the above 'B' is 26ft for a centre-wall distance in the same plane, 31ft when looked at facing the building accounting for the pitch of the roof. 'A' is roughly 18,5 for the scaling. I have a few other constraint based scales that make each side length as short as 16,8ft. Browsing a few pictures of the Mt Hood Timberline lodge, that place is something special! There is a lot of deliberate design taken in the joinery and complementary material layout, thanks for mentioning it, I'll be borrowing a bit from the aesthetics going on there. I fiddled around with floor based supports, and the biggest problem I'm having is symmetry. Bracing equally on all intersections, the beams are extremely close together for convenience, but offsetting where they support gives two sets of three points, the distance between the post and wall still being about 10ft. Workable, but I think the truss/rail idea maximizes usable floorspace. The building not being rectangular makes the introduction of square/rectangular footprint benches/machines a bit more problematic when dividing space towards the centre. I have a few more drawings that I'll upload this afternoon that hopefully explain it a little better John
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