After years of talking about building a sugar shack to house our maple syrup operation, 2019 became the year of action. The work really began in the early winter making plans and designs and reading about how to build using timber frame techniques. My goal was to use wood from the farm and without cutting any live trees. There had been enough high wind damage from the last two winters that I was able to cut only dead trees for the construction. In April and May, I cut down the trees, sized the logs and dragged them to the sawmill. At the end of May, Chris and I spent a week of long days sawing the logs for timbers and using the scraps to make siding. Summer gave the wood ample time to start drying before starting the actual framing work in September. It took three weeks to mortise and tenon the wood, culminating in a one day ‘barn raising’ on September 23rd. It was great to have both Lou’s and Bill’s extra hands for that day, I could not have done that part alone. It then took a few more days to put up the ridge poles, rafters and purlins. The roof went on toward the end of October.
All in all, it was a fun project, albeit a lot of work and a great sense of accomplishment. With other projects to tend to, the plan will be to start siding it in 2020. Maybe when we get to boiling some sap in March, I’ll get back to work on it. Timber framing is an awesome construction method — strong and lasting, and with a long history. I recommend trying it out.