When the ranch needed a new barn, we took a look at our goal of sustainability and a love of woodworking, and decided a Timber Framed barn was the way to go. Now that is joinery on a large scale compared to building a cabinet or a chair.
People came and spent time helping and learning the old techniques used in the past to build these formidable timber-framed structures. Todd Juzwiak, from Wykoff, MN explained and demonstrated these techniques. Then, he handed people the old tools and put them to work on a mortise, tenon or joint of some kind. Everything had to be in the right place so when the time came to stand it all up it would go together.
About 70% of the timber joints, mortise & tenon, were cut by hand, the way they would have been done over 100 years ago. As it got closer to raising day, we enlisted the help of another local Timber Framer, Phil Holtegaard, from Lanesboro, MN to help cut mortises with his chain mortiser. This is the “modern” version of the hand cranked boring machine & chisel. Thanks Phil!
On raising day, we had over 100 people show up to help. They pulled on ropes, lifted the bents “walls”, set the connecting beams in place, and drove the wooden pegs in. Eva Barr, of Dream Acres, Wykoff, MN, with a big heavy bar, made sure that the huge wall seated itself into the mortises as it pivoted on the bottom plate. We are so lucky to know and be able to work with this fearless group of people! We love our timber-framed barn.
Todd & Eva have a farm “Dream Acres” outside of Wykoff, MN. It is a very unique place where we enjoy movies in the barn during the summer months. Eva Barr has built a summer arts program called Fourish Summer Camps and Todd hosts workshops with Tillers International on rural skills and alternative technologies.