Monday, October 4, 2010

12-Sided Barn Goes UP

In the first three weeks of September I travelled to Iron Bridge, near the Soo to put up the 12-sided barn I took down last year. After installing the floor joists (sleepers) in July it was now time to get the walls and timber frame structures up.
I had on average about 3 Amish and 5 or 6 volunteers everyday to do the work including myself. The walls are 20 feet high and about 16 feet wide. We built 6 of these walls on the floor of the barn and after putting them up and bracing them, we built the other 6 walls in between. This construction was originally part stud wall type and part timber post. We tried to replicate as much as possible the 1919 heritage barn contraction techniques and use as much of the old timbers and lumber as possible.
After the walls went up with the help of a crane we got busy the next week building the timber frame tower which stands in the middle of the barn. It’s 16 feet square and 33 feet high. Two of the 33 foot major posts were rotten on the ends and I cut off the bad parts of the timber and notched on new sections. As well, a cupola was built being 22 feet wide and 10 feet high, to sit on top of the tower. Original and new pole rafters (26 feet long) are then attached from the wall to the tower/cupola to make everything rigid.
With the help of a crane on a Saturday and a big crowd on hand to watch this spectacle the tower was assembled, pinned together and then craned up. It went well. The cupola was then raised 33 feet up to the top of the tower. Tense moments were on hand as it all had to fit! And it did!
We then spent the rest of the week-end installing the rest of the rafters –36 long ones and 24 shorter types. Now the roof is on and the barn board almost finished.
I had a great crew of people working there, many, many laughs and a couple of gracious hosts who put me up for three weeks. Thanks to all!
For barn enthusiasts it will officially be open next year and will be used as a hall/meeting room, museum, dances and farmer’s market. One of the last three surviving 12-sided barns in Canada, it will be a great addition to the community.

1 comment:

Brent said...

Interested in your project. Any more pictures to see as it has progressed. email pics to