On Tuesday I finished planing the fifteen 6"x8" timbers which will become the posts, rafters and tie beams(more on planing later). I spread them all out so that I could select timbers for each location in the house. First, each stick is checked for a crown, which is marked with an X and a sweep, noted with an arrow. Rafters almost always want to be placed with the crown up so that the weight of the timber and roof will work to straighten it. Other members can be pushed and pulled into relative straightens by the rest of the structure.
Next, the ten footers were pulled aside for the posts. Luckily they are all relatively straight so I only had to place them based on appearance. The two pieces that have the best three sides were chosen for the center posts since they will have the most visibility. The corner posts obviously only show two sides, so I placed them such that uglier sides would be hidden against the walls. With the posts selected and labeled, I moved onto the remaining nine timbers. I need three nice straight tie beams- again I picked a really clean one for the center. The other two would have two hidden sides giving me another chance to hide ugly knots. The remaining six timbers will become rafters. I picked the straightest four for the gables so that I would not cause a bow
in the wall and I hid some more unsightly marks on what will be the roof and walls. It is amazing what you can get away with!
Now that I have scribbled notes all over the timbers that I spent so much time meticulously planing, I am ready to move onto the next step; layout and cutting! This is going to start looking like something very soon.