Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I used google sketchup to design the frame. It's an amazing free 3D software that a lot of timber framers are using these days. It's not a traditional frame design by any means. Right now it's shaped like a "T". In most 2 story timber frames, the living room has a vaulted ceiling, there is often a loft or open hallway, and the rest of first floor has timber frame joists running overhead at 8 or 9 feet. I wanted to have the entire living area open to the "vaulted ceiling" so it could be seen and enjoyed from the entire living area. So, our one story timber frame (guess you could call it a ranch style home for the farm) is designed with an entry hall (front right of pic), a living room (long wing to the left and the long bottom part of the "t"), a kitchen (where the lines cross in a "t", and a dining room (on the back side of the kitchen). In the future we'll probably add on a bedroom wing to the right of the kitchen. Right now, the bedrooms, and the all important quilting studio, are in the basement.

Walnut Braces

A brace is the short timber that makes a triangle with the post and beam. These little "kickers" add stability to the frame. Most of our braces will be yellow pine, just like the rest of the frame. Mike has a new friend, whose name just happens to be Larry (no relation to my friend Larry who appears so often on these pages) with a new , who has some curved walnut he acquired after the January ice storm. Larry came today and we told him we wanted 4 spectacular walnut curved braces to run from the 12x12 posts in the kitchen to the valley rafters, and 8 walnut braces for the bent over the middle of the living room. We're keeping our fingers crossed he comes up with the braces we want. Mike and I also have been discussing the possibility of asking his blacksmith friend to do something subtle over the kitchen, possibly for lighting. We'll see there too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ghost Mule

Mike and I were working behind the barn, as usual, this afternoon. The dogs started barking and running, which usually means they've heard a sound on the road, and they'll be back in about 30 seconds. Not this time. We looked up to see Sammy chasing a white mule from beside the barn down into the valley. It must have gotten loose, run down our road, then turned in our barn drive when he saw the open gate. Sammy quit the chase at the creek. About two hours later I get a call from a man who lives on the highway. He asked whether I had a white mule. I thought he was the owner looking for his mule, but no, the mule had ended up at his place and he was looking for the owner. I told him the mule had come running by my barn, but I sure didn't own him. It's not every day one has a white mule come running by his shop/office. I think the Indians would have called it a "ghost mule."

Snow and 'Lectric

It snowed some on Saturday. I thought this was a nice artsy shot of the saw horses. Larry came this weekend, and we spent all day Saturday and Sunday putting lights and recepticals in the barn. Larry got to ride on the pallet forks, and I got to drive the tractor. I definately had the easy end of the deal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Busy Day

Today was a good rebound after a boring day. I used the draw knife to peel the bark off two timbers. These are "before" and "after" pictures. It takes about an hour to do each timber, unless there are a lot of knots in which case it takes longer. I'd hate to have to do 8 of these a day to make a living. R&C got new shoes, and I learned of some trail rides in the area where I can meet some horse people. Then a woman stopped by, with a van full of kids, asking about the property for sale up the road. She told me they fell in love with our place and wanted to buy it when we did. She was sorry to see it wasn't this place for sale. Then Mike brought Alice, and David brought the last load of timbers. It's now storming, but I'm inside watching the ncaa on the internet. It looks like more rain tomorrow and Saturday. Grrr...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Had a boring day. I miss Therese. Cold this morning (43), and rain this afternoon. Drove to Pine Creek Lumber Co up north of Hindsville. Told them I was building a house south of Witter, and Larry recommended I come see them 'cause they told Larry "they'd treat me right." Well, they were about as excited to see me as a flea must be that has just fallen off a dog onto a walnut. Guess I shouldn't have gone a lunchtime. Next time I'll take Larry. Here's a picture of the room in the barn where we stay that Bonnie took when she and Tyler were here. It's cozy, 8x12, the same size as the unabomber's cabin. When Larry was here this weekend, he aske me if he snored. I told him he did, a little, in the morning. Last night I heard the same snore, but Larry wasn't here. Dogs do snore, you know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It rained today, so I mostly stayed inside and cleaned up the barn. I also finished the plumbing under the sink, so everything in the showerhouse is operational! This is a pic of the swolen creek behind the barn, where we're working. R&C didn't come anywhere near the run-in during the rain. Hmmmm. Gave Clipper his third round of shots this morning. Much better than yesterday, when I "inserted" one of the needles kinda like you throw a dart. Well, I thought that was a technique Dr. Lynn was showing me. Guess not.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Run In

This weekend Larry and I built most of a run in for R&C. I still haven't decided what to put on the sides and back. I gave Clipper his shots this morning. I wasn't as nervous, but Clipper I think was more apprehensive, knowing that Dr. Dale had needles. After I let Clipper go Sam wanted to chase him. Clipper nailed him with a kick. I didn't see it, but I heard Sam "whelping" (sounded like) off to the barn. Must have been a good lick, because he "whelped" loudly for almost a minute, and didn't want to come out of the barn for a good hour. It's too soon to say whether he learned a lesson. Rocky seems to like to lie down while Clipper stands guard. Today I worked alone, and finished the joinery on Bent #2.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nurse Larry & Dr Dale

Nurse Larry held the medicine bottles (I'm going to try avoiding using words I don't know how to spell in the future) and I sucked the stuff into the syringes. Larry carried the syringes out to Clipper, needle up, looking like he was carrying something about to explode. Clipper winced when the needles went in, and he didn't much like the big 20cc shot, but he took it like a gelding.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dr Lynn

Dr. Lynn called at 9:30 to tell me to come pick up Clipper. He'd cleared the rest of the hay out of his esophicus during the night. Now vet Dale gets to give Clipper two shots a day for 5 days. Penecillan, just in case some hay got into his lungs when he was caughing, and another shot for inflamation, because that tube made his throat really sore. Why in the heck didn't I ever try to give a shot when Caroline was there to help? Then, just last week I had a chance to learn to give shots with (on?) Therese. Did I take the opportunity to learn? Of course not. Now I've got to give them to a horse. Dr. Lynn told me not to hit a blood vessel. So how do I know, I asked sheepeshly? We'll see if I understand tomorrow. Larry came today and we worked on the horse run-in shed. Ought to get the roof on tomorrow, then the sides sometime later.

Friday, March 20, 2009


In some past years, on this day that KU plays in the first round of the NCAA tournament, they have choked. Not this year for KU. Unfortunately though, Clipper decided it was his turn to choke. I fed him some bermuda hay, and I guess he just ate it too fast. He was couging, and green slime was running out of his nose. After about an hour I called the vet. Hitched the trailer in the dark, loaded Clipper, and took him into Huntsville to the clinic. Lynn is one tough gal. Must be at least in her late 50s. She shoved a 5' tube up Clippers nose for a long time. We didn't get it all unclogged, so Clipper got to spend the night. Sigh....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

First Bent Done

We finished the first bent. A "bent" looks like an "H." It's 16 feet wide, and about 11 feet tall. There is a bent on each end of our rooms, and one in the middle of the living room, making a total of 8 bents. On the top of each side of the bent will sit an 8x12 "plate." The rafters will sit on top of the plates. We have the layout done on the second bent, and Mike has left the joinery for me to cut so we can fit it together on Monday. Our last load of timbers are scheduled to be delivered Sunday afternoon.

Sammy thinks he's a cow

When I feed R&C Sammy wants to chase them. This morning in the drizzle I found Sam grazing in the pasture, right beside R&C. That cow poo must be going to his head. Isn't that a dandy looking "gate" on the right side of the picture?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Drawing on the Timbers

When Bonnie and Tyler were laboring away in the hot sun with their draw knives, Mike and I were "drawing pictures on the timbers" (according to Bonnie). Mostly, Mike did the layout and I watched. He has a very slick ink line (most folks use chalk lines) to mark the straight lines on the timbers. This is Mike. He actually does use a red crayon to do some of the markings.

Work, work, work

Yes, we are working on the timber frame. Please excuse mytyping, as I am having to cover my nose at times, becasue Sammy must have wallowed in a cow pie. Why he likes these bad aromas is beyond me. Anyway, Bonnie and Tyler spent quite a bit of time taking the bark off some of the beams with draw knives. This 8x12 beam will run directly across the middle of the living room.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Doesn't Tyler look good in his red bandana? Country cool.


Think I'm going to refer to Rocky and Clipper as R&C. We have friends of all political persuasions. Those of you on the right, please don't take offense because R&C sounds just like RNC, and "R's" an ass.

Sorry to Keep y'all Hagin'

Been busy. Anyway, R&C have settled in well. The first night I heard them running around the pond, in the dark. Now they come to the fence near the barn each morning and evening, knowing they are going to get some grain. Bonnie and Tyler rode them twice. Clipper was a prince, Rocky was, well as ass at times. I've got to calm him down in the next few months. Bonnnie and Tyler got here when I was gone, and I'd locked up everything, soooo, Bonnie got to use the outhouse. The old one without a door, or plumbing, but with a view. First time she had ever used an outhouse, and probably the last.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

5 Boys on a Road Trip

Today I loaded up two dogs, a horse, and a mule and drove all 5 of us boys to Witter. It was a long tiring day, but uneventful until I got Clipper and Rocky unloaded. Sammy's bred to chase things, so he took off after Rocky and Clipper, and then everyone got an attitude. I had to put the dogs in the showerhouse while I calmed R&C down and introduced them to their new home. Just as I suspected, they wanted to spend most of the time along the fence looking at the girls across the road. They ran, ate, but mostly gawked at the girls. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll still be in the pasture when I get up. Probably won't get a good night's sleep tonight.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Big Stack

This is the big stack of timbers. Would have been most difficult (impossible) to move without the tractor.

Load #2

Arky (David) delivered our second load of timbers. We didn't do much other than stack them, as I had to get back to KC. We put some cedars, which had been cut to run the power lines, back on his trailer to have him mill them into closet lining. These are "flitch cut" timbers, which will be some of the beams that run overhead across some of the rooms. They are cut on two sides, but the tops and bottoms will just have the bark peeled off.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Commitment Issues

I am just so sorry I missed seeing Jason ruin Melissa's life and confuse the heck out of poor rejected Molly. OMG, can you believe it?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lucky 13

13 degrees here this morning. Sure wish the bathroom was done, if you know what I mean. I'm having to thaw my milk so I can eat my cereal. But the sun is bright. Supposed to get into the mid-30's this afternoon. Larry stayed until 11:00 working on the showerhouse. Ladies, you can now come visit because the toilet is done. We've got to fix a pipe for the shower, and get a new faucet for the sink. We're impressed with the pex pipes we used to run the water. Pretty easy to install, and we didn't have a single leak.

About Me

My photo
Witter, AR, United States
We are building a timber frame home in a small rural community in Northwest Arkansas. We created this Blog so our family and friends could follow our progress.