Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Barn and its Daisy Wheel


2/1/2020 under repair and renovation. Pass at your own risk.

Not a very neat daisy wheel is it?

About 8" across, it was found during the dismantling of an upstate NY barn, c. 1790, scribed onto a board used to sheath the roof. The lines were drawn with the pin of a divider, not a marker. They can be seen in a raking light.The board is still in its proper place. This is a tracing made of the pattern carved by the pin of the divider.

The barn is probably the first of 4 connecting barns, built about 1790. Green Mountain Timber Frames recently dismantled, repaired and sold this barn for reuse along with the barn I wrote about in December, 2014. http://www.greenmountaintimberframes.com.

It has modified gunstock posts, a 5 sided ridge pole, rafters spaced 38" on center.

With a center aisle, storage on one side, animals on the other, this layout in the Northeast is a considered a classic English barn.

It was west of the Green Mountains, so it faced east, its back to the predominant west wind, and in its valley, the south wind.

The daisy wheel determines the framing layout for this barn.

The petals are not important. They are just the arcs of the radii. The 6 tic marks around the circumference of the circle and the diameter of the circle are what counts. The sheathing board with the daisy wheel was the template, the reference for lengths and relationships. When it was no longer needed it became sheathing.

The master carpenter could rotate the daisy wheel: first with one diameter vertical and then with one diameter horizontal.

So how did the carpenter begin? He and the farmer had decided to build a English style barn  and had chosen the approximate size and location.
They might have begun with the door: it's in the center, basic. How wide did it need to be? How tall?
 The door's width could have been the first dimension. It became the side of a square. and the height of the barn wall. The arcs of the square cross at the location for the header for the door.

The arcs of the square also located the center of 2 circles. image

No other record for this barn's plans still exist. However, layout sketches  for projects - more than just daisy wheels or intertwined circles - have been found on sheathing boards, plaster, and framing floors. 

 With the shape decided the carpenter could  layout  his daisy wheel on the ground. image

He could have begun with the diameter of his daisy wheel, stepping it off until he had the necessary width. 8" diameter  stepped off 3 times = 2'-0". Step that width off 11 times for 22'-0".
Or he could have used a rod which has a length of 16.5 ft. 1/3 of a rod is 5.5 ft. 2/3 of a rod is 11 ft.  2x11 ft.= 22 ft.

Swing arcs the length of the line -  A-C and B-C drawn in red. C is the center of the circle. The arcs mark the 6 equal point on the circle and make the daisy petals. The dashed green lines are the diameters..   image         

Here's the floor plan, a 22 ft. by 32 ft. rectangle that uses only one daisy wheel. The plan is outlined with double black lines. On the left end the line between 2 points on the daisy wheel is 22'-0" wide. The red spokes are the daisy wheel. The green lines connect every other spoke. Where they cross marks 32 '-0" in length.   image

this is all too complex - revise with simpler drawings. 2/1/20

Here is how he could have laid out the bents on the barn floor. image

Below is the layout of the interior bents: first the daisy wheel with vertical axis defining the rectangle - dashed red line; then the daisy wheel rotated, the rectangle defined again - dashed green lines - and the location of the cross girts located -  see the green circles.

The gable ends of the barn fit neatly into the daisy wheel geometry. The rectangle is defined by the 'vertical' wheel, and the cross girt location by the center of the wheel - horizontal dashed green line .

The gable's ridge is 22' high.  22' is also the width of the bent, the side of the square which enclosed the gable end -  square laid out in green dashed lines with diagonal.

The 32 ft  east and west  walls may have began with the center bay. It laid out the door and the center aisle.
The farmer and the framer must have had a good idea how large that door needed to be. A square centered on the wall would have been simple to lay out.

Each side was laid out with girts similar to the end walls and the 2 bents.The red dotted line connects the 4 points of the daisy wheel to make a rectangle.

To make the daisy wheel application on each side of the central square clearer I have drawn the center square in red, and added green circles at the centers of the daisy wheels.

I also added a small green circle where the diagonals of the daisy wheels cross to mark the height of the braces.

The cross girt - the header above the barn door - is placed on the intersection of the diagonals of the 2 daisy wheels. Here one daisy wheel is drawn in red; the other, rotated, is in green. A small green circle marks the intersection.


I have rewritten this post 4 times as I see simpler ways to design with a daisy wheel.



Friday, January 2, 2015

House to save!

WHOM  do you know  who is just yearning for a c. 1780 western  Vermont farmhouse with a pristine post and beam frame?
The house itself is quite plain inside, fitting to its time and place. There are few parts to salvage beyond the frame. perhaps the clapboard and brick, doors and hinges. The window sash are c. 1900 or later.

HOWEVER:The frame is chestnut with gunstock posts. It could be exposed to the roof if an owner wanted.


I will be measuring and analyzing this house on Monday - if the roads from here to there aren't too icy.

More later after I have dimensions.