Building wisdom 1 January 2012

A look at timber connections

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From Daizen News, 1 January 2012

In the Whistler round-to-square home, we saw some timber and heavy steel together. Now, let’s talk about joining timber to concrete. When frame posts have concrete bases–not uncommon–there must be a way to connect the timber to the concrete. Key factors are stability: prevention of horizontal movement, vertical

movement, and pivot; uplift; gravity; and moment. Further, since concrete retains moisture, a vapor barrier is needed between the two materials.

Daizen focuses on three methods: epoxy to epoxy, epoxy to mechanical, and steel plate.

As part of our epoxy testing, we compared four epoxy samples, two with a ¾-in. ready rod into timber of 6- and 12-in. sides and then two with a 1-in. ready rod into timber of 6- and 12-in. sides.

We’re summarizing our ideas about connections–an issue right at the heart of timber framing–through a series of articles: the Timber Connection Series. The first, Post to Concrete, is now available as a download

from the website.

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Valdes lighthouse in Cottage magazine

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From Daizen News, 1 January 2012

The designer Carl Willms, a frequent Daizen collaborator, worked with Daizen to build a lighthouse-style dwelling onto an existing cabin on remote Valdes Island. All of the timber was transported by boat, and it needed to be of manageable size for a hand-raising, since there was no way to get a crane or other heavy machinery to the island.

Not only can you read of this project in the Daizen portfolio; it’s also on the cover of the January–February 2012 issue of Cottage magazine.

A photo from the magazine: Carl Willms, standing, in the main room with his son Kyle, back left, and Kiyo Hagiwara, a friend and employee of Daizen.

The wood appointments in the cabin’s kitchen–the first floor of the lighthouse–were created by master carpenter Jim Willms.

The magazine article tells a slightly different story from the Daizen portfolio; both are interesting. To read the Cottage magazine article, download it here.

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Whistler round-to-square home

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from Daizen News, 1 January 2012

Combining log and timber framing is an interesting blend of two different joinery systems and even basic shapes–in this case, round, organic logs serve as the upright structure (posts), with timbers for the rafters and roof.

Such a spacious house (in a marvelous setting, overlooking the Blackcomb ski hills) can easily feature the massive logs and timbers. In this photo, the house may look something like a hobbit house, but it’s got 23,000 board-feet of wood in it!

The project was a collaboration with Nicola Logworks, in Merritt, B.C. Daizen did the timber framing elements. Such a mix can be tricky at the point of connection between the two framing methods, but we are accustomed to these challenges and prepare well.

The job also featured the use of steel. Heavy steel I-beams may seem intimidating, but when combined with structural timber, it’s not hard to use them. Three-dimensional hidden steel connectors are designed to receive the ridge and the valley, and steel I-beams are inserted into the log purlin.

Learn more about this, other exquisite timber structures, and how Daizen approaches timber framing in our new portfolio. You can download a full-color PDF by clicking the link in the right column on the Daizen website. You can also obtain a beautifully-printed version of the 82-page book for $15 (shipping/handling); email us for more information.

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Happy New Year!

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We wish you the very best in the new year–health, joy, prosperity.

In Japan, in the new year’s morning, we look to the east at the sun coming up and celebrate the peace of life, renew our appreciation for living, and make the commitment to achieve something.

This is the flag of Japan: the rising sun.

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Choosing timber

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from Daizen News, 1 December 2011

A never-ending challenge at Daizen is to help both homeowners and associated building professionals understand the multi-layered, interdependent options in choosing timber for a building project. As they say, it’s not trivial.

Dai recently made a concerted effort to explore and demystify the several choices everyone faces when clarifying their vision of the ideal

dwelling (or other construction).  The resulting eight-page article, Understanding the Timber, is now available for download from the Daizen website.

It’s worth your while to peruse this document. If you do, you’ll understand much better why there is no one answer to what seems to an outsider like such a simple question. In fact, wood is a profound personal choice.

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Timber connection design workshop

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from Daizen News, 1 December 2011

Dai Ona is one of four wood connection specialists who will present at a two-day workshop hosted by WoodWorks BC and Canadian Wood Council. It takes place Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9 of this year, at the Marriott Fairfield Inn in Kelowna. The workshop, geared toward structural engineers, begins with connections in the CSA 086 Wood Design Standard and progresses from there, covering both timber frame and log structure connections.

Other speakers include Adam Robertson (Canadian Wood Council), Ghasan Doudak (University of Ottawa), and Robin Zirnhelt

(Cascade Engineering Group, Canmore).

For more information, call Linda Schauer, 877-929-9663 (ex 6); email her; or see the web page about it, including a PDF fact sheet.

New Wood Design Manual

The Canadian Wood Council’s new 2010 Wood Design Manual will be available at the workshop, at a deep discount: $117 (list price $190).


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