Amy and I headed north today to check on some possible candidates for our backyard pergola that we plan to put in next spring. There was a farmer outside of town who had take down a 100 year old barn on his property and was looking to sell the wood. And we were looking to buy.
We ended up with four 14′ long 6″x6″ beams for the posts and four 13′ 4″x6″ timbers that I plan on using as the lintels. The barn had been joined using hand cut mortise and tenon joints and what looked to be modified scarf joints, so there was little damage to wood and no concern about diminishment of strength. They were all in terribly good condition and true, and are likely red cedar although I’m not absolutely certain of that but my guess is if they were logged in this area then most likely that’s the case. Now all we need are the trusses across the top and we’ll be ready to build.
The plan is to construct the pergola with only wood joinery and oak pegs. I’ve been reading up on timber frame construction and hope to use a few of the joints to put it all together. So I have all winter to plane down the wood and cut the joints and then have a pergola raising party this spring. Perhaps a trip to New Glarus will be in order to pay the help.