On Timber Framing

If you’ve been following recently, you’ll know I’ve been working on designing and constructing a pergola in the backyard. It’s still in the nascent stages and I’m learning as I go. One commenter, Jay C. White Cloud, has been kind enough to take an interest and give some advice as well. Below is his comment on the history and technique of one particular methodology of putting posts in the ground and/or using stone plinths.

It is easier to work on a timber if it is not already stuck in the ground, which yours appears to be in the one photo? Are you using, “edge rule,” “scribe rule,” or the oldest method still in use, and the method I teach, “center line reference?” Did you know, that even today in Japan, Korea, and China, Wood structure that are built outside are set on “stone plinths.” This protects the wood from the elements and is much better than sticking it directly in the ground. If it is stuck in the ground for simple or common structures, (temporary shed, fence posts, etc.) they would “char” the portion that goes in the ground with fire, there by “carbonizing” it. Carbon is what diamonds are made of and this technique can extend wood, that is in direct contact with soil, life span to centuries and in some cases millenniums.