First Post Joints – Tenons – the green oak barn

Monday 23/11/20

I was working by myself today following the techniques and instructions given to me by Ben. Ben came in his lunch break to help me move the second post on to the site. It was a late start too as I had other things to do first thing.

I started by making some decent wedges. We’d struggled on previous days due to lack of decent wedges. I put a hole in each one and now they’re on a bit a stainless steel wire to keep them together when they are not in use.


I started by laying up the first post against the wall plate. This post had already been marked up with centre lines and face side/face edge reference marks.

Aligning the first post

We had already transferred marks on to the wall plate to mark the centre of the posts. We got these measurements from the actual distances between the brick plinths which the post will sit on.

Post centres 23-Nov-20

As well as aligning the post with the centre line marks on the wall plate, I had to align the face side of the wall plate with the face side of the post and ensure that the post was sitting perfectly level. I did this using wedges while using a spirit level on the centre line on the face edge of the post.

Leveling up

With everything lined up and straight and level I started marking out the mortice joint. I measured the shoulder of the mortice from the underside of the wall plate that it is going to sit against.

Marking the morice shoulder from the bottom of the wall plate

I used a spirit level to mark the vertical lines of the tenon shoulder and the tenon itself.

Marking the tenon using a level6923

I cut the tenon using a handheld circular saw and finished it with a hand saw and chisel. I then bevelled the tenon edges. This was premature! I should have left the tenon without bevels and used the square edges to mark the mortice. A lesson learnt.

First post tenon

I put the post back in place, straight and level with the wall plate and marked the mortice directly from the tenon. As I’ve said this would have been easier if I hadn’t already put bevels on the tenon. But I managed!

Mortise mark up

Before the end of the day I was able to start work in the second post. I levelled this up and put centre lines in place as well as face side and face edge references. I lined up the post with the wall plate and with everything straight and level, marked out the tenon. Cutting this will be the first job tomorrow.

Putting the beast to bed

Onwards and upwards.




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