Mortices for rear wall braces – the green oak barn

Monday 30/11/20

There were two of us on the job today and we were able to complete the eight mortices for the four braces I had prepared over the last two days. Here’s what I learnt from Ben.

Wall brace in place

All mortices had one sloping end to accommodate the curvature of the upper edge of the brace. We marked the approximate line of this slope on the side of the timber. We did this with a sliding bevel, taking the angle from the brace itself.

Angle line

This line was useful as a guide when finishing off the mortice after getting the majority of the waste out with the morticer. But is was also useful as a depth guide when using the morticer itself. Before attaching the morticer, we roughly marked the point at which the slope on the mortice edge started with a thick pencil line. Note that we also cut a clean edge to the end of the mortices with a chisel to help give a clean finish when using the morticer.

Mortice markings

We then attached the morticer and removed the wood to the full depth up to this line. Once over this line we adjusted the depth of the morticer cut according the line on the side of the timber as we moved towards the end of the mortice. This left a roughly cut mortice with a slope at one end.

Brace mortice before cleaning

That was then cleaned up by hand with a chisel.

Mortice depth check

The plan tomorrow is to get these joints assembled. We will then take apart the frame at the scarf joint and Ben will work attaching the long end post to the right end of the wall plate.

Wall plate rear right

And I will work on attaching the short post to the other end.

Wall plate rear left



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