The First Braces – Tenons – the green oak barn

Friday 27/11/20

I was worried about the potential for mistakes today. I’d never done braces before and couldn’t see how to transfer what I’d learnt so far about working with green oak to the marking out and cutting of the braces – centre lines, level references and so on. When I laid the brace “blank” on to post and wall plate it did sit very flat when looked from all directions.

Trueness of braces - 2

So I decided to revert to my O Level woodwork techniques and treat them as I would normal timber – measuring from the edges of the wood and not from a centre line. I’m not sure if this was the best approach but I think it will work given how true the brace blanks are.

As the braces of the rear of the barn will sit off-centre towards the inside of the building I decided to mark the shoulders from the inside edges of the post and wall plate using clamps.

Marking up first brace

The only real tricky bit about this was making provision for the brace “nose”. I wanted the braces to sit in the same way as they do in our green oak extension.

Brace Nose

I did this using a thick square I had. [Addendum: note that this is not the way to do it. The correct and much simpler process is described in this post].

Marking the brace nose

Before moving the brace away, I marked each end of the brace and the post and wall plate in the time-honoured way with chisel marks so that I know which way round it goes.

I started by cutting the brace “blank” to size.

Basic brace cut to size

And then cut the “one-sided” tenons. I was aware that so many things could go wrong so went very, very slowly and carefully. The end result looked good.

Brace with tenons cut

From all angles.

Brace with tenons cut

I was able to get the second brace cut to size and marked up before the light failed.

Second brace cut to size

Tomorrow will be another braces day.




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