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Masters' Library


 
 

Light and Heavy Timber Framing Made Easy by Fred T. Hodgson, 1909

   

Introductory

The joints shown in the following illustrations are such as are mostly employed in framed woodwork, and although they do not cover the whole ground, or show all the styles and methods of framing known to the expert workman, they include nearly all of the principal joints in general use, both in light and heavy framing; later on I may show other joints and splices that are not included in the figures shown in this portion of the work.

The introduction of steel in the construction of buildings has in a great measure displaced woodwork in the erection of large buildings in towns and cities, yet timber working is still of sufficient importance to warrant a careful study of the properties of wood and its uses, hence the following descriptions of various woods are offered in order that the worker may have a more or less intelligent idea of the nature of the materials he is manipulating.

This short treatise it is hoped will be found useful, interesting and instructive to the reader, and while it is not intended to be exhaustive, it may be depended upon to be reliable as far as it goes.

All trees are divided by into three classes; Exogens, or outward-growers; Endogens, or inward-growers; and Ecrogens, or summit growers - according to the relative position in which the new material for increasing the substance of the tree is added.

 

Typical trees of each class would be the oak, the palm, and the tree fern. We have to deal with the exogenous class only, as that furnishes the timber in general use for construction, the term "timber" including all varieties of wood which, when felled and seasoned, are suitable for building purposes.

If the stem of an exogenous tree be cut across, it will be found to exhibit a number of nearly concentric rings, more or less distinct; and, in certain cases, radial lines intersecting them. These rings represent the annual growth of the tree which takes place just under the bark.

Each ring consists of bundles of woody fiber or vascular tissue, in the form of long tapering tubes, interlaced and breaking joint with each other, having a small portion of cellular tissue at intervals. Towards the outer edge of each ring the woody fiber is harder, more compact, and of a darker color than the remaining portion.

As the tree advances in age, the rings and rays become more irregular, the growth being more vigorous on the sunny side, causing distortion. The strength of wood "along the grain" depends on the tenacity of the walls of the fibers and cells, while the strength "across the grain" depends on the adhesion of the sides of the tubes and cells to each other.

FRED T. HODGSON
January, 1909


 
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