Community Table

I came across the volunteer opportunity in one of my natural building forums to build a pavillion that will serve as a meeting area and dining hall at the Community First! Village in east Austin. The village is a development of affordable micro/small homes.

The structure will be timber frame mortise and tenon construction. That means, no nails and no screws. Another caveat is we’re building with hand tools only.

Demonstrating cutting out a joint on drop in floor joist. 

Once the joint is cut to depth, you use a chisel to knock out the piece you don’t want.

Planing the joint to level.

After getting the end of the drop in floor joist notched we have to cut in a curve. The curve helps distribute the weight and prevent the joist from cracking. For reference, the floor joist is currently upside down. Where he’s cutting will eventually be facing down.
Smoothing out the curve

Lots of floor joists.
Using a hand drill to notch out the sill plates. These drills are hundred years old and surprisingly easy to use and control. 

Notching out the floor sill plates. The ends of the floor joists will drop into these notches.