Porch Roof Construction Part 1: Posts and Beams

We had a big stack of lumber delivered a few weeks ago so I sharpened up my chisels and dusted off the chain mortiser and got to work.

Here’s a time lapse of cutting the joinery and raising the first section of the porch:

And here are some stills with more details:

It’s feel good when piles of lumber show up but it feels even better when they disappear.
It didn’t take long to get back in the groove of laying out the timbers.

Drilling peg holes 
Cutting mortises

Cutting the tenon cheek

Making kerf cuts for the tenon

Cleaning up the tenon with a chisel and mallet

Using the tenon checker to make sure there will be a food fit.

Shaving off the corners of the tenon to make things easier on raising day

This time around I did a light sanding of every face of each timber to removing markings and discolorations. 

I had some light duty sanding belts that I fairly quickly had to swap out.

Brains, it’s what’s for dinner

This time around we also stained all the timbers before installing them. There is some debate on the internet as to whether this is a good idea since the timbers are green and moisture needs and avenue of escape. This particular load of lumber didn’t seem particularly green and we didn’t stain the parts that wouldn’t be visible like the bottom of the posts and tops of the beams. I’ll guess we’ll see but this was so much easier than staining them in situ. 

Staining the knee braces and rail components

Installing the first section of porch

Everything fits pretty well so far

Porch raising day. Dropping the posts into their assigned positions

The real test would be getting the beam

The trick to getting the plate beam on was everyone lowering the beam simultaneously down toward the two posts tenons and the two knee brace tenons whilst pushing and pulling on the posts and knee braces to help guide each tenon into the each mortise.

Cody persuades the beam the last bit of the way into position.

I had missed a couple of mortises so Jean is taking care of them. I’m securing the rail post to the deck. Each post is secured to the rim joist and fascia board with two Timberlok screws. After I stain the deck I may come back and replace the screws with wood pegs.

Jean cleans up a mortise and Michael and Cody pre drill the peg holes in the knee braces.

Cutting the other mortise I missed.

Raising the beam on the north wall.

Last beam of the day. The post in the center is for the railing and and non-structural. I just wanted to put it in place in case I couldn’t after the beam was installed.

Securing the beam to the adjoining beam.

I don’t know. Perhaps some safety demonstration of what not to do?
The front(north) porch
The lap joint on the beam on the north side. The two joints are secured from the top with Timberlok screws.

Facing northeast
The main approach to the cabin