Could this be Spring? ?>

Could this be Spring?

The sun shone again on the Longhouse project today! Spirits were high as we removed thermal layers and waterproofs and got down to some un-impeded work. Several mortise and tenon posts were nearing completion- although the final adjustments always take longer than expected. The morning saw a rush of posts in position, starting with an earthbound post and followed by Astra’s mortise and tenon post to form the second corner of the western end of the building.  Astra has had…

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Carpentry in the Rain! ?>

Carpentry in the Rain!

The weather continued as it began this week with more rain but less wind. The overnight downpour has prevented us from digging any new post holes, so we have switched our attention to the task of mortise cutting and tenon shaping. Derek produced a fantastic joint and we raised his post into the corner of the sill beam that will form the western end of the building. Phil also pulled a mortise and tenon out of the bag at the…

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More Holes – More Posts ?>

More Holes – More Posts

The weather started more calmly than yesterday with occasional light showers. Work has continued on the deep mortises that will locate and support the posts that stand on the sill beams. This task involves chiselling into the dense holm oak and takes hours to complete a single mortise.  Volunteers have also been trying their luck at hand augering a series of holes and chopping out in between – still a time consuming effort.  The good news is that there are…

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Week 3 Begins… ?>

Week 3 Begins…

Well, I suppose the sun had to stop shining on Jersey at some point! The start of week 3 on the project has seen high winds, hail and rain. Undaunted, our fantastic volunteers turned up prepared to work hard. We’ve had a few weeks off during December and January but this week sees the start of frame construction that will continue for this year. The first task is to erect the many wall posts that will eventually support the thatched…

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Sill Beams Complete! ?>

Sill Beams Complete!

The week ended as it started with fine dry weather and a little more warmth.               The focus today has been to finish the Sill Beams and make way for the first posts to be installed when we return.  The Project now takes a break until early February (to avoid the worst of the weather) when we will resume our visits every third week for the rest of 2017.  Dates will be posted next…

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A Sunny Thursday ?>

A Sunny Thursday

Today saw more incredible Winter sunshine and not a breath of wind. The day has been spent cutting more tenons on the short wall posts that will slot into the Sill Beam frame.  The timber for the project has been sourced from Jersey and is mostly Holm Oak.  This remarkable timber is dense, tough and was traditionally used in boat building.  It is reputed to be “rot proof” – which is a bold statement!            …

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Blue Skies and Cup Joints! ?>

Blue Skies and Cup Joints!

Today began with a hard frost and clear skies.  The sun has given us warmth on this almost breezless day – perfect working conditions! The team has continued with yesterday’s tasks and the Sill Beam frame is now jointed and waiting to be placed in the ground.  The lap joints at both corners have been offered up and trimmed to ensure a tight fit.             It is impressive to see volunteer learning curves climb so…

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Sill Beams ?>

Sill Beams

Another clear and bright day on site with a biting easterly wind that chills the fingers rapidly! Today has seen the continuation of work on the sill beams for the eastern end of the building.  These large timbers are being jointed using simple lap joints to form strong corners.  Eventually they will be mortised to take large tenons from the corner posts that will lock everything in place. It is important that these joints are well fitted to provide the…

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Week 2 Begins! ?>

Week 2 Begins!

Week 2 has started with bright and clear weather forecast for the coming days. The geophysical survey has been completed with no obvious signs of features beneath our construction area.  We are waiting to hear for the final go ahead before we begin putting timbers in the ground. The new site hut is practically complete with the electrics going in today.  It will provide a warm and civilised location for tea breaks over the coming years – many thanks to…

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Coppicing Starts ?>

Coppicing Starts

History@Work The History@Work weekend was productive as usual, providing another opportunity to use authentic processes to achieve some real results around the site. Jobs included painting, daubing, building a second lime kiln in preparation for making quicklime, opus walling in the Roman building, thatching the Mesolithic building, blacksmithing, and making bone and antler tool handles.   The usual workforce was complemented by a group of students led by Linda Hurcombe  from the University of Exeter, who provided valuable extra help….

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