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  1. #1
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    Default LVL for frames

    I was talking to a builder who has been out of the game for a while about my owner builder project. It will be a weatherboard clad timber frame and corrugated roof. He was reliving a house he build that had weather boards and prefabbed frames and trusses out of blue pine when it first came out. He said that he spent a week to stand up the frames and trusses and spent another month straightening out the studs. He said that he got them within 1/8 of an inch and there were practically no studs that were not touched. He said to get a good job on your cladding it pays to get your studs as straight as possible. He then said that considering two blokes on a frame to straighten the studs for a month it might pay to find someone who will to lvl frames. You might pay the same in the end but you don't loose a month.
    two questions:
    Is it just he got dud frames, and these days framing is better?
    Has anyone seen an LVL frame or know who would manufacture one?
    sorry for the ramble.

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    too many variables to give a specific reason, but i would assume he just got a bad batch of pre-fab frames..
    the other issue is you dont know how they were stored on site before they went up is another issue...
    one could also argue that pre-fab frames arnt as good as ones made on site...
    also, a mixture of dry/wet timber being used together.. or they wernt stored correctly prior to using them..
    as i mentioned, too many variables...

    and im sure (happy to be corrected) using LVL's vertically is a no go as they are not made for this purpose.. i cant think of the exact wording i was told by a timber specialist. maybe this relates to only HySpan as that what i was enquiring abou, and not other brands, but i would assume its all brands..

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    2K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    OB time is cheap, regardless even if you used lvl for frame not only cost is a issue, how good do you think you can build it anyway? what tolerance can you work too? how good can you read a level? generally timber will have some sort of camber, just make sure you sight and put the same way, time consuming yes, cripple the serious bent ones.
    cheers Look out if I have a tape measure in my hand.....I'm upto something

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    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    is it generally put in the specs when buying a frame from a company what tolerance you want? I guess the issue is I need to get both sides of the frame true for weatherboard, hence the time. Maybe I should start a pro's + cons on timber vs steel frame....haha
    sorry for the ramble.

  5. #5
    Member BalliangBuilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    Your best bet is to steer away from pre-fab and go for a stick frame, you will end up with a straighter frame that is built to exactly to suit your foundations with larger section of walls which are stronger and easier to plumb and reduce the time spent straightening studs. As mentioned above bow your studs in your wall the same direction, eg, bow them down when building the wall so you are not planing over the braces. A month is far to long, if it takes longer then a week for an owner builder then something is seriously wrong.

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    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    He may have got bad frames, We hand build all our frames from T2 90x45 and don't have any issues with tolerences.

    As long as you put all the round up or down when building the frames, you won't notice anything once clad.

    The HYNE timber is very good these days, and it's rare to get one that you would not use as a stud (it does happen but rarely).

    We always option for on site trenched top / bottom plates, and on site built frames, this way we have control over the finished product, that's not saying pre made are bad.

    We just prefer to QA our own work.

    I would not bother with LVL for frames, for one it would be too expensive, and you wont get the finished product any more accurate than if you used MGP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    I was talking to a builder who has been out of the game for a while about my owner builder project. It will be a weatherboard clad timber frame and corrugated roof. He was reliving a house he build that had weather boards and prefabbed frames and trusses out of blue pine when it first came out. He said that he spent a week to stand up the frames and trusses and spent another month straightening out the studs. He said that he got them within 1/8 of an inch and there were practically no studs that were not touched. He said to get a good job on your cladding it pays to get your studs as straight as possible. He then said that considering two blokes on a frame to straighten the studs for a month it might pay to find someone who will to lvl frames. You might pay the same in the end but you don't loose a month.
    two questions:
    Is it just he got dud frames, and these days framing is better?
    Has anyone seen an LVL frame or know who would manufacture one?
    Those frames should have been defected before standing them, how it could possibly take a month for two men to straighten the studs on a frame defies logic. I'm terribly slow but that makes me seem like a young gun frame carpenter.
    regards inter

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Just put all the bows the same way as the boys have said and either reject badly bowed studs or use them for temp bracing. Use the not so bad studs as your noggins. Keep your best studs for door openings. T2 is way too cheap to bother crippling. Make some saw horses out the crap ones

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    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    ill pretty much give anything a crack, I did the measurements and its about 100mts of load bearing wall and around 90 for the internals. Sounds like it could take me a fair while to make up the frames. A quote for the frames and trusses came in at around 37k.

    I was half thinking of making them up on the platform floor, getting the floor dead level (adjustable pier tops and laser) and then making up a carriage for my plane to level off the bowed studs before standing.

    Sounds like I need to employ a carpenter to make my frames and I will assist him.
    sorry for the ramble.

  10. #10
    Member BalliangBuilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    ill pretty much give anything a crack, I did the measurements and its about 100mts of load bearing wall and around 90 for the internals. Sounds like it could take me a fair while to make up the frames. A quote for the frames and trusses came in at around 37k.

    I was half thinking of making them up on the platform floor, getting the floor dead level (adjustable pier tops and laser) and then making up a carriage for my plane to level off the bowed studs before standing.

    Sounds like I need to employ a carpenter to make my frames and I will assist him.
    Employing a carpenter to help you with your frame would be a great idea, it should save you money and you will get a better job, we also never use pre-fab walls, waffle slabs and so called water resistant plaster board all things you should try to avoid. As for straightening the walls whilst building them is properly not a great idea, for one you will be holding up the carpenter costing you money and timber has a tendency to move due to weather conditions, moisture, sun, heat etc.. straighten the wall just before you are ready to fit the weather boards.

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    1K Club Member paddyjoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I would not bother with LVL for frames, for one it would be too expensive, and you wont get the finished product any more accurate than if you used MGP.
    Would it be worthwhile paying the extra for LVL if you were a complete novice doing some weekend warrior framing or would you still say the mpg is straight enough for beginners?

  12. #12
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    ill pretty much give anything a crack, I did the measurements and its about 100mts of load bearing wall and around 90 for the internals. Sounds like it could take me a fair while to make up the frames. A quote for the frames and trusses came in at around 37k.

    I was half thinking of making them up on the platform floor, getting the floor dead level (adjustable pier tops and laser) and then making up a carriage for my plane to level off the bowed studs before standing.

    Sounds like I need to employ a carpenter to make my frames and I will assist him.
    Mate, remember you are building a house not a swiss watch.

    You do not need to have the frames all within mm tolerance, even if you bought LVL these will have slight manufacturing tolerance to them, everything does nothing is perfect and it does not need to be.

    Your platform should already be almost perfectly level this is normal practice anyway, I say almost perfect as even your laser has a tolerance (check your specs), the way you set up and use the laser also has a tolerance so does your flooring material, so will your weatherboards you cannot get everything 100% perfect, you can get close but that's about all.

    Your timber will expand and contract on a daily basis due to environmental conditions, so IF you could get everything perfect today, within a week something would not be perfect and this will continue forever as its a natural product.

    Basically what I am saying is if you want everything to be 100% perfect in every detail then you are expecting too much, you will need 12 months to build frames perfect, then these will need to be stored in a hermetically sealed room and never used.

    Might be a good idea to just employ a carpenter (a good one who takes pride in his work) to build the frames for you, but don't expect him to give you 99.99999999% accuracy as it won't happen, and you will just drive him crazy if you insist on it, and don't expect him to plane out slight irregularities this also won't happen unless you want to pay for it

    Also if you require the use of a carriage and planning the studs then the timber your sourcing is just rubbish, this is not necessary, you might as well forget about timber and go for steel frames, as these are dimensionally all the same.

    Also a side note if you have never built frames before you will struggle to build them, these are not as easy as you think to build, best to get a carpenter to do it.
    I understand as it's your own build that you want it to be as good as it can be, this is good, but you will just drive yourself crazy trying to create perfection.

    My mate did the same when renovating his house, 6 coats of paint on the walls, every minute mark patched, and painted 6 times, in the end he gave up as it took him sooooo long he got bored with it, and it never got finished.

    And those six coats of paint are now peeling as they were when he first got the house, so 10 years after starting he has a house that looks like it did when he first bought it.

    Just enjoy your build and make it as good as you can get it, but be realistic about what it is your making.

  13. #13
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Even if you could get the frame and floor perfect you still have foundation movement. You can do your best to avoid it but you will never eliminate it totally.

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    Member BalliangBuilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    I would personally not use LVL's as studs due to the cost but more so fixings (nails) do not hold as well nailed in to the edge of LVL's as they do in pine due to the lamination starts to separate quickly when left exposed to the weather, even in short amounts of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Mate, remember you are building a house not a swiss watch .......................... Just enjoy your build and make it as good as you can get it, but be realistic about what it is your making.
    This should be compulsory reading for all owner builders and especially perfectionist ones (like myself )
    However, I would rather strive for something near perfect than be a rough as guts, near enough is good enough.

    If you do want to true a bit of timber, this is how I did it using a router.

    http://www.renovateforum.com/f176/icf-house-build-adelaide-94764/index2.html#post869540

    Just remember nothing is perfect, everything has a tolerance and timber has a mind of its own .

  16. #16
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post
    This should be compulsory reading for all owner builders and especially perfectionist ones (like myself )
    However, I would rather strive for something near perfect than be a rough as guts, near enough is good enough.

    If you do want to true a bit of timber, this is how I did it using a router.

    http://www.renovateforum.com/f176/icf-house-build-adelaide-94764/index2.html#post869540

    Just remember nothing is perfect, everything has a tolerance and timber has a mind of its own .
    I to am a perfectionist, but when doing it for a living you soon learn everything has it's limits, and time spent chasing perfection is not worth the result in most cases.
    I have an interesting book put out by the HIA, on acceptable levels of workmanship and materials, interesting figures.
    Allowance for timber frame shrinkage, Unseasoned 10%, Seasoned 3%
    Plumb of wall frames are considered fine to deviate max +- 6mm over 3m
    Fatness of a timber wall is considered fine to deviate max +-6mm over 3m

    Flattness of timber built floor, considered ok if within 12 months of build the floor does not deviate moe then +-10mm over the length of floor, or +-6mm over any 3m section.

    As I said tolerences everywhere, timber is a natural product and as Belair said it can have a mind of its own sometimes.

  17. #17
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    is there another reason that you still trench your plates for studs metrix?
    I thought it was just done to stop material from twisting and because of the variation of thickness in your plates. Given the timber that you buy these days is pretty good.
    sorry for the ramble.

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    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    is there another reason that you still trench your plates for studs metrix?
    I thought it was just done to stop material from twisting and because of the variation of thickness in your plates. Given the timber that you buy these days is pretty good.
    Correct, trenching is a carry over from the days or unseasoned Oregon or hardwood, and was used to minimise twisting of the studs, with today's seasoned timbers it should not be required.

    We do it for the following reasons

    It was how I was taught to do it by a builder who had been in the trade for many years (and yes he continues to do it with seasoned timbers as well).

    It makes assembling the frames much easier, when all the trenches are cut, you just need to fill them with studs, not worrying about keeping everything parallel, as the top and bottom plate are trenched out as a pair.

    There is nothing worse than trying to hold a stud in place while trying to gun it in which is very dangerous as your fingers need to be close to the gun, with the trench the spacing is set you just need to ensure the sides are even then gun it in, keeping fingers away.

    Some members on here will disagree with trenching as being un necessary and time wasting, this is their opinion, we do it because it gives a more secure point of contact for each stud, and as we don't use pre fab frames, we like to keep the quality of our on site built frames to the standard we want.

    At the end of the day it comes down to what you feel is the best method for the quality you want to offer, we do it, always have done it, and will continue to do it.

  19. #19
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    how do you trench? I know old school, but do you get trenching head for your saws or have a purpose built trenching machine that is portable?
    sorry for the ramble.

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    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    It's called a circular saw, and an apprentice, good saw practice for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    It's called a circular saw, and an apprentice, good saw practice for them.
    I am never ceased to be amazed.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    I am never ceased to be amazed.
    regards inter
    Yeah, still living in the stone age im sure your thinking, think what you will.

    You need to accept that some of us do things differently to you and appreciate that some of us also do things in a traditional method (or old fashioned as you call it).

    There is nothing wrong with teaching the apprentices how to do things in the traditional way, this way they get an understanding of how buildings go together, and if they choose to use this knowledge in the future or choose to throw it all away and get someone else to do the framework is entirely up to them, but they have the skills either way.

    And I know for a fact that our apprentices appreciate gaining the knowledge, which some of their mates at TAFE don't get to gain as all they do is stand up premade frames and trusses all day, HOW BORING, when our guys are finished with their 4th year they can confidently go out and tackle any situation which I can't say the same about their frame jocky mates, they don't know the first thing about custom carpentry.

    As we do NOT specialise in Project homes (Personally I am not interested in this type of construction), we specialise in extensions and additions to existing established homes, so our work has to tie into the existing structure seamlessly, and this involves connecting into existing rooflines etc which pre made just cant do most of the times, if you know anything about existing older structures you would appreciate that nothing is straight, nothing is plumb, and sometimes nothing is square, so this needs to be taken into account when extending.

    Intertd Please respect my line of work and stop bagging out what we do for a living, I don't do the same to you so I would appreciate the same in return, if you have something constructive to say then say it, but if it's just snide remarks, do me a favor and keep them to yourself.

    Be happy with the line of work your in and the knowledge you have and respect that others also do have knowledge, and deserve a bit of appreciation for this rather than putting them down for not doing things the way you do.

    As I said once before to you, forums are about people assisting those who ask questions, they are not an outlet to have a go at others who do things differently to you, save this for the pub.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Yeah, still living in the stone age im sure your thinking, think what you will.

    You need to accept that some of us do things differently to you and appreciate that some of us also do things in a traditional method (or old fashioned as you call it).

    There is nothing wrong with teaching the apprentices how to do things in the traditional way, this way they get an understanding of how buildings go together, and if they choose to use this knowledge in the future or choose to throw it all away and get someone else to do the framework is entirely up to them, but they have the skills either way.

    And I know for a fact that our apprentices appreciate gaining the knowledge, which some of their mates at TAFE don't get to gain as all they do is stand up premade frames and trusses all day, HOW BORING, when our guys are finished with their 4th year they can confidently go out and tackle any situation which I can't say the same about their frame jocky mates, they don't know the first thing about custom carpentry.

    As we do NOT specialise in Project homes (Personally I am not interested in this type of construction), we specialise in extensions and additions to existing established homes, so our work has to tie into the existing structure seamlessly, and this involves connecting into existing rooflines etc which pre made just cant do most of the times, if you know anything about existing older structures you would appreciate that nothing is straight, nothing is plumb, and sometimes nothing is square, so this needs to be taken into account when extending.

    Intertd Please respect my line of work and stop bagging out what we do for a living, I don't do the same to you so I would appreciate the same in return, if you have something constructive to say then say it, but if it's just snide remarks, do me a favor and keep them to yourself.

    Be happy with the line of work your in and the knowledge you have and respect that others also do have knowledge, and deserve a bit of appreciation for this rather than putting them down for not doing things the way you do.

    As I said once before to you, forums are about people assisting those who ask questions, they are not an outlet to have a go at others who do things differently to you, save this for the pub.
    All I can suggest is if your running a show where you are making an apprentice trench plates by hand you might want to get some further training in OH&S regulations, particularly the section about repetitive tasks which should be made by mechanical means where ever possible, when the poor fellow gets RSI from trenching hundreds or thousands of them & then you get lumbered with the workers comp bill you would think again, or worse still if the injury were to end their career & they happen to have their case picked up by a legal firm who specialises in this sort of thing, they would try to prove negligence & someone will lose their house & everything they have worked a lifetime for. It is a good idea to teach apprentices handtool skills, but there is a senible limit. One of lifes little intracacys is that assistance comes in many forms, some of them may not suit you though.
    regards inter

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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    Inter you seem knowable in domestic building but you lack a little in common courtesy. Most of us are here to help or ask for help not criticize others, I agree rebating plates by hand seems a little over the top for us new home builder's, but It's the fine attention to detail that METRIX offersthat gets him more work.
    Sometimes we are all wrong, no need to crucify for it. Keep up the good advice fella's and try to keep it clean.

    Regard, Mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    All I can suggest is if your running a show where you are making an apprentice trench plates by hand you might want to get some further training in OH&S regulations, particularly the section about repetitive tasks which should be made by mechanical means where ever possible, when the poor fellow gets RSI from trenching hundreds or thousands of them & then you get lumbered with the workers comp bill you would think again, or worse still if the injury were to end their career & they happen to have their case picked up by a legal firm who specialises in this sort of thing, they would try to prove negligence & someone will lose their house & everything they have worked a lifetime for. It is a good idea to teach apprentices handtool skills, but there is a senible limit. One of lifes little intracacys is that assistance comes in many forms, some of them may not suit you though.
    regards inter
    Interd, you make out as though we are torchering the apprentices, when we trench out plates it is only a few plates we do, for any given job, and we do actually take turns at it.

    It is not as though the apprentices are forced to trench out every day all day, it is a one off for each job if required, unfortunately any job has repetitive tasks, office workers sit on a keyboard all day every day, taxi drivers sit behind a wheel all day, carpentry is no different, you are always cutting, you are always lifting, you are always using the gun, you cannot get away from it, as long as you are not doing the same thing day in day out then there should not be any reason for RSI injuries.

    I think some times you take things a little too far and look at the worst of every situation, if everyone worried about every repetitive task everywhere, then nothing in this world would ever get done, thing about the factory workers on process lines now that is repetitive.

    We have a huge variety of tasks for our guys to do, and if they don't like doing something they actually say so in our weekly site meetings, and we do actually listen to them and shock horror, we do make changes as required.

    I'm not sure why, but you appear to have a real problem with us making hand cut roofs, and making our own frames, and just about any other task we do, but in fact you don't actually know me, or what we do, or how we do it, so it would be nice if you can keep you comments to yourself because you don't actually know anything about us.

    Lets agree to disagree on this one

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    Quote Originally Posted by BalliangBuilder View Post
    Inter you seem knowable in domestic building but you lack a little in common courtesy. Most of us are here to help or ask for help not criticize others, I agree rebating plates by hand seems a little over the top for us new home builder's, but It's the fine attention to detail that METRIX offersthat gets him more work.
    Sometimes we are all wrong, no need to crucify for it. Keep up the good advice fella's and try to keep it clean.

    Regard, Mark.
    If we both keep our eyes & ears open, we may learn something.
    regards inter

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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    All cool fella's, let's call a truce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Interd, you make out as though we are torchering the apprentices, when we trench out plates it is only a few plates we do, for any given job, and we do actually take turns at it.

    It is not as though the apprentices are forced to trench out every day all day, it is a one off for each job if required, unfortunately any job has repetitive tasks, office workers sit on a keyboard all day every day, taxi drivers sit behind a wheel all day, carpentry is no different, you are always cutting, you are always lifting, you are always using the gun, you cannot get away from it, as long as you are not doing the same thing day in day out then there should not be any reason for RSI injuries.

    I think some times you take things a little too far and look at the worst of every situation, if everyone worried about every repetitive task everywhere, then nothing in this world would ever get done, thing about the factory workers on process lines now that is repetitive.

    We have a huge variety of tasks for our guys to do, and if they don't like doing something they actually say so in our weekly site meetings, and we do actually listen to them and shock horror, we do make changes as required.

    I'm not sure why, but you appear to have a real problem with us making hand cut roofs, and making our own frames, and just about any other task we do, but in fact you don't actually know me, or what we do, or how we do it, so it would be nice if you can keep you comments to yourself because you don't actually know anything about us.

    Lets agree to disagree on this one
    I was only replying to what you said that you had your apprentice do, I am building my own home at the moment, 430m2 under the roof, 60 m3 of HWD in the structure, site cut and trenched frames with no roof trusses so to say I have a problem with them just seem to fit. But I did have the sense to pick up a radial arm saw with a trenching head to do the plates for it & another couple of projects frames on the property, unfeasible for a commercial project where I would have to pay daylabour because of the nature of the project.
    regards inter

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    As I've said before, I wish I had a job with a boss like you (Metrix). I'd know way more than I do now and be able to execute it better. I've seen equipment to trench plates (in pre-apprenticeship class) and did wonder why you don't use that but I have nothing against occasionally hand cutting. Keeps the skills up to date.

    As for repetitive, I would hate to do nothing more than stand up pre-cut frames, all day every day. I think it's criminal to give an apprentice a job like that and then throw them out into the world to compete for work alongside others who have had an all round education. Especially considering the rubbish wages they start out on because they think it's worth the sacrifice to achieve a trade.

    I do get that some will set up a business in framing only and that's fine but you can't tell a kid he's getting a fully fledged carpentry apprenticeship by working for that business.

    Also, the bigger a company gets with more equipment and methods such as outsourcing - precut frames/trusses, to replace on the job skills, the further it gets out of the reach of the individual to become independent. They then end up working for a lesser rate set by the employer who holds all the cards.

    I definitely support skills based work.

    This dig is not aimed at anyone, it's just a topical rant.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    I was only replying to what you said that you had your apprentice do, I am building my own home at the moment, 430m2 under the roof, 60 m3 of HWD in the structure, site cut and trenched frames with no roof trusses so to say I have a problem with them just seem to fit. But I did have the sense to pick up a radial arm saw with a trenching head to do the plates for it & another couple of projects frames on the property, unfeasible for a commercial project where I would have to pay daylabour because of the nature of the project.
    regards inter
    That's fine for you to reply to what I said, but you blew it right out of proportion.
    Good on you for giving your own place a go, there's nothing more satisfying than building your own house.

    The reason I say you have a problem with us, is you have rubbished me in the past because we hand cut our roofs, you rubbished me because we don't use a crane for everything, you rubbished me for not using trusses, this is not fair on us.

    As I said you don't know anything about how we do our work or treat our guys, so you can see why I may think you have a problem with me or us, and I don't rubbish you about what you do.

    There are more than pure economical reasons why we cut roofs, Such as we actually have the skills to do this (which is becoming rarer these days) and we actually enjoy doing it (keeps the brain active working it out), and we take pride in the finished product, we don't see the need for trusses for the majority of our situations, so therefore we continue to cut roofs as they did in the old days but using modern seasoned materials.

    You should not punish us for that as it's our choice to do things that way and it's our business why we do it that way no matter what other people say.
    We appeal to the type of client who expects that bit extra from us and they pay that bit extra for that, we don't have a problem with it either do they, so it works well.

    The reason why we don't have a radial saw for trenching, is it's just another tool we have to store, carry, setup for the occasions when we might use it on any given job, it's not that easy to find a spot to store every tool that you use occasionally, I would need another 3 car garage for tools if I would like to purchase every tool I want, but for a job like your it makes sense to have one.

    And there is nothing wrong with the apprentices doing some occasional trenching, it is all part of the learning process of becoming a qualified carpenter, we get our guys on the tools asap as there is no better way to learn, they won't learn anything leaning on a broom, there is so many things for them to learn (and remember) in such a short time, 3-4 years goes very quickly and if they don't pickup most of the skills how can they be expected to go out on their own.

    And it benefits us, as we can trust then to do a job knowing that they are skilled enough to do it on their own without us having to look over their shoulder all the time, and they appreciate the trust from us, so again it work well.

    So I hope you now have an understanding why we do the things the way we do and respect this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    As I've said before, I wish I had a job with a boss like you (Metrix). I'd know way more than I do now and be able to execute it better. I've seen equipment to trench plates (in pre-apprenticeship class) and did wonder why you don't use that but I have nothing against occasionally hand cutting. Keeps the skills up to date.

    As for repetitive, I would hate to do nothing more than stand up pre-cut frames, all day every day. I think it's criminal to give an apprentice a job like that and then throw them out into the world to compete for work alongside others who have had an all round education. Especially considering the rubbish wages they start out on because they think it's worth the sacrifice to achieve a trade.

    I do get that some will set up a business in framing only and that's fine but you can't tell a kid he's getting a fully fledged carpentry apprenticeship by working for that business.

    Also, the bigger a company gets with more equipment and methods such as outsourcing - precut frames/trusses, to replace on the job skills, the further it gets out of the reach of the individual to become independent. They then end up working for a lesser rate set by the employer who holds all the cards.

    I definitely support skills based work.

    This dig is not aimed at anyone, it's just a topical rant.
    Shauck, couldn't agree with you more, it's good to see guys that want to learn and have a passion for what they are doing, unfortunately a lot of people end up in a career that they really don't want to do, then they feel it's too late to change, that's rubbish, you can change at anytime.

    Your right, the bigger companies are all about sourcing and creating for the lowest cost, so usually skill and quality get pushed aside for economical factors, this is a shame but just reality, and it's in all industries.

    With an attitude like your's you will go far, as you actually want to learn, and you will keep learning new things every day, nobody knows everything about everything, and if they tell you they do, their lying.

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    Get over it, it's just another point of view with a building economics standpoint, the worlds oldest building company went broke recently thinking they didn't have to change with the times. Modern building is just the same as any other business & none are immune.
    Regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    With an attitude like your's you will go far, as you actually want to learn, and you will keep learning new things every day, nobody knows everything about everything, and if they tell you they do, their lying.
    I'd be going a lot further and faster if I had a skilled boss to mentor me. I used to play competition eight ball (pool) and when I got to the stage of making A grade and playing in state titles I started to get coaching from the better players in the team. This exponentially increased my skill level and had me making state and then national team. Good guidance is a large part of the equation. If your guys are highly competent, you are doing something right as a boss/mentor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    It's called a circular saw, and an apprentice, good saw practice for them.
    How deep do you make the trench? Is it just 3 or 4mm so that the stud stays in place or is it deeper than that?

    With the circular saw, do you just make a series of cuts and then knock out the left over pieces with a chisel?


    Thanks!

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    5mm is fine, you can use a circular saw, or a Slide comppound which makes it easier and more accurate.

    Process for doing this is.

    Pin your top / bottom plates next to each other with a few nails hand skewed into them to hold them close, dont nail them all the way in, as yo uneed to pull the plates apart when finished.
    Cut your plates to length.
    Mark up all the stud positions, remember double studs for windows, mark up the lap joints at the ends of the frame
    Trench out the studs as required
    Cut all your studs to the same length and it all should go together like a glove and be nice and even

    Before you put in any window heads, do a cross measurement and straighten the frame up, as it will be very difficult once you have put the head in.
    and remember to put in appropriate cross bracing as required, once you frame is failry accuruate in cross measurement cut the frames for the brace, put it in and nail the bottom of it with a few nails, then put a few temporaty nails in the rest as you will probably need to do a fine adjustment once you stand the frames up which will require the brace to be loose, once the frames are level, then you can nail off the brace.

    When you mark out your lap joints mark all frames going east / west on the plan with lap joint on the same side as trenches, and frames going north / south on the plan, mark the lap joint on the back side of the timber (opposite side to the stud trenches) as these two must lock into each other at the corners

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    5mm is fine, you can use a circular saw, or a Slide comppound which makes it easier and more accurate.

    Process for doing this is.

    Pin your top / bottom plates next to each other with a few nails hand skewed into them to hold them close, dont nail them all the way in, as yo uneed to pull the plates apart when finished.
    Cut your plates to length.
    Mark up all the stud positions, remember double studs for windows, mark up the lap joints at the ends of the frame
    Trench out the studs as required
    Cut all your studs to the same length and it all should go together like a glove and be nice and even

    Before you put in any window heads, do a cross measurement and straighten the frame up, as it will be very difficult once you have put the head in.
    and remember to put in appropriate cross bracing as required, once you frame is failry accuruate in cross measurement cut the frames for the brace, put it in and nail the bottom of it with a few nails, then put a few temporaty nails in the rest as you will probably need to do a fine adjustment once you stand the frames up which will require the brace to be loose, once the frames are level, then you can nail off the brace.

    When you mark out your lap joints mark all frames going east / west on the plan with lap joint on the same side as trenches, and frames going north / south on the plan, mark the lap joint on the back side of the timber (opposite side to the stud trenches) as these two must lock into each other at the corners
    Thanks for the great info as usual

  37. #37
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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    Wow lap joints, I'm impressed! Good effort fella, that's awesome you are using such a strong joint. We used to use a pre cutter, he would come after we had laid and marked all the plates. He would roll up with a trailer setup with both a petrol sliding saw and a trenching saw and we feed every thing in, including studs, top and bottom plates, trimmers, jack studs and noggins. We still nail our plates together on top of each other for marking.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: LVL for frames

    I think this why you have ongoing work, attention to detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BalliangBuilder View Post
    Wow lap joints, I'm impressed! Good effort fella, that's awesome you are using such a strong joint. We used to use a pre cutter, he would come after we had laid and marked all the plates. He would roll up with a trailer setup with both a petrol sliding saw and a trenching saw and we feed every thing in, including studs, top and bottom plates, trimmers, jack studs and noggins. We still nail our plates together on top of each other for marking.
    Yeah, old style but it works well, and gives a good solid frame and connections

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    The LVL I last used were garbage. The ends split, crack broke when we knotch or nailed them. They were not straight. They were bowed and cupped. Making engineered timber out of fast growth pine that has 10 mm growth rings will always yield low quality LVLs.

    I didn't like using them for joists, they would make the worst studs ever.

    In the States they do sell engineered studs. We would use them for rooms that were to be completed paneled in timber like a library or fancy study. Sometimes around a fireplace where there were there was minimal framing and we had to put large ornate mantles. Those studs are not LVL. They are dead straight in 3m with no bow or cup.

    I agree with most of the previous posts. Either find a good frame builder and hold them accountable or hire good carpenters, pay for decent timber and get your house built. The problems happen when the carpenters don't know that they should be aligning the studs for bow just like floor joists. Every once in awhile there is a rogue stud. It should be clipped plated and all is good.

    Its a good idea to be focused on the details; however, if you find yourself trying to reinvent the box...think again. You are probably on a fool's errand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Correct, trenching is a carry over from the days or unseasoned Oregon or hardwood, and was used to minimise twisting of the studs, with today's seasoned timbers it should not be required.

    We do it for the following reasons

    It was how I was taught to do it by a builder who had been in the trade for many years (and yes he continues to do it with seasoned timbers as well).

    It makes assembling the frames much easier, when all the trenches are cut, you just need to fill them with studs, not worrying about keeping everything parallel, as the top and bottom plate are trenched out as a pair.

    There is nothing worse than trying to hold a stud in place while trying to gun it in which is very dangerous as your fingers need to be close to the gun, with the trench the spacing is set you just need to ensure the sides are even then gun it in, keeping fingers away.

    Some members on here will disagree with trenching as being un necessary and time wasting, this is their opinion, we do it because it gives a more secure point of contact for each stud, and as we don't use pre fab frames, we like to keep the quality of our on site built frames to the standard we want.

    At the end of the day it comes down to what you feel is the best method for the quality you want to offer, we do it, always have done it, and will continue to do it.
    You boys need to get some international experience. Trenching has never been practiced in the US or Canada. It is not in the international light construction standards manual. It does nothing to improve the structure of a wall. The loads on the studs are in compression. The majority of houses are framed out of unseasoned timber, often when its raining or snowing. It would actually be a bad idea to kiln dried timber and then soak it. They build houses 3 or even 4 stories tall in this manner. I worked on multimillion dollar residential houses everyday and they are built with green Douglas Fir(Oregon) studs, I-joists and monster LVLs. Virtually no steel.

    In my opinion the trenching method used in AU was an evolutionary process that has been passed down from master to apprentice as "higher quality" construction. Maybe it started way back (100 years ago) when houses were actually framed with true joinery and large timbers. It simply is not necessary and a complete waste of time and money.

    I checked all of my books. Including The AU House Building Manual by Staines(no mention of notching plates). The Australian Carpenter by Llyod(Melbourne Tech College) in 1950 says trenching is not necessary. Joinery and Carpentry by CorkHill and Hancock in 1946(the premier 6 book set from the UK and very popular in AU) makes no mention of trenching plates.

    I took the Master Builders Timber Framing class last year and the instructor basically said its old school and not necessary.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Shauck, couldn't agree with you more, it's good to see guys that want to learn and have a passion for what they are doing, unfortunately a lot of people end up in a career that they really don't want to do, then they feel it's too late to change, that's rubbish, you can change at anytime.
    Good to see 'guys' used generically - as I have for years as with 'mate' - Shauck is of the female persuasion . . .

    Gotta watch out for the few on here that seem to like the biff more than others . . . engaging with them just encourages them . . .

    As to trenching - well I haven't done that for years, but the US comparison is not all that relevant for Australian timber history, which revolved mostly around hardwoods not softwoods. The US had large good supplies of softwoods which were straight-grained large logs from which good stable structural timbers could be made - and a much longer history of large scale factory milling and kiln drying.

    Australia has good hardwoods, but not especially stable and were used green - and milled by small forest based small operators. The checking out was a means of getting stability in the frame to reduce twisting bowing and warping - as was use of more rather than fewer (or no) noggins and sometimes blocking rather than checkouts. As timber milling and processing quality improved with kiln drying at scale then so the need to trench/ check was reduced/ removed. Improved fasteners and fittings also helped that along.

    So it is really just history and technological advancement. Good that Metrix has found that he can continue to use that method and stay profitable (and that's his choice), but it nowadays adds no engineering improvement and costs more time (and so money) so few do it anymore. My Dah liked doing it that way, but he too eventually realised by the '80s that it was not needed and stopped.

    A bit like using a hammer and nail rather than a nail gun or screws and power drivers or glues etc - when the technical outcome is identical (or even better) why bother persisting? For structural frames that will never be seen, then engineering integrity, including being level, square & plumb, is the name of the game. That's why for exposed beam work and heritage homes where the work will be visible in normal use I'd be wanting Metrix-type approach.

    That's a separate issue to the teaching good craft skills - but I pass those on in display cabinetry or furniture and for exposed timber work where the appearance is important as well as the structural integrity.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHammer View Post
    You boys need to get some international experience. Trenching has never been practiced in the US or Canada. It is not in the international light construction standards manual. It does nothing to improve the structure of a wall. The loads on the studs are in compression. The majority of houses are framed out of unseasoned timber, often when its raining or snowing. It would actually be a bad idea to kiln dried timber and then soak it. They build houses 3 or even 4 stories tall in this manner. I worked on multimillion dollar residential houses everyday and they are built with green Douglas Fir(Oregon) studs, I-joists and monster LVLs. Virtually no steel.

    In my opinion the trenching method used in AU was an evolutionary process that has been passed down from master to apprentice as "higher quality" construction. Maybe it started way back (100 years ago) when houses were actually framed with true joinery and large timbers. It simply is not necessary and a complete waste of time and money.

    I checked all of my books. Including The AU House Building Manual by Staines(no mention of notching plates). The Australian Carpenter by Llyod(Melbourne Tech College) in 1950 says trenching is not necessary. Joinery and Carpentry by CorkHill and Hancock in 1946(the premier 6 book set from the UK and very popular in AU) makes no mention of trenching plates.

    I took the Master Builders Timber Framing class last year and the instructor basically said its old school and not necessary.
    Trenching of plates is required in Australia if your using green rough sawn hardwood & a few others ( AS 1684 & 1170) specifically to prevent the studs twisting while undergoing seasoning in position & because of the tolerances of the sawn timber ( 0 mm to + 3 mm ) the trench gauges the plates to give a uniform thickness for wall length accuracy. Trenching plates where the timber is sized accurately is just a waste of time & money as you have said unless you have a automatic framing manufacturing setup & unskilled labour assembling the frames.
    in the states they don't normally use noggins as well.
    As far as lapping plates with halving joints, that's just another place to hide some profit that could go towards educating your kids & considering the modern raking wall designs being used these days halving lap joints can't be used where a level wall meets a raking wall so metal plates are the only real option. Fairly easy, quick & strong to install with a coil nailer before you have nailed off the sheet bracing panels, triplegrips, joist hangers, (unless you dont have a coil nailer & nail all of those by hand as well.)
    regards inter


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