Big progress on a Big Thing (the roof) over the last couple of days.
The cleaned, preserved and oiled chestnut rafters, beams and wall plates are now all leveled and in place and work has begun on fixing the wooden planking to them. These photos are from this morning. By the end of the day, the planking had been completed up as far as the middle beam.
The planking we’re using is rough planking. Dry maritime pine, unplaned. About 22mm thick, compared to half of that for tongue-and-groove, so double the insulation for half the price, stronger, and easier to lay on a very asymmetrical building.
It’s been treated, as has the chestnut, with an ecological wood preservative (apparently – still haven’t had a response from the manufacturers to tell me what the ingredients are) followed by a boiled linseed oil and turpentine mixture (roughly 1 part turpentine to 7 parts linseed oil). Boiled rather than raw for its more rapid drying time, and the turpentine (genuine turpentine, not the mineral ‘white spirit’ turps substitute) performs a similar function as well as being slightly repellent to insects in its own right.
So exciting to see construction at last! Although we’ve been making good progress dismantling the old roof and cleaning and preserving the timbers, it’s been a process of deconstruction rather than construction and has made the building look less finished rather than more. Now the roof is finally going on, it’s much easier to visualise it in its finished state.