Going Slowly - Russian houses & Timber frames

Started by John Raabe, April 09, 2013, 10:17:00 AM

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John Raabe

I found this interesting set of photos from Russia.

From the same website goingslowly.com I found this workshop on a type of timber framing I had not heard of - Grindbygg frame. Interesting structures built for heavy Norwegian winters.

None of us are as smart as all of us.


Wow.  Look at those slate panels.

The picture also has one of my favorite Russian architecture pieces, the onion dome.


That shop confirms what I was thinking of doing on my woodshed.  I'd planted the log uprights and put a roof on them (temp roof that is) and planned to notch out the posts and slot in beams between them which I would then nail siding to (probably have to frame some structure to nail to)...nothing fancy just something to keep the rain off the firewood.


I've admired parts of the Viking method of shed building, This is a drawing I had lifted from another website. a google of grindverk should turn up some more hits. The method forms a good tie and the post tops restrain thrust

My understanding of the church in the background of John's first pic. The tent roofed wing was the town building, the domed wing was the church. The czar, the state, was an instrument of god so there was no seperation of those two functions. Interesting that here the Moravian settlerment of old Salem was the religious community and the secular duties took place outside, in what later became Winston, the furthest seperation of church and state.

I enjoy russian carpentry and trimwork, thanks for the links John. It speaks of long winters by the fire  :).

trenagle, trunnel, treenail

John Raabe

Thanks for the suggestion Don,

Here are some other images

Always interesting to see what can be done with just wood. When iron was scarce and hand forged, wooden pegs did the work we now do with bolts and spikes.
None of us are as smart as all of us.


Do you think those large roof rocks are slate?  They look more like shale, but I have never seen shale for roofing.


Where along that line does shale become slate? I've been wondering where along that line they get to call it shale and not clay... this last batch of shale on the driveway was noveau shale I'm thinking, it's already turning back to slippery mud. A little deeper into that pit and it is nice hard blue stuff. I think with a bit more pressure and heat and it would become slate.

I had an interesting conversation this week with a Ukranian friend while we were having lunch. She remarked how similar the topography was to the farm she grew up on, they have a couple of white birches in the front yard and she pointed to those and said, "except that is more what our forest looked like."
I quizzed Svetlana about what I thought I knew about their churches, what I mentioned above. She replied that I knew more about that than she. She grew up in Soviet times and there were party guards posted at the entrances to the churches. The old people were allowed in but children were not. They were trying to break the hold of what Marx had told them was "the opiate of the people". She remembered her and her brother being smuggled into church in a remote village pressed in among the coats of adults to attend a wedding. We are blessed.

I do enjoy putting on my Barry White voice and teasing Svetlana, what a beautiful name to hide with just a shortened Lana


If I remember from Geology 101, slate is metamorphosed shale, i.e. squeezed and/or cooked over time. That first pic's roof looks like slate. Shale would be too soft and crumbly. It looks like the roofs you see a lot on some old colonial houses north of Boston, just not as finely cut and crafted.


We had some very colorful indian "slate" come in for flooring on one job. I would have called it shale. I'm not sure where the point is. That actually looks like fine slate on the roof in the pic.

Go back up to John's first pic with the log house with nice window trim. Look at the log end cover, I've seen that in pics a number of times. The log ends are where water wicks in and decay often begins. They protect them.

One trick, and I've seen it on some dutch barns, an extension of the thinking of the Nordic framing. If the rafter is balanced over the post, the thrust is cancelled.