Monastery Timber Frame, Day 8-9
Timber framing is a process that demands careful attention. A successful build requires heeding both the complex and the commonplace. Everyone recognizes the necessity to get a particularly critical aspect right, but the simple elements disarm all but the most vigilant of minds. Perhaps this sort of attention to detail is what separates the craftsman from the novice. Even the novice knows to pause before committing to cut along the lines of a tricky joint. It's easy to see how a crucial element fits within the wider context and rightfully recheck the marks before committing a blade to them. Major watershed moments naturally call attention to themselves. Often marring a simple task winds up frustrating a novice more than a crucial one. A series of simple oversights compounding together creates a problem without an obvious answer. On their own each of those oversights are well within tolerance, but taken together result in failure.
Thinking in terms of margin of error, each slight blunder restricts the breathing room a bit more until the noose is firmly set. For example, let's say that I cut right alongside the line for a mortise box, but considering the context I ought to have cut along the outside of the line, leaving one a paint whisper, or "ghost" of a mark. If I cut out a mortise, leaving only ghost lines that helps ensure a good, first fit with the tenon. I would also want to straddle the tenon's line to further help the fitting process.
Standing in contrast to the novice, the craftsman recognizes the need to execute the simple processes with the same diligence given to the complex. Over the next few posts I aim to highlight several of those simple processes that help ensure a timber frame project succeeds.