18th Dec 2015
James Knight, BarrJoinery Surveyor and Designer says: When the structural bones of a building are its most beautiful feature, why hide them?
With traditional building techniques (using steel frames and block work) structural elements are hidden from view under plasterboard or internal cladding. Timber framed buildings have stayed in vogue throughout the centuries, in one form or another, because beautiful workmanship and traditional joinery is aesthetically pleasing and therefore can remain exposed.
The most frequent timber framed commissions BarrJoinery receives are for large bespoke oak glazing panels and gable ends. The current architectural trend for constructing whole sections of buildings from timber framed glass produces amazing results; bringing the outside in and bathing the whole space in natural light.
James - Why do architects and project managers come to BarrJoinery for made to measure timber framed glazing solutions?
A large scale, machine driven joinery facility is unable to produce pieces with the originality demanded by the design specifications we receive. BarrJoinery work for individual customers who demand the highest quality joinery work and they receive a service not available elsewhere.
Adam Neil, Head Joiner - Do traditional joinery methods really make a difference to the finished piece?
Large-scale joinery production facilities produce items to set manufacturing styles and sizes but often do not have the capacity to deal with individual designs. Quick fix solutions such as excessive cover trims and gap fillers are useful tools but do not result in a beautiful, seamless end product. With made to measure joinery each piece of a timber frame structure is individually templated on site. Even a new build will vary incrementally from original design dimensions and by measuring and templating we can manufacture to match existing structures and to individual designs down to the very last detail. There are rigid standards here at BarrJoinery, but there is no one set way of doing things. The joinery techniques used are those most appropriate for each individual commission.
Tomasz Garniec, Workshop Supervisor - What is the process of producing bespoke oak framed glazing?
An initial site visit is made by a surveyor from the joinery team, alternativly close analysis of the design specification is carried out and a project plan is put in place - defining timelines, logistics and costs, as well as production and on-site planning. The specified timber is ordered and carefully checked (all timber is from sustainable sources wherever possible and sourced from local suppliers). Air dried oak is often specified due to its stability and durability, green oak is also popular and can be a more cost effective option.
A live site visit by multiple team members, where necessary, will be made once all of the building apertures are fixed. At this stage, exact final measurements can be taken and ply templates created. This process ensures that any variances from original plans are accounted for and that the resulting product will fit the apertures perfectly - whatever the size or complexity of the job. Traditional joining methods are employed, most often mortice and tenon joints, due to the versatility and durability they afford the frame, alongside dovetail and half laps. Frames are then dry fit and carefully marked for rebuild on site. Expert fitters ensure that every element of every frame is as it should be.
BarrJoinery see the oak frame glazing process through initial contact, specification, survey, templating, manufacture, glazing, fit and finish with the BarrJoinery project manager working closely with the architect and main build contractor where required. To take a look at some of our oak framed glazing panels click to Hester’s Cottage, The Old Stables and Nether Winchendon.