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  • Timber frame tools

    I want to try my hand at timber framing this winter but don’t want to break the bank on tools. Right now I’m looking for two items. A couple of spiral drill bits. Large ones. 1 1/4” and 1 1/2” diameter Long enough to go through 6-8” beams. Also one or two matching mortise chisels to match. If there is such a thing. Anyone know where I can source such a thing? New or used. What else would you consider a must have for timber framing. And where would you source it.
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  • #2

    Re: Timber frame tools

    Sorry. I meant to say auger bits. And I’m already discovering that maybe they don’t make mortise chisels that big.

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    • #3

      Re: Timber frame tools

      Are you looking for power drive augers or for the old style ones with the wooden cross bar to turn them by hand?

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      • #4

        Re: Timber frame tools

        http://dimar-canada.com/products.php?m=56&idp=119

        We sell alot of the Dimar bits to the Timberframe industry. Make sure you have a drill suitable for driving these bits.
        Mark
        www.masterfinishing.ca

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        • #5

          Re: Timber frame tools

          Originally posted by wbrent View Post
          I want to try my hand at timber framing this winter but don’t want to break the bank on tools. Right now I’m looking for two items. A couple of spiral drill bits. Large ones. 1 1/4” and 1 1/2” diameter Long enough to go through 6-8” beams. Also one or two matching mortise chisels to match. If there is such a thing. Anyone know where I can source such a thing? New or used. What else would you consider a must have for timber framing. And where would you source it.
          I'm a timber framer and am happy to offer some advice, and will be down your way in the spring if you want any pointers.

          These bits are fantastic: http://www.woodowl.com/PROD_ultrasmooth.htm

          I drilled the peg holes for three frames with one bit and it's still going strong.

          Are you looking for bits for roughing out mortises or for pegs?

          B
          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

          http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Timber frame tools

            Looking for bits to rough out mortises mostly. But I guess having some smaller ones for the pins would be good too.
            Would love to be able to try some in a hand brace but probably will resort to an electric drill.
            Im practicing by building a pair of timber frame saw horses found on line ,using 4x4’s and 4x6’s.
            Egon, smallerstick and timberframe like this.

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            • #7

              Re: Timber frame tools

              For the chisels a flattened leaf spring may work as starters. For the auger sizes you have listed a pretty hefty drill will be required and care taken so the drill does not turn you around or have the handle slip out of your hands.


              With the auger bits extension’s can be had or welded on. The vibrating tools work well for the cuts a mortise requires. And don’t dismiss hand saw’s to cut a tenon. Reciprocating saws may also work for mortices.
              With that said my experience with the larger joints is limited to saw horses or stands.
              Last edited by Egon; 11-11-2019, 09:50 AM.
              Egon
              from
              The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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              • #8

                Re: Timber frame tools

                Originally posted by wbrent View Post
                Looking for bits to rough out mortises mostly. But I guess having some smaller ones for the pins would be good too.
                Would love to be able to try some in a hand brace but probably will resort to an electric drill.
                Im practicing by building a pair of timber frame saw horses found on line ,using 4x4’s and 4x6’s.
                A lot of the hand saws I use in timberframing came from the giant flea market in Sussex. Properly sharpened, they work a treat! I have had mine sharpened by a guy in Rothesay who can sharpen anything. He can also look after any chisels you might want tuned up - Donnie Dow (Dow sharpening). Really nice guy.

                Depending on your mortise size, a 1.5" chisel and/or a 2" chisel can do everything you need. You could build a frame with one general purpose saw, one chisel, a few drill bits and a mallet.

                B
                Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Timber frame tools

                  Originally posted by Egon View Post
                  For the chisels a flattened leaf spring may work as starters. For the auger sizes you have listed a pretty hefty drill will be required and care taken so the drill does not turn you around or have the handle slip out of your hands.


                  With the auger bits extension’s can be had or welded on. The vibrating tools work well for the cuts a mortise requires. And don’t dismiss hand saw’s to cut a tenon. Reciprocating saws may also work for mortices.
                  With that said my experience with the larger joints is limited to saw horses or stands.
                  Egon gives good advice. Choosing a drill with a 90deg, secondary handle is a good idea.

                  I have also seen a lot of timberframers use forstner bits in hand drills for hogging out mortises. On paper that's considered a recipe for a broken wrist, but they seem to get away with it.

                  Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                  http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Timber frame tools

                    Thanks guys. Maybe I have everything I need except the big auger bit. I have a couple of chisels up to 2”. Lots of hand saws. Plenty of hand planes as well for detail work. I keep things well sharpened. But I have used Dow Sharpening many times. Great resource only 15 minutes from my house.

                    Brent, I’d love to take you up on a lesson next summer. Let me know when you come this way.
                    For now I’ll spend the winter milling up logs for a build of some sort.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Timber frame tools

                      Smaller bits will work well for mortices. Define the outline with some holes in the middle and then use a chisel to remove the wood. It will go much faster than you think.
                      Egon
                      from
                      The South Shore, Nova Scotia

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: Timber frame tools

                        Originally posted by timberframe View Post

                        Egon gives good advice. Choosing a drill with a 90deg, secondary handle is a good idea.

                        I have also seen a lot of timberframers use forstner bits in hand drills for hogging out mortises. On paper that's considered a recipe for a broken wrist, but they seem to get away with it.
                        Well Brent, having seen how well that chain mortiser works at roughing out mortises I would want one for any large timber frame project.
                        Erik

                        Canada's Island Paradise - Prince Edward Island

                        Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

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                        • #13

                          Re: Timber frame tools

                          Originally posted by ErikM View Post

                          Well Brent, having seen how well that chain mortiser works at roughing out mortises I would want one for any large timber frame project.
                          Biggest time saver of all the TF tools I think!

                          B
                          ErikM likes this.
                          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                          http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Timber frame tools

                            Originally posted by wbrent View Post
                            Thanks guys. Maybe I have everything I need except the big auger bit. I have a couple of chisels up to 2”. Lots of hand saws. Plenty of hand planes as well for detail work. I keep things well sharpened. But I have used Dow Sharpening many times. Great resource only 15 minutes from my house.

                            Brent, I’d love to take you up on a lesson next summer. Let me know when you come this way.
                            For now I’ll spend the winter milling up logs for a build of some sort.
                            When you mill your timbers, make sure to do them "box heart" with the pith in the centre. This will ensure grain runnout is minimized and that shrinkage cracks are distributed evenly.
                            Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                            http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Timber frame tools

                              Originally posted by timberframe View Post

                              When you mill your timbers, make sure to do them "box heart" with the pith in the centre. This will ensure grain runnout is minimized and that shrinkage cracks are distributed evenly.
                              I had always heard that boxed heart was inferior timber?

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