Scissor trusses for Kansas

Ahh, timber framing.

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After months of building tables there is finally occasion to play with the big tools again. Together with fellow timber framer Dave Furcht I cut an entry frame for a commercial building. It was designed by Peter Henrikson of Grand Marais, MN and he and Dave will raise it in Kansas later this February.


It starts – like every project- with several big stacks of timber.



The space is part of two huge former railroad maintenance buildings in Proctor, MN. Not much for natural light, but with heat- essential in January.


First, they need to be planed to size, squared, and any bow gets taken out.

Mafell MKS 185

Sometimes the big saw is the fastest most accurate way to remove the surplus.

That takes care of week one.


On the freshly surfaced timbers one can make a precise layout.

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This cut is for the crossing scissor cords.


When one is done it looks like this.


Assembled they look like this.


Add a nicely chamfered king post…

scissor truss test fit timber frame

…and some rafters, and there’s your truss. Spanning 16 feet.

This is the only assembly we made in our shop. Mostly for peace of mind! We did not squeeze the joinery all the way together, because the trusses got shipped in parts, and we did not want to break anything trying to disassemble.


Repeat the process.


Here’s Dave working on a post.


There are not that many braces in this frame.



The top plates are the biggest timbers in the frame and joined with a scarf:


Chamfers dress up a frame more than any finish can.


And a little detail of a chamfer stop makes it splendid, elevating the work from power tooled to hand crafted.


One of five ridge pieces, this one measures 8″ wide by 15″ tall.


One of fourteen rafters. 18 feet long and 6″ by 10″.


When it is all loaded up on the truck it does not look like much.

Good luck in Kansas, Dave and Peter.

A couple of weeks later:


True to their word: Peter Henrikson on the left and Dave Furcht on the right.

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Kansas is richer by one beautiful timber frame.





One response to “Scissor trusses for Kansas”

  1. jesse says:

    Lovely work,
    One question: The finished scissor truss has a huge over hang, but I don’t see that in your test mock up. How was the overhang added for the end result?

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