Of late, I have been playing with Sketchup, Google's 3D drawing thing. Not the perfect program, but a lot of fun for the money (free!).
One thing that has had me puzzled is the complexity of the roof in the barn - what goes where, how the load was spread - and what all those pieces do. Making a model in sketchup has actually helped me a lot with this. Not only have I looked properly at the photos, quite possibly for the first time, but it did allow me to work it out piece by piece.
Just wait till you try and master the terminology for the various bits of the charpente! I am finding it a fascinating but time consuming matter, especially when I look at older documents, because many of the terms seem to have shifted a bit in meaning. There is also the problem that if you try to construct a glossary, there may simply not be an English term that quite fits.
Anyway the main thing is to have a charpente to gaze at, marvel at, and better still sleep under – all for a price that would be stratospheric in the UK. Could one have blog just dedicated to roof structures? Perhaps it already exists.
Susan suggested that I should have written about the parts of the structure that interested me the most - but I had to tell her that I doubt if talking about "the angly bit that goes across" would be terribly illuminating for anyone.......
Watching the construction of a roof from beginning to end can be just as fascinating as using Sketchup. The activity can create an appreciation of the importance of each individual part in the stability of the whole structure.
Sketchup has come leaps and bounds since it was first developed, and I’ve found it to actually be quite a fun tool to use when conceptualizing designs. One of the first things I did after I had fully mastered it was to create different types of roof for a very boxy house that my father had been designing for a friend. I did flat roofs, metal roofs, shingles, decks...I just let my imagination run free, and Sketchup was a great outlet for it.
- Tisa See -
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