This is the second part of my explanation of how to make houses for ECW gaming.
This next shot shows two things – first, the floor plate at the base of the upper storey. This rests on the joists under the jetty and ties the upper floor in. I’ve found the best way is to add the joists over-length, glue the floor plate in (in this case it’s a coffee stirrer), then cut the joists flush with a chisel.
I’ve also added the basis of the window frames, matchsticks cut to length and glued in place.
Now start framing. There are some good books out there on vernacular architecture that can guide you, and if you live near any historic towns or cities, an afternoon out can give you the impression of how it was really done. There are a couple of things to remember.
First, the timbers used in these buildings were cut directly from tree trunks / limbs, often on site. At best they might be cut with a pit saw. The beams therefore are often NOT straight, but were worked by the carpenters to fit the building. Look closely and the marks of sweeps and adzes can be found quite easily.
Second, the wood was often worked and used green, since it’s vastly easier to work something like oak when it’s green rather than when it’s seasoned. A consequence of this is that the buildings move, often quite a lot. A gap you can put your thumb in is nothing, and being able to cram a couple of fingers between timbers is not at all unusual.
So, if your timber work is a bit rough and doesn’t fit perfectly – you’ve got it right! Here are the two gable ends, for interest.