They wanted to get involved. Working outdoors in the fresh air, with age-old hand tools and techniques such as plumb-bob scribing, is a richly rewarding experience … all culminating in the day of the barn raising. More and more people became involved and several carpentry courses were incorporated into the program. Complete beginners, and people of all shapes and sizes, found their place in the team and often surprised themselves as they discovered how easy it is to pick up these “village carpentry” skills. The fact that people want to volunteer demonstrates how much the skilled use of hand tools is a boost to our physical and mental well-being.
Barn Club, an off-shoot of Building Projects, is as much a social enterprise as a timber framing service. If you have a new barn in mind and want to get involved in the whole process, extending the experience to your family, friends and beyond, then Barn Club might be the way forward.
A beautifully illustrated book, following the story of Robert’s second elm barn, from the trees in the woods to the hand-raising of the completed frame, will be available from March 2021 – “Barn Club: a tale of forgotten elm trees, traditional craft and community spirit”. It is published by Chelsea Green UK Ltd. and can be ordered from good local bookshops, such as David’s Bookshop in Letchworth, and on line:
A further carpentry handbook, packed with diagrams and describing all the traditional joints and laying-up techniques in detail, will be available from 2022 – “The Elm Barn Carpentry Handbook”. For information go to: www.elmbarncarpentryhandbook.co.uk