Medieval timber framed buildings were massive, beautifully built and many are still standing to this day. All this was achieved using very simple tools and machinery ... and without the sort of standard measuring systems we have today. How? ... well, daisy wheel geometry is believed to be the way in which it was done.
Hannes and Markus spent the weekend working out their geometry, drawing up the plans for the pavilion to be built in Japan. Whilst chatting about this to Hannes on Skype he showed me how you can share your screen with the person you are talking to, which I am afraid I didn't know about ... yes, he's a traditional carpenter and I'm a multimedia designer! Even better, he then revealed this was how he had learned to do daisy wheel geometry. During their first big Kesurokai meeting, UK expert Cormac Seekings explained how it worked via Skype, a laptop computer and a data projector. A fantastic meeting of medieval and modern technologies!
I will ask Cormac for a similar lesson, but the background is that Laurie Smith has studied and measured many hundreds of timber framed buildings and found they conform to a layout that was probably constructed geometrically. On many geometrical symbols can be seen scribed or carved into the timbers which reinforces the theory. So originally many buildings would have been laid out on site with a divider to scribe out reference circles for the layout along with a plumb-bob and chalk line.
Nowadays, plans are made in advance on paper, then a scale model constructed to check accuracy. For Kesurokai this is essential because a cutting list of the timber needed must be sent in advance to Japan so everything is ready when we get there in August. Here is part of the nearly-completed plan:
They are currently working on the model and will send me pictures when it is done.
Finally here is a video of French master carpenter Jean-Louis Velentin talking about roof geometry... I am not normally a fan of 'talking head' videos, but he talks with such passion it is quite compelling (or maybe I am just easily seduced by a French accent!)