So, the scale model is now finished and it looks very beautiful. This will now act as a plan to help when the carpenters construct the life-size version in Japan. There are a few lovely little details I noticed:
Stone piers: It is sat on top of little stones and I am guessing this is how it will be constructed because it is the same as our little barn. The bulk of the timber frame will stay dry because of the roof and wall cladding, but the bottom pieces are prone to rot if they are on damp ground. So it is traditional to raise the frame on little stone piers with a small piece of lead between the stone and frame. You can see those for our barn below, left. The stones came from the stream just below Robin's workshop and the lead was donated by our neighbour, the vicar, who had some left overs from last time they repaired the church roof:
Oak pegs: The model is held together with wooden pegs because that is what will hold together the final building. Each joint is carefully constructed so when the pegs are knocked through the holes they pull the joint together. The pegs have to be made from really dry wood so they will not shrink afterwards and a large number are needed so I imagine this will be a less-strenuous but slightly tedious task for the carpenters once they are on-site.
Joint numbers: Every joint is labelled with a series of symbols and you can see these too in the picture below of Hannes working on our little barn. If you can read them, the symbols will show exactly where in the barn each end of every timber goes. Buildings like this are not built gradually, instead all the pieces are cut and every joint tried and tested in isolation before finally the frame is constructed in one go. I think there are various different regional systems of doing this in Europe, and the Japanese one is different again, so it will be interesting to find out how they have chosen to do it!
There are more pictures of the final model in the photo album.