Current Project – Poolside Pavilion

Late Winter – Early Spring,  2022


My current project is a pavilion that adjoins, collides with, and partially straddles a conventionally framed building adjacent to an in-ground swimming pool.  The pavilion framework features king-post trusses supporting common purlins, framed in rough-sawn Douglas-fir timber.  

I’ve chosen to approach the layout of this framework with a more non-abstract traditional system known as “scribe rule”. This rule (method) was widely used in Europe from at least the Middle Ages onward well into the 19th century. And, it still remains the predominant method there yet. 

It really is a bit of a conundrum… As I age, the timber seems to get heavier?! So, the reasonable approach would be to continue with the use of the more abstract square rule layout that allows for minimal moving of timber and that has served me so well and has been my mainstay for some 20+ years.  However, in lockstep with my aging and weakening body, my mind is also becoming more decrepit, so the opportunities to make devastating mistakes are (hopefully) minimized by the far less abstract scribe rule system.

You’ll notice in some of the photos a stick that has a plumb-bob hanging from one end. I’m using this plumb-line, a “plummet”, as a visible geometrical reference to transfer the shape and size of one timber to another, at full scale. This allows me the opportunity to accommodate timber that may be milled out-of-square and of varying dimensions (all 8″x8″ rough-sawn timbers are not exactly 8″x8″). This system/rule requires full scale lay-up and it is imperative that all the timber be dead-level in all parallel horizontal planes before one timber is scribed to another. It’s a lot of putzing and fussing, but it’s as close to fool-proof as I can get.

This framework is only a portion of a much larger project in collaboration with Payne & Payne Renovations and Design of Chardon, Ohio.