EDDL 5101                       Assignment #1                          Summary (MN)

TIMBER FRAME CONSTRUCTION for Carpenter Apprentices

By comparison to what we are currently doing in the face-to-face classroom, using the web resources would significantly increase the breadth and the depth of the course. It would also have the added benefit of showing the apprentices the usefulness of the web when it comes to thoroughly understanding an area of interest. There would of course be some need to instruct them in the specifics of focussing their search and in the evaluation of the website.

I chose to organize my findings in the same order that I would introduce the material in class. Definition of terms, types of materials, the hand tools, and the power tools were first examined using Wikipedia. I was very impressed by how much the site has grown, both intensively and extensively, when it comes to the trade. I had rejected it a few years ago because of the many errors that I had found on several trade-related topics.

Next, we would look at Canadian and U.S. wood councils to expand the findings to organizations that have direct input into the formation of the wording of the Building Codes. Both sites have an abundance of information, photographs, diagrams, and detailed AutoCAD drawings. This is the type of information that the apprentices would get in the blueprints or construction drawings.

After seeing what has to be done, then we would examine the procedures and processes that would guide us on the journey. The books, one of which is available in pdf format, have all of the required steps that the apprentice needs to take to produce the joints that are found on the plans.

We would then take a look at the You Tube and company videos that have been filmed by both amateurs and professionals. There are great takes on the production of the joinery using hand tools, portable power tools, and stationary power tools. The actual times are reduced so the videos are easy to view.

The last part would have us look to the future trends in the industry. Timber Frame Construction in North America was revived by carpenters who wanted to retrieve the lost art that produced the many barns and churches that we have on this continent. Taking the construction to the next level and looking at what the next generation of large open-spaced buildings would be built (and are already being built) has us taking in the views of recent large wood structures that are using engineered wood products such as Parallam® and Cross-Laminated Timbers (CLTs) and other structures that combine wood with steel and concrete.

This assignment was an excellent exercise in demonstrating the power of the internet as a teaching tool and as a delivery mode. It would take some work, but I can see how the theoretical portion of the course could be structured so that it could be delivered remotely.


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