IMG_4049It is rare but not unheard of for timber framers to make mistakes. As it turned out, for Collin Beggs’ massive Oregon barn project, mistakes were made. In the thousands of cuts needed for this project, a few were off, which was not discovered until the crew was laying out the timbers for the raising, 500 miles from Collin’s shop. So Collin had to try to find some last-minute beams — not the kind of thing one can just buy at Home Depot, mind you. He was worried and busy for several hours, until, magically, out of the sunset a Harley-Davidson appeared, ridden by a man named Raymond. Raymond was a neighbor, a carpenter-machinist-hobbyist, who lived just down the road from the site of the raising, and he wanted to see this big barn everyone had been raving about.

As it turned out, Raymond had wood and his own private sawmill. Collin purchased four timbers from him, cut to strict specifications, and the next day the crew got to work carving the joinery into them.

A few days later, the crew found another miscut timber, eight inches by twelve inches by sixteen feet. They contacted Raymond. Raymond happened to be at home, and as the crew finished dinner, Raymond bounced up the driveway with a large block of wood sticking out the back of his pickup truck. It was still wet from milling.

The time was five minutes until 8 p.m., and by 9:19 the timber had been set up next to a floater plane in the hanger and re-done by the crew, nonwithstanding the frequent breaker blow-outs due to the overage of power tools and floodlights.