Installing lintels above windows

by ziggy on August 8, 2008 -- 0 comments -- Follow

The past week has been extremely productive, thanks to some help from Apple and a few other folks from Sandhill Farm. The cob walls are nearing 85% complete, I’d say. But before I finish them, there are other things to take care of, too. Namely, I need to install lintels above my windows and doorway, and start preparing for the roof.

Lintels are lengths of material (usually, slab wood, pole wood, milled lumber, bamboo, etc.) used to span window frames in natural buildings. They help to bear and spread the weight of the material (cob, in my case) above windows and doorways. Depending on the material, they can be pretty decorative, too.

I cut some osage orange wood for my smaller window lintels, leaving the bark intact for a more ‘raw’ look. I’m pretty happy with the effect.

For my large south-facing window (see top photo), I chose to use some pole wood that I got from Skyhouse. I wanted something straight and easy to work with, but also round, so these fit the bill. These lintels are shorter than is ideal (they only overhang the window by six inches on both sides), but hopefully they will still get the job done.

I am just now starting to think about how the rafters of my reciprocal roof will be placed on the walls, so these next few days will be heavier on the “thinking work” side of things…

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