This is one of the four trusses we have been hewing the tie beams for. It is 35 feet wide, and I can't get a good photo inside the shop. I'll get some good photos when we go to site.
All of the sticks are sawn except the ties. Our bandmill will saw logs up to 24 feet, so we chose to hew the four tie beams. I have seen this before in historical buildings.
The roof of the Commissary building of the cotton mill in Graniteville, South Carolina was framed in the 1840's with kingpost trusses of a similar design. All of the heart pine sticks in those 13 trusses were water sawn except the 40-foot tie beams, which were hewn. I bet their mill couldn't handle that length either.
The Snap (sometimes called the French Snap) is an old framer's shortcut. The trick is to saw one of your tenon shoulders, roll the stick twice, and saw the end cut down to the same depth as the shoulder cut you just made. Then strike the waste firmly with a heavy mallet or the poll of your axe and it will split the grain along the cheek of the tenon. This saves you from sawing half of the end cut and splitting one tenon cheek. Oh, Snap!
A video of this weeks hewing...
This is extremely satisfying work, but also extremely taxing on the body. I think everyone is glad to have a few days to recoup before we tackle the next two, which we will hopefully get from the logger next week.