I saw an episode this week of the new This Old House season. They are
building a timber frame house that looks like a barn. The folks who are
making up the timberframe have some big machinery available to them. They
used to do it all by hand in the "dark ages" as they referred to it.
They took a big beam, 16 X 10?, and made all the cuts on it with this
monsterous CNC machine in twenty minutes. It used to take a skilled
craftsman 8 hours to do the same thing. It still has some problems with
some cuts though. So they cut it a little undersize. And the skilled Neander
guy cleans it up and makes it look nice. But that just takes a few minutes
300 timbers and 600 joints in this project. I can see how a little
technology can make this job go a whole lot faster.
Any way, the size of this timber frame jointing machine was a little mind
boggling to me. That sucker was BIG! Reminds me of that yankee workshop
episode when the had the big lathe that would turn tree stumps of several
tons. By comparison, our home workshop tools look like miniatures.