Constructing a 7th century timber church: part four

I approached the construction of the walls from the design described by Ó’Carragáin. This involved a bottom wooden sill which contained square posts where the staves would be attached. This is a popular method for older buildings and the same method which is used in the Haltden stave church.

The top and bottom wooden sills can be seen in the photo
The top and bottom wooden sills can be seen in the photo
Sketch of sill palisade
Sketch of sill palisade remains

To do this I measured out the bottom sill and mirrored it for the top sill. The square posts were instances of each other to save on the polygon count as each did not need to be unique. I added this to the base and top of the sill by boolean methods so they were placed in the sill rather than sitting on top. I then measured out the stave planks and placed them in front of this structure.

Starting square post construction
Starting square post construction
leftwall
vertical and horizontal square posts with staves and top and bottom sill planks

I made a mistake here which would cost me time later. On every wall the stave arrays I used did not have chafmered edges. This meant the staves had a rather sharp appearance. Since I later made each plank unique I would have to go back to each stave select the edges and chamfer them. This could have been avoided if I chamfered the edges and created the array from this form of stave before starting the deformation with the paint tool.

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Deformed Walls

I deformed each stave individually by pushing and pulling as mentioned in a previous blog post. This was to create the more natural geometry of wood. I used very low strength and pull/push values as I only wanted the distortion to be slight. I often pulled the side of some staves to give the impression of bloated aged wood. I mirrored the right wall as a copy for the opposite side of the church. The back and front wall needed to modified when copied as the sizing was different. I used boolean subtract operators when a stave needed to be cut around an object like the door of one of the earth-fast pillars. Cutting around the door proved difficult at first since use the door frame to subtract from the staves gave some weird results I could not explain. To counteract this I made a chamfer box the same size and curvature as the door. This allowed me to then cut the staves as I wished.

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Staves cut around Door Frame

Often planning the measurements and knowing the right amount of staves spacing or the amount of square posts was hard to judge. I often used the measurement tool to divide the space to help me in this process. I was also aware to not make the measurements perfect as can be seen on Haltden there is not prefect symmetry or measurements.

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