Wednesday, December 23, 2009

French Connection 7

Work continues on my two current joinery projects, and more posts will be forthcoming shortly.

Today I wanted to share with readers a couple of interesting French carpentry videos I came across recently.

This first is a pleasant audio visual experience featuring a CAD depiction of a clocher, or spire, which had suffered distortion as a result of settling at a foundation point. Some of these spires - a minority - were actually made purposely with twist, while others twisted by accident. Carpentry lesson: by fussy about the foundation details! These distorted spires look so wonderful!

Here's the link:

The next one is a bit longer and narrated in French, and concerns the layout of a delightful form of under-eave cantilevering that the French employed in 19th century carpentry. This type of layout is covered in the Mazerolle book, but in only in relation to balconies - here the layout is for the roof support for a lucarne, or dormer. An interesting video to watch, and I link it as it shows quite well what can be accomplished by the study of layout in carpentry, and gives a view to some aspects of the French method, featuring full-scale layout on the lofting floor. The video begins with a visual survey at a past compagnon masterpiece with a double geometrical staircase inside another form of spire:

Happy viewing!


  1. Your post brought back memories (I was there in the seventies) about the chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Marché in Jodoigne that was twisted by design.

    The french wikipedia article lists many twisted towers and also refers to weight problems. (maybe more readable with google translate)

  2. That was fascinating. It's just amazing what people can do with SketchUp. Thanks for the link.

  3. @Damien,

    thanks for the link! I had no idea there were so many twisted spires out there, and that there were examples from outside of France. I hope to write more on these twisted spires in the future - and at least explore the geometry issues with a scale model.

    @Charlie (Woodjoint),

    glad you enjoyed the links, though I don't believe that first one employed SketchUp to produce those animated effects, but some other 3D CAD software, along with various specialized sound effect generation programmes. I've watched that half a dozen times now!



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