Three Gable Timber Frame Garden or Patio Covering Pavilion

Posts and First Beams

I shot time lapse for most of this build. The posts are cut to length then screwed to the saddles, plumbed, and held in place with temporary braces.

setting the pavilion posts in their galvanized saddles
Standing posts on saddles and bracing

The four 6×6 beams are laid on sawhorses while I check the spacing of the posts with a tape measure. I also double check that they are plumb before I lay out and cut the first beams.

double checking the post spacing with a tape measure
Checking all post dimensions before laying out and cutting any beams

The North/South set of beams have a 45 degree chamfer on each end and two opposing grooves. The upper groove is 2″ deep and the lower groove that sits on the post top is a half inch deep.

Animation of a Three Gable Timber Frame style Pavilion Gazebo Pergola
First two beams sit down on post tops

With the posts in their final position, I cut the North/South beams to length with a circular saw.
Next I lay out the upper 2″ groove and Connor makes a series of thin slices into the beam with a circular saw. These are then broken off with a hammer then the groove (or lap) is cleaned up with a chisel.

cutting beams on saw horses
Cutting grooves in first beams

I lay out and cut the shallower groove on the opposite side of the beam in the same fashion as the first grooves.
These four grooves are then cut into the other beam.
The chamfers in the ends of the beams are cut with a circular saw set at a 45 degree angle. A large square is used as a guide.

Placing First Beam

beam sits down on post by 1 inch
The first beam falls into place on the second try

The first beam was lifted into place but the groove on my end was too tight, so we brought it back down and trimmed it a bit.
And we tried it again and this time it fit. A few screws will hold the beam in place for now.

lifting a beam of the Three Gable Timber Frame style Pavilion into place
The second beam lifted into position

The chamfers are cut on the ends of the next beam and it’s lifted into place.
The East/West beams have 2″ deep laps that are open on the West end. On the other end, grooves will fit tightly over the North/South beams.

Animation of a Three Gable Timber Frame style Pavilion Gazebo Pergola
Crossing beams

Countersunk holes are drilled in so a long lag bolt can secure the four beams to the posts.
Measurements are double checked, then these beams are laid out. They are cut to length and the grooves cut as before.
The East ends are chamfered in the same manner as the other beams.

Place East/West Beams

positioning the first beam
Sliding the third beam into place

The first beam is brought up and laid over the two North/South beams. Then it’s slid over and into place.
My end didn’t fit so we lifted it back out. I grabbed a taller ladder and circular saw and opened the groove up a bit. Then this beam fell in nicely.

Setting a beam in place
This beam fell into place after making a small cut to open the groove up a bit

We lifted the last beam and laid it across the frame then slid it over and dropped it into place.

end of first raising day of the Three Gable Timber Frame style Pavilion project
High five!! First four beams in place

And that’s the end of a very satisfying day.

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