Kevin McCloud’s Shed, Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home, Dovetail joint notes for the self builders

one man and his shed - dovetail joint
These joints are self-locking.

There are two wonderful dovetail joints on tie beams between the back wall and the swept beams. Along with two other horizontal ties they hold the back wall against the spreading/downward load of the roof. These joints will be self-locking on a green oak frame if the tie beam itself is cut from seasoned oak. You can see me here cutting a quarter way into the swept beam. It is a very satisfying joint to cut and this one was so snug that the two halves had to be wound together using a sash cramp. I cut these joints with a normal panel saw and a mortise chisel.

one man and his shed - joints
me cutting a dovetail joint
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2 thoughts on “Kevin McCloud’s Shed, Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home, Dovetail joint notes for the self builders

  1. Like Kevin Mccloud, I have built my cabin in the bit of woodland in my garden under the exemptions to planning control allowed to householders. However, after working in town planning since the 70s in both the public and private sectors, I’d be interested to read the bit of paper from the local authority in whose area that cabin is built which says it doesn’t require planning permission or a building standards application and the reasons they give. I have a farming client who for years has struggled unsuccessfully to get another permission for a two bed cottage on his very substantial holding to house a family member who works full time on the farm.
    Kevin’s building is clearly permanent despite its buried wheels. He’s not planning to move it,is he? He couldn’t move it without substantial work. Any external works are also engineering operations covered by the definition of development requiring permission in law. You could argue some are de minimus if part of a larger development which is legally established.
    I’d like to know because I’m thinking of quoting such a nationally famous and public example example on behalf of a client in a case.

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