News: Top 5 Tools for building an Oak Structure
Building an oak structure takes a lot of know-how, precaution, and understanding, which can sometimes be overwhelming. This is intensified when our clients download our oak timber structures information booklet, boasting over 40 pages of information. Subsequently, you may expect a professional carpenter is necessary to assemble our structures, yet, you’d be surprised by their ease of assembly with the correct tools and knowledge.
Firstly, our kit-form structures have all the jointing and carpentry work done, complete with a parts identification drawing to show where all the pieces go. This means that a general builder is all you need to put the structure together; they can also examine the foundations and confirm they’re up to a standard that can support the oak structure.
Whether you’re putting it together with a few extra hands or you’re a builder yourself, our top 5 tools below will help you breeze through any structure projects you've got in the pipeline.
- Genie Lifts: Genie lifts, also known as material lifts or gantry cranes, are versatile and powerful equipment that can be extremely useful when assembling oak structures. These lifts can be easily maneuvered and positioned, allowing for precise lifting and placement of heavy oak components, such as beams or trusses. Genie lifts are especially beneficial when working with large oak structures or when assembling components at elevated heights, where manual lifting may be impractical or unsafe. Additionally, Genie lifts can be hired short term which are perfect for a one-off build.
- T-Bars: T-bars or framing pins are a very useful tool for aligning and securing joints in oak structures. These bars have a T-shaped design with a long handle and a crossbar at the top, which allows for easy positioning and clamping of joints. Before pegging together, these pins will temporarily hold joints together while assembling the pieces together, ensuring a precise fit and preventing any movement. They are particularly useful in the early stages of the build where mistakes can be corrected as once you’ve added dowels to the structure they can be too tight to remove and they’d need to be drilled out if you needed to take the pieces apart.
Hand Sander: A hand sander is nothing particularly new or special but even with the greatest care during assembly, scuffs and marks on your structure can be easily done especially on external structures, the sander will make light works of rough spots, splinters, or uneven areas on oak components, ensuring a smooth and even finish. A hand sander will smooth down any joints where required. You can sand down dowels/pegs if dowel holes have become too tight. Versatile, a hand sander can also be used to prepare oak surfaces for staining or painting, resulting in a professional-looking outcome.
- Oxalic Acid Crystals: Whilst not actually a tool, oxalic acid crystals are almost essential to any oak structure. It is a type of wood cleaner that can be used to remove metal stains or discoloration from oak surfaces.
Black stains are a reaction between the tannins in the oak and ferrous metals. It’s important when fixing the oak that stainless steel fixings are used, other fixings will be corroded by the aforementioned tannins. Oxalic acid crystals are especially useful for restoring the natural beauty of oak structures and ensuring that they look their best after assembly.
Spacer sticks/strips: Spacer strips are quite simple in concept yet have a critical role. As previously mentioned our structures are kit form which means they will be supplied in a compact kit which comes pre-sticked/stripped. These thin timber strips are essential for allowing airflow between the pieces of oak allowing them to dry evenly minimizing distortion, its important to keep these and use them where possible, especially if the structure is being stored for any length of time.