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Friday 25th July, 2014

Old Tools for New Tricks

We have recently returned from a week working away in the heart of the cotswolds. Our brief was to construct and install a substantial outdoor terrace at a popular wedding venue. 

This particular venue is one that we have worked on before, with us having installed an open plan Oak structure adjacent to their main barn several years ago.

Measuring roughly eleven metres by five metres, the terrace is constructed of green Oak and ties in with the vernacular style of the surrounding handrails and benches. Its primary function is to enable Cripps Barn the ability to offer an increased external space for wedding parties / functions to socialise and mingle.

One of the main problems faced when laying decking is ensuring an even gap between each run. This even gap was of particular importance in this terrace given the types of heeled footwear that were likely to frequent the terrace! A decision was made on site to limit the gap to 6mm and not to chamfer the edges of the board. A female employee of Cripps Barn tested this with her own heeled shoes to ensure the terrace was fit for function.

This problem of narrowly heeled shoes and timber decking gaps does not appear to be a recent one, as Joel brought with him what appeared to be a pair of medieval torture devices. Upon closer inspection and with a little tutelage from Joel we soon learned that they were a pair of old Woden Floorboard cramps. They proved to be a great success in helping us maintain a consistent 6mm gap between the decking. 



As can be seen from the images the cramp is locked onto the wooden member (in this case joist) that supports the decking. the locking mechanism is an asymmetric toothed cam that opposes the lateral force required to straighten the decking. Once locked into place the user can then operate the handle, which via the cogged wheels operates a threaded shaft that pushes a plate into the floorboard and thus into position.



Designed and manufactured here in Great Britain during the middle part of the 20th century, these cramps appear to be as relevant and effective today as they were when first made - they certainly aided us in accurately installing over 55m2 of Oak decking.

For more details of Cripps Barn and all of the facilities it has to offer please visit here

Images of the completed terrace can be found here

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