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The MA thread - AKA Everyday Fan Vault Construction for Beginners.

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sploo

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I am also happy to report that the first plaster model can now easily support a point load consisting of a bucket of screws, an 18" tenon saw and a pair of pliers stacked on top of each other.
I vote that this new test weight measurement be made official, and called an "Adam" 😁
 

Adam W.

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Dobbin gets some more work. This time it's making the seam for the split mould.

I'm not sure what the plan is, but we're getting ready to mount the silicone studs which hold the jacket in place. Then it'll have to wait until after christmas for the rest.

IMG_4886.JPG


A articulated baffle is made to fit the curvature of the profile and attached with fast setting silicone.

It goes along the length of the model and locates the seam, which I guess is then removed before the silicone mould is cut in two.

IMG_4895.JPG


More fan vault stuff coming soon.
 
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foxbat

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'Articulated baffle' is my new favourite phrase! Keep the updates coming Adam this is wonderful stuff
 

Adam W.

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Here's some of the models that I've been making over the last couple of weeks...................


A Frei Otto bubble model to get me into the swing of soap modelling. This is covered earlier in the thread and I hope to make a soap model of the vault to depict its minimal surface.

This will probably not be the same as the actual surface of the vault, but it's interesting to see what happens.

IMG_4898.JPG


A Gaussian pseudosphere with a constant negative curvature.



IMG_4903.JPG



Some gluelam.



FullSizeRender.jpg




To make a full sized model of the vault which I've just started on. This is to investigate the transverse rib which dips below the flat plane of the spandrel.

I wanted to see if there would be any problems making the spandrel due to the change in levels of the rib, but I don't think there will be. It's also nice to see what the vault is going to look like in 3D.

I started on this one this afternoon and I hope to be finished for my assessment on Tuesday. I've also got the Worshipful Company of Carpenters coming for a look see on Tuesday, so it needs to be presentable.

It looks like it's going to be a nice managable size and not too delicate.


IMG_4899.JPG



A peek into the new studio.



IMG_4909.JPG
 
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Adam W.

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I guess I'd better explain what is going on, but I'm finding it to be a little above my pay grade to be honest.

I've made the pseudosphere because the vault contains a lot of hyperbolic geometry. The fans are segments of pseudospheres and not cones. But I'm not sure if they can be both conoids and hyperboloids at the same time and is a pseudosphere a ruled surface like a cone?

As for the vault being a depiction of the heavens, which I think it is. Were they using hyperbolic geometry in the vault as a way of depicting space as curved like a hyperbola and not spherical, and did they knew more about this stuff than we give them credit for?

Answers to these questions would be appreciated.

I'll get to the sacred geometry bit and the story of a king and his attempts to depict himself as divine ( which is also locked up in the design) later on.

It's more than just a nice frilly ceiling.
 

Cooper

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Sorry to be so dim but are the laminates supports for your carving, will they be carved or is this a model to establish what shapes the pieces of carved structure will be?
Cheers
Martin
 

Adam W.

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It's just a model to gauge the scale and to see if there will be any issues with the rib that goes across the vault ducking below the surface of the flat ceiling.

It's also a box ticking exercise to pass the first part of the MA, as I have to show that I've done sufficient research before I start carving. I have to show this..............





  1. Systematic knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the specific historical, contemporary and social contexts related to your carving project;
  2. effective and considered approach to documenting and presenting your research findings and carving project proposal;
  3. research skills effectively employed to support the planning of an original body of work;
  4. analysis, evaluation and critical reflection employed to inform independent decision-making in support of your carving project;
  5. sustained and effective employment of visual analysis, interpretation and design skills to support the production a complex carving project.


Assessment Requirements
Assessment is based on work produced during the unit including developmental, practical and contextual research material and work in progress. You should submit work produced during the unit to include:



  • Drawings and plans
  • 3-dimensional models, maquettes and/or test pieces
  • work in progress
  • your Personal Development Archive
 
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Cooper

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It's also a box ticking exercise to pass the first part of the MA, as I have to show that I've done sufficient research before I start carving. I have to show this..............
You read my mind!! I just posted this about Billy the one who doesn't show plans on the wood work show. I wonder if you are one of those?!!
(I find the idea of working without plans difficult but I came across exam entries, when I was a GCSE moderator (a long time ago), where there were the sketchiest drawings in the folio but the final outcome obviously showed real style and flair. I remember teacher's really distressed that their star designer and maker hadn't hit all the boxes in the mark scheme. Where I could see that they could sketch and had powerful imaginations l always credited them with good marks, as the research and development were implicit in the final outcome. I never wanted to thwart the prospects of a talented student because they were too impatient to slog through the exam's tedious methodology. Perhaps Billy is one of those? He isn't a sculptor though.)
 

Adam W.

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There's a big plan on the back wall and you've seen the other stuff too, but no, I don't really do paper planning and just like to dive in and see what occours as it goes along.

This time I think I've planned it to death, but maybe not as there are no dimensioned drawings, just a stick with some marks on it.

This one's a bit complicated though.
 
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Adam W.

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Selenes' horse gets another layer of silicone and some keys in preparation for the jacket, which is the final part of the mould making before the casting.

I've been lucky having the casting technician spend four full days with me making the mould. Normally she's in high demand.


IMG_4917.JPG






IMG_4918.JPG
 

Cooper

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Its interesting how you are separating the two halves. When I did pottery in college, a million years ago, when we cast a two or three part mould we embedded the pattern in clay and worked up to that. How did you ensure a good seal with the head and the plastic?
It's also a box ticking exercise to pass the first part of the MA, as I have to show that I've done sufficient research before I start carving. I have to show this..............
I trust your tutors were appropriately impressed by your research.
Martin
 

Adam W.

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The baffle was just cut to fit with scissors and any gaps were taken up with the fast setting silicone. I'm not sure what goes on from this point, but I'll keep you updated.

As for the assessment, it went OK and there weren't any difficult questions at the end. They were well aware of my ability to be a nerd, so they were quite happy with the level of the research. Apparently there's a mark limit of 87% that they can give for an MA before the authentication board start to get twitchy and call in the feds.

Anyways, back to the vault and the first tas de charge is now turned...........

IMG_4935.JPG



I'll turn another three tomorrow and start cutting the slots for ribs, once I've done the drawing. I'll have to hollow it out before it starts to split as it's still green even though it has been felled for at least 14 years. It was a big lump and weighed about 4 tonnes. All the sapwood has been eaten by the bugs now, leaving only heartwood, but it's still ok to work with and I slice a bit off when I need it.....

IMG_4301.JPG
 

MARK.B.

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I slice a bit off when i need it said Hannibal to Clarice :eek: that is a serious chunk of wood you lucky devil:)
 

Adam W.

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It was 11m long and incredibly cheap. None of the mills wanted it, so I got it for about £30/ cubic meter.

The guy with the timber truck had to drag it along the road and through the gate to get it in the yard, as his crane couldn't lift it clearly off the ground. He must have had to slide it onto his wagon to get it here in the first place.

I might try and turn a couple of big bowls from it when I get a bit more practice with the lathe, and I suppose I'll have to get a bowl corer to stop the massive amount of waste.

After a 2:30am brainstorming session, I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and adapt the tas de charge, as I won't be able to join it in the way I originally intended. I think the curve is about right, although it's a little long and a bit hefty.

So I'm going to have to treat it like a form of wheel hub and join into the top which solves the short grain problem (and gets rid of the nasty chunk I took out of it, Ooops!). It's supposed to take the load from the rib which is in compression and transfer it to the wall via a corbel.


“The timber vault is not “imitating” a masonry prototype. Rather it exposes with great clarity the way such a vault should be built – the function is expressed in the structure, whether the material be stone or wood. The structural forces resulting from the dead weight of the material are collected in the diagonal ribs, and passed through the springers to the buttressing system. “

From Heyman. 2006

The springer that Heyman refers to is the tas de charge. The ends of the ribs will have to be morticed into the top of it to transfer the load, but there's no room for pegs or fixings and I think gravity is our friend in this joint. Even though I'm making a suspended ceiling, I still have to consider the load path and treat it as a load bearing vault for it to be correct. So I'll have to add a few extra things to the fans to make that happen, as M&T joints don't do tension in real life.

Like so....

IMG_4937.JPG



A bit of mocking up on the drawing and following the blue line, I reckon that's the answer.

IMG_4939.JPG
 
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foxbat

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Hi Adam - so those huge vaults built with stone are 'just' relying on gravity to hold everything in place? I can't get my head around how the people building these worked out when and how to bring the tension on the stones into place. Was everything supported from below until a key stone(s) was popped into place?
 

Adam W.

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Pretty much, and as long as the load path is contained in the thickness of the masonry (see the hanging chain earlier) they stay there. Mad really, when you start to work out how much things weigh.

They used falsework to put them up and once the arch was complete, they took it down. Some of them were so well designed that they didn't use falsework to support them during construction, like in Brunelleschis' Florentine cathedral.
 

profchris

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Congratulations on the 87%!
Mind you, I think your examiners are wimps. If the work is worth 90+ I'd have given it to you and fought off the Feds :) I guess 40+ years in the academic trenches makes one heedless of danger.
 

Cooper

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so those huge vaults built with stone are 'just' relying on gravity to hold everything in place? I can't get my head around how the people building these worked out when and how to bring the tension on the stones into place. Was everything supported from below until a key stone(s) was popped into place?
I remember when I was in school doing a History of Architecture as part of A level Art out teacher made the point that a lot of stuff fell down and what we see is what they had worked out to make properly and survived. A bit of trial and error. They started out making almost crude Romanesque arches and vaults and over time refined through Decorated Gothic to Perpendicular reducing the amount of stone. But they still needed the flying buttresses to keep the roof up.
 

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