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Workers use old techniques to restore Notre Dame’s roof

Using hand tools to rebuild the roof is a deliberate choice, especially since power tools would have arguably completed the job faster.

Paris, France — If time travel were possible, medieval carpenters would surely be amazed to see how woodworking techniques they pioneered in architecture. Notre Dame Cathedral Today, the over 800-year-old building is being used again to rebuild the world-famous monument. Roof destroyed by fire.

Indeed, the opposite is true for modern carpenters using medieval techniques. Working with hatchets to create hundreds of tons of oak beams for the new roof framework of Notre Dame Cathedral was like turning back time for them. This gave us a new appreciation for the handiwork of our predecessors who pushed the boundaries of architecture in the 13th century.

“Sometimes it can be a little daunting,” says Peter Henrickson, one of the carpenters. As he hits the mallet with his chisel, he says he “sometimes thinks of the medieval craftsmen who cut basically the same joints” 900 years ago. ”

“It’s fascinating,” he says. “Perhaps we are thinking the same thing in some ways.”

The use of hand tools to rebuild the flame-torn roof in 2019 was deliberate and deliberate, especially given that power tools would have undoubtedly done the job faster. It is a choice. Its purpose is to pay tribute to the amazing craftsmanship of the cathedral’s original builders and to ensure the survival of centuries of handcrafted wood art.

“We want to restore the cathedral as it was built in the Middle Ages,” says retired French general Jean-Louis Georgelin, who is overseeing the reconstruction.

“This is how we are faithful to all those who built all the extraordinary monuments of France.”

in person tight deadline With the goal of reopening the cathedral by December 2024, carpenters and architects are also using computer design and other modern techniques to speed up the reconstruction. Computers were used by the carpenters to make detailed drawings to ensure that the hand-carved beams would fit perfectly.

“Traditional carpenters had a lot of that on their minds,” says Henrickson. “It’s pretty amazing when you think about how we were able to do this with what we had at the time, the tools and the technology.”

The 61-year-old American is from Grand Marais, Minnesota. Most of the other craftsmen who make the crates are French.

The rebuilding of the roof reached a milestone in May, when most of the new timber frame was assembled and assembled at a workshop in the Loire Valley in western France.

A dry run ensured that the frame was fit for purpose. The next time I build it, I plan to stand on top of the cathedral. Unlike the Middle Ages, it is transported by truck to Paris and hoisted by a mechanical crane into place. About 1,200 trees were felled for this work.

“Our aim was to restore the timber frame structure that was lost in the fire on April 15, 2019 to its original condition,” said the architect, who prepared detailed drawings of the original frame in 2012. Remy Fromont says:

The reconstructed frame “is the same timber frame structure as the 13th-century one,” he says. “We use the exact same oak. We use the same tools, we use the same axes, we use the exact same tools. We have the same know-how. and return to the same place.”

“It’s a real comeback,” he added.

Associated Press Paris correspondent John Lester contributed.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/nation-world/rebuilding-notre-dames-fire-ravaged-roof/507-aa115dc3-f928-4628-a00e-9ea8c7d4ecb0 Workers use old techniques to restore Notre Dame’s roof

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