Order by Magnitudes

Structural systems have four basic forces to overcome:
compression, tension, bending, and shear.

Bending happens when a weight or force is placed a suboptimal distance from its support. Bending strength is a measure of the horizontal load-carrying capacity of a variety of wood: girders, rafters, and floor joists all require high bending strengths. Shear, in mechanics, means a thrust outward at right angles to the stress. With these basic structural reactions in mind, various framing systems can be evaluated and compared in relation to strength per unit of material and time expended in fabrication.

Below snippets and drawings from "The owner-built home" by Ken Kern: _The Mother Earth News_ No. 13, January 1972

"Wood was inefficiently used, or course, by early settlers in building cabins of massive logs cut from trees. Later, with the advent of power-driven sawmills, wood frames having lighter members were developed and less wood was required. The post-and-girder structural system provided a transition between the log cabin and the vertical stud wall system of construction, which in some ways, marks a decline from the post and girder system."

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