The following is our collection of Timber Framing Lessons articles (aka Lessons with Mort).
We hope that by reading these articles you will come to appreciate the art and craft of timber framing and why we are so passionate about it. This section will be updated frequently so we encourage you to check back often.
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Timber Frame Lesson 3 | More about Wood


An aspiring timber framer must learn about the strength and characteristics of wood if they hope to master the craft. The characteristics of wood play a role in the decision process at each step, from general strength characteristics in the designing and engineering of the frame to final weight calculations during the raising and installation of the frame. We will leave a discussion of the design values, to the tomes of books and plethora of characteristic and engineering tables dedicated to this topic. Rather the information here is concerned with the characteristics of wood that go into the decision process of the timber framer where it concerns the timber placement and more specifically layout and cutting of joinery.

The Initial Shake Out

Timbers on Cribbing

Timbers on Cribbing

In our shop, the lead timber framer will place a group of timbers to be worked on cribbing and then shake out the timbers by designating their placement in the frame. The focus at this phase is matching each timber to eventual requirements for strength, function and appearance. Continue reading “Timber Frame Lesson 3 | More about Wood” »

Timber Frame Lesson 2 : Rules to Learn

In Mort’s last lesson he learned the most basic of timber frame joints; the Mortise and Tenon. But wait we got ahead of ourselves a bit since before any dog can learn his tricks (or any timber framer can cut their joinery) they must learn the rules first. So to draw the analogy out a bit, a puppy must learn the rules of the house such as; when and where to do their business, where they can and perhaps more importantly can’t sleep, and/or where they get their food (ie not off of our plates but in their bowl). Before the tricks can be taught, the rules have to be established so that all members of the houshold can get along and do as expected. In the timber frame world, the rules dictate how timbers will join to one-another and how the framer or joiner can layout and accomplish this. Rough sawn timbers are an unruly and untamed lot in the yard. Timbers come in varying dimensions; e.g. an 8 x 8 can vary plus or minus a 1/4 of an inch in the best of circumstances. Additionally timbers have troublesome attributes such as crown, bow, sweep and twist.
Continue reading “Timber Frame Lesson 2 : Rules to Learn” »

Timber Frame Mascot

h2>Announcing our new timber framing mascot:

Mortise Barktoven (aka Mort)

Mort is our new Mascot. Beside learning the art of sitting and fetching things other than dirty socks he is learning the art and craft of timber framing. As such he will have to learn the terminology. Like many timber frame novices, one of the very first terms that is taught is coincidentally his name sake; mortise.
Continue reading “Timber Frame Mascot” »