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About Timber Frames and How They Are Built

Timber framing is a post and beam construction that is one of the oldest in the world. For connections, they require joinery that fit together with glove-like precision. Mortise and tenon, dovetail, half lap, scarfs–even the joints carry the sound of a melodic history of strength. But these joints rely on the expertise of the builder: No metal fasteners are used to connect the frame together, only precision and pegs.

The techniques used in timber framing date back thousands of years, and have been used in many parts of the world during various periods such as ancient Japan, Europe, medieval England, the United States and Canada. Timber framing has proven itself as a sustainable and popular building method because of its longevity, simplicity and aesthetic appeal.

We use this classic joinery to hand build our structures. Our skills, honed over 20 years, provide unique structures that reflect the natural beauty of the wood, without distraction. Below is an illustrated description of what each of our structures goes through, from timber selection to hand finishing the final piece.

  1. Timber Selection
    We hand select timbers, harvested in the northeast United States and Canada. We look for long, straight pieces with good grain and exceptional strength. We don't work with endangered woods, and prefer our timbers harvested as close to home as possible, from managed forests. Each piece of lumber is hand selected for its final purpose in the structure.
  2. Frame Design
    We work with the client to determine frame size, embellishments, and any additional modifications which are needed.
  3. Layout and Hand Work
    We hand cut each of the individual elements. Each joint is cut by hand, roughed out initially with simple power tools, and finished up with mallet and chisel. Each connection is tested for precision, and finished elements are set aside to await a final test fit.
  4. Final Preparation and Delivery
    We do a final dry fit of your frame in our shop to ensure easy setup on site.