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Timber Framing

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Timber framing is the art as well as science of putting up a sound framework for a house – be it large or small. This support frame will ensure that the rest of the house will be structurally sound and stand the test of time, the wear and tear that will be received from those who live inside it, and also the possible wear and tear that a house will experience from weather patterns and just the beating of the sun alternated with the pounding of rain. Timber framing is not only an art form, but also a science, and as such it will need to be learned from the ground up.  This is not the kind of trade that you will be able to learn from a do-it-yourself television program, or a how-to book – no matter that it comes with plenty of full color illustrations!  While some framers will offer apprenticeship programs to interested youths who are willing to pursue this career, there are not that many who will offer the same to the hobbyist who might only be interested in building one home or maybe just a shed here or there. 

For those who want to learn timber framing without the benefit of the apprenticeship, you will now have the option of attending one of the many training workshops and programs offered all over the United States. Take for example the four day course that introduces eager students to timber frame design when coupled with joinery. This might not be a course for the novice, but for someone who might already have a bit of knowledge, a bit of experience, or at least has watched the do-it-yourself channels long enough to have garnered enough knowledge to understand the lingo, and who now wants to take it to the next step and do it hands on. Architectural reading as well as sketching are emphasizes, and the science of accurate joinery will be discussed. Demonstrations round out this experience, and you will be glad that you attended this class!

If you are considering the art and science of timber framing specifically because you want to design your own home, then these courses are also applicable to you.  Did you know that some of these hands-on schools offer entire homebuilding classes?  A week-long intensive course will not only focus on proper timber framing but also on design, calculation, and even cutting rafters! As you go through the class you will learn the theory behind designs, you will understand why some items of framework appear to be out of place but are actually vital to the design and strength of the finished product, and you yourself will be able to handle the tools, put up a frame, and have an experienced instructor not only critique your work, but show you where the weak points might be, as well as point out where you accurately put the strong points.  Overall, this kind of experience will point you in the right direction for designing your own home!

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