My timberframing class

I got back from my trip to Maine/Boston where I took a Timberframing class. Here are some stitched photos as well as some normal ones. Excellent class. There were 38 students with a very broad demographic. Two father/son pairs. Three couples. A guy who’d just finished high school wanting to do architecture. 8 construction people. A bunch of retired people wanting to build their own homes. 5 engineers. A paramedic. I learned a lot; the teacher is an excellent teacher with lots of cool stories to keep you paying attention. I did more chisel work over a couple days than all my previous experiences combined. Here’s what we built:

2 thoughts on “My timberframing class”

  1. Wow, that is so cool. One of my uncles built a timberframe house with lumber from an old warehouse in Chicago and it is the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. I love how the structure of the house is so visible. If Julian and I ever build our own house it will be a timberframe. Did you learn anything about how they hold up in earthquakes? Is this something you’re doing as a hobby?

  2. Hey Candy

    The class talked a bit about earthquakes and hurricanes, but I don’t remember most of the details. Flexibility/elasticity of the structure is the key in these situations and timberframes do very well. In nature, trees have to flex a bit to survive in the elements and even then the wood dries out, much of this is retained. I can’t really say much about it though.

    One thing that the teacher mentioned about timberframes, is that they command respect and awe. You walk into the house and say, “wow! What a cool open space.” Houses that command these feelings are more likely to be maintained properly. Any house would last forever, if you stay on top of keeping it sealed, painted and all that. With a ranch house, you may be less likely to do this, timberframes demand it.

    I’m only doing it as a hobby. Intel gives me a sabattical every 7 years and this part of how I’m spending it. Building stuff is something that I enjoy and the only thing I’ll be doing with timberframing is to eventually build a shed. I’m thinking half shed, half chicken coop. I was thinking to build the walls with clay/woodchip infill. It’s kinda like stawbale, but less structural and uses easier to find materials.

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