Timber Frame Workshop at Yestermorrow

May 4, 2015 by Shannon McIntyre

This first weekend in May, with enough UV light to finally kick off the annual tanning of the pasty New Englander, TimberHomes’ Josh Jackson basked in the promised heat amidst a hand raising in Waterbury, VT. Josh and his co-instructor Skip Dewhirst taught a timber frame workshop at the Yestermorrow Design Build School in Warren last week, that culminated Saturday with the raising.

Check out a news clip and article on the event here: Dogs Getting Some Shade at Waterbury Dog Park

A timber frame workshop encompasses learning the basics of reading plans, using traditional hand tools, and cutting mortise and tenon joinery. Written resources abound on how to build in this style, but nothing compares to personal instruction while you have a chisel in your hands, and a set of plans to build a structure for a real client. Students for this course came from as far as Ontario, Nebraska, and Alabama to get this hands on instruction.

The frame is 12′ x 16′, all cut from local timber and held fast with hand riven ash pegs. The client was the the city of Waterbury, VT who’s building a new river-side dog park. A timber frame workshop is an opportunity for a client to have some of the costs of construction offset by the volunteer labor of the students, as they practice their hand on saws, chisels, planes, and boring machines. TimberHomes is also involved with workshops at the Heartwood SchoolRocky Mountain Workshops, and has run workshops for personal clients in North Carolina and at Dartmouth Outdoors Club headquarters at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. 

Timber Frame Workshop

fourteen people and one week of work

Timber Frame Workshop

Some neat joinery is visible in this photo, if you look closely at the top plate (beam running the length of the building). The three tie beams in this frame have tenons that are extensions of their top surfaces, that fit into horizontal mortises in the top plate, and are ‘blind pegged’ vertically.

Standing near the roof gets you 10' closer to the sun, all the better for soaking up that vitamin D.

Standing near the roof gets you 10′ closer to the sun, all the better for soaking up that vitamin D.

Year of the raising carved into a central tie beam.

Year of the raising carved into a central tie beam.