Timber Framing

timber framing

Timber Framing Construction

We’ve all seen homes with beautifully exposed beams or open air structures, churches, and cabins with amazingly crafted support timber framing. It’s such a distinct style that there is nothing else out there that captures the eye and the imagination like exposed timber. Sometime around the beginning of the 20th-century timber framing started to fall out of practice due to the demand for cheaper lumber (dimensional lumber) to facilitate faster construction with minimal skill. This trend continued until the 1970s when builders began to revive the timber framing tradition.

The Art of Timber Framing

Construction in the timber framing style requires a particular skill set if you want to adhere to old-world practices. The uniqueness of this joinery takes its cues from traditional and high-end furniture construction utilizing joining methods such as mortises and tenons secured with wooden pegs.

Current regulatory building requirements may require you to deviate from traditional timber framing practices. The most common methods used to adhere to requirements are engineered joint connectors. These connectors can be hidden inside the timber to create a seamless joint that maintains the traditional appearance. One may also see hybrid combinations that use timber framing for roofing and exposed beams while using dimensional lumber for basic framing. 

Timber Raising Methods

Following the tried and true guidelines of timber framing construction, all structural building blocks are created ahead of time. All materials are sized, planed, and joined according to the shop blueprints. Each cross-section and bends is test-fitted before rasing to ensure stability and verify structural integrity. Once tested each section is raised, one-by-one, with the roofing timbers being placed last.

Much like a barn raising, there are a few methods people have used throughout human history for timber raising.  Old world methods include pike poles, ropes, and people. In our modern world cranes are more common, which greatly reduces the time needed to raise.

Timber Framing Joinery

Joinery has a rich history in all types of construction and there are seemingly endless methods that you can use to connect (join)  two pieces together. Joining pieces together is much like a puzzle. Joining ends are like mirror reflections of each other so when placed together they are a perfect fit. Once fitted, a hole is drilled right through the joint, and a wooden peg is pounded in place; making for an iron-clad joint that will flex so breakage is never a concern.

There is seemingly an endless number of ways to tie joints together. Some of the most common methods still in use today are dovetail, mortise, and tenon, tying joint, scarf joint, and lap joint. The list goes on and there are many complementary combinations that can be used in joinery.

Need Framing Timber?

Ashley River Lumber is a truly custom sawmill and lumber yard here in Charleston. Pick your wood species and share your shop plans with us to get exactly what you need for your timber framing project. Contact us for information on pricing and lead times.

timber framing

Timber Framing Construction

We’ve all seen homes with beautifully exposed beams or open air structures, churches, and cabins with amazingly crafted support timber framing. It’s such a distinct style that there is nothing else out there that captures the eye and the imagination like exposed timber. Sometime around the beginning of the 20th-century timber framing started to fall out of practice due to the demand for cheaper lumber (dimensional lumber) to facilitate faster construction with minimal skill. This trend continued until the 1970s when builders began to revive the timber framing tradition.

The Art of Timber Framing

Construction in the timber framing style requires a particular skill set if you want to adhere to old-world practices. The uniqueness of this joinery takes its cues from traditional and high-end furniture construction utilizing joining methods such as mortises and tenons secured with wooden pegs.

Current regulatory building requirements may require you to deviate from traditional timber framing practices. The most common methods used to adhere to requirements are engineered joint connectors. These connectors can be hidden inside the timber to create a seamless joint that maintains the traditional appearance. One may also see hybrid combinations that use timber framing for roofing and exposed beams while using dimensional lumber for basic framing. 

Timber Raising Methods

Following the tried and true guidelines of timber framing construction, all structural building blocks are created ahead of time. All materials are sized, planed, and joined according to the shop blueprints. Each cross-section and bends is test-fitted before rasing to ensure stability and verify structural integrity. Once tested each section is raised, one-by-one, with the roofing timbers being placed last.

Much like a barn raising, there are a few methods people have used throughout human history for timber raising.  Old world methods include pike poles, ropes, and people. In our modern world cranes are more common, which greatly reduces the time needed to raise.

Timber Framing Joinery

Joinery has a rich history in all types of construction and there are seemingly endless methods that you can use to connect (join)  two pieces together. Joining pieces together is much like a puzzle. Joining ends are like mirror reflections of each other so when placed together they are a perfect fit. Once fitted a hole is drilled right through the joint, and a wooden peg is pounded in place; making for an iron-clad joint that will flex so breakage is never a concern.

There is seemingly an endless number of ways to tie joints together. Some of the most common methods still in use today are dovetail, mortise, and tenon, tying joint, scarf joint, and lap joint. The list goes on and there are many complementary combinations that can be used in joinery.

Need Framing Timber?

Ashley River Lumber is a truly custom sawmill and lumber yard here in Charleston. Pick your wood species and share your shop plans with us to get exactly what you need for your timber framing project. Contact us for information on pricing and lead times.

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