Timber Framing Workshop 2012 Course Objective
During this two week timber framing workshop, you will learn how to lay out, join, and raise a complete timber frame house!
This is a two week building intensive, meaning you will be doing many hours of building each day in order to achieve the goal of having a frame raised at the end of the workshop. Expect to work hard, learn a lot, and gain the satisfaction from working as a cohesive group under a skilled instructor, learning all the ins and outs of traditional timber framing with hand tools.
The workshop will begin with timber selection and basic square rule layout. The central core of the house project will be framed using sawn timber. Transitioning to the west balcony and the north porch, we will be scribing in some round log timber framing. On the east bedroom, we’re framing five sides of an octagon and designing compound roof framing. Finally, we’ll finish up inside with a spiral staircase.
We will be using a variety of timbers, all of which are either locally harvested or recycled hardwood, either sawn, hewn or round wood. The goal will be to cut the frame using hand tools and traditional joinery and then raise it by hand with a gin pole and block and tackle. The house frame is composed of massive interlocking timbers, crafted to fit like giant puzzle pieces, and pinned together with wooden pegs. In two weeks we will raise an impressive structure using only hand tools with twelve students!
Evening sessions will focus on lectures and discussions, including slideshows, in-depth timber framing discussions, information about ecovillage life, and more. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about the site work or personal projects and get expert feedback from the course instructor. We will also include a tour of Dancing Rabbit in the schedule to give students the opportunity to see examples of timber framing, roundwood timber framing, post and beam, cob, straw bale, light clay straw, and other examples of natural building. Of course, there will be some relaxing and fun activities, too.
Disclaimer: In order to help ensure a positive experience, you should be physically capable and comfortable with: sustained manual labor, lifting and moving fairly heavy objects, manual dexterity in relation to working with hand saws and other hand tools.
Workshop Schedule Breakdown
Students will arrive the afternoon of June 10th, settle in with dinner, and begin building the next day. The workshop will end on June 25, with the departure of students that morning.
- 7:00AM: Students will start the day with a hearty breakfast and check-ins with their instructor and fellow students to gauge and overview the day’s activities.
- 8:00AM: Daily work begins.
- 12:00PM: Break for lunch at the Milkweed Mercantile Organic Cafe.
- 1:00PM: In depth site work and instruction.
- 5:30PM: Break for students, time to explore ecovillage and relax in the pond, etc.
- 6:30PM: Dinner at the Milkweed Mercantile Organic Cafe.
- 8:00PM: Evening lecture/discussion/activity/relaxing time.
Other Things to Know: Children and Pets
At this time, we are not equipped to handle participants with accompanying children or pets. Unfortunately, we ask that you leave pets at home, nor can we support families with children.
Timber Framing Workshop Topics
Design and Joinery
Timber Selection and Defect Assessment
Orientation in the Timber Frame
Square Rule Layout
References, Offsets, Reductions
Edge-ruled, Snap-line, Scribe Rule, Plumb-line, Bubble Scribe
Hand Tools, Boring Machines, Reading the Grain, Sharpening, Gauging the Joint
Hollowing, Chamfers and Leads
Joinery & Advanced Joinery
Hand Raising, Gin Poles and Rigging
Our Building Workshop Philosophy
We consider our building courses a form of outreach for the Dancing Rabbit community. We are dedicated to empowering students to learn traditional and sustainable skills and apply them in their own lives. Our goal is not only to create natural, simple and beautiful structures, but to create design that relates to the landscape, climate, and functions of its users. We believe that people can build and live in beautiful, functional, and comfortable spaces without requiring huge investments.
Combining natural materials, traditional skills, and sustainable principles offers numerous advantages and promotes the creation of simple buildings that maximize their relevance and function in relation to place without resorting to manufactured, expensive means to achieve a quality space.
In order to revive the historic craft of timber framing, we believe it must be accessible to the average joe. The most valuable aspect of building is teaching and empowering others with the knowledge necessary to enhance their own lives!