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8 Facts About Timber Framing

By Caitlin on July 05, 2018
  1. Timber Framing is a Very Old Building Tradition

Timber Framing is an ancient building method that goes back hundreds if not thousands of years. The building method was developed as a way to build strong and secure buildings out of large pieces of wood, without metal nails, which were expensive and labor intensive to produce.

  1. Timber Framing can be an Eco-Friendly Building Method

Wood is considered an eco-friendly building material. Wood is a renewable resource, takes less carbon to produce than steel or concrete, and traps carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as the tree dies and decays. Building primarily with wood sourced from secondary growth forests that are ethically and sustainably managed is a great way to build green and to reduce the environmental damage and carbon footprint of your building.

  1. Timber Frame Buildings can Last for a very long time

The oldest known timber frame building in the world is a Buddhist temple in Lhasa, Tibet believed to have been built in 652 BCE. The oldest timber frame building in North America is the Fairbanks House in Dedham, MA which was built around 1637.

  1. The Dovetail joint is an ancient technique for joining pieces of wood

The Dovetail joint is a common traditional joint technique used in Timber Framing, furniture making, and other woodworking. The Dovetail joint dates all the way back to the first dynasty of Ancient Egypt where evidence of the dovetail joint was found used in furniture entombed with mummies.

  1. There can be a High level of skill involved in Timber Framing

Timber Framing takes a good amount of skill and experience. At VTW, someone with a background in carpentry could expect to serve an apprenticeship for about a year before they could be considered an experienced Timber Framer.

  1. There are a variety of Wood species most commonly used for Timber Frames

The wood species that VTW uses most are Douglas fir, Oak, Pine, Hemlock, and Cedar.

  1. The Sizes of timber used for Frames can be Quite large

The Timbers used for Timber Framing range from 4×6 or 3×5 for chords or braces and can be as large as 10x22x45 for top truss gable.

  1. The Biggest truss span VTW has ever done

The longest truss span VTW has ever fabricated was an 80-foot span in the Spruce Peak Base Lodge.


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  1. RODNEY MCCRUM says:

    I would like to talk to someone about 3 tusses for a living room and entry way

  2. martin daly says:

    As a carpenter I love timberframe post and beam
    but not very common in Iteland

  3. John says:

    I would love to build a timber frame workshop

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