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The Importance of the Peg

By Caitlin on February 13, 2020

Today I thought we’d take a closer look at the Pegs that are used to secure the connections of our Timber Frames.


Finished Timbers Ready for Stain


When using traditional joinery to make connections in a Timber Frame, the pegs are there to stabilize the connections and keep them secure.


Driving Hardwood Pegs

Driving Hardwood Pegs


Unlike nails, that are used to hold the wood together, after the Tenon is inserted in the Mortice, the connection should be tight and strong, and then the peg is inserted so that it goes through both pieces of wood to further strengthen and secure the connection.


Timber Frame Joinery with Pegs and Keys in Barn Style Home in NH


Our Pegs are most often made from Birch or Oak, cut from clear dowel stock our workshop.


Timber Posts and Beams with Brackets


The pegs can either be flush with the wood or can be proud and be left longer. They also can be made with more vibrantly colored woods like cherry.


Interior of Westbrook Middle School with King post trusses in ME

The number of pegs used will be dictated by the number of connections needed. For example, a King Post Truss will require about 16 pegs, a Queen Post will use 26, and a modified Hammer beam will use 39.



The pegs represent the craftsmanship and traditional of timber frame joinery.

About the Author


Caitlin is a writer and a full-time Marketing Assistant. She has worked at Vermont Timber Works since 2017.
  1. Peter Farrell says:

    How do you align the holes for the pegs… do you pre-drill them or drill them through in a test fit so they line up right?
    (If the latter, does that make the peg less secure or less tight?)

    • James Slouber says:

      Search the term ‘drawboring’, which refers to the layout of the holes with the tenon hole offset by 1/8″ in the direction that will pull the joint tighter.

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