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Timber Frame: Build Your Own Smaller Frames

Course Overview

Tired of unimaginative, small outbuilding kits available from your local lumberyard? Explore all the basic elements of timber frame construction and take home a hand-crafted building. More than 100 timber frame buildings have been built and raised throughout the country by North House students since 1997. 

During the first days of class, participants learn timber frame terminology, layout, and joinery, as well as begin cutting timbers for their structure. As the course progresses, each day prioritizes students actively cutting more timbers for their structure. Ultimately, students complete all or most of the joinery on the structure and develop timber framing skills that will last a lifetime. Near the completion of the course, a raising rehearsal demonstrates pre-assembly and raising techniques. All that’s left is to load the timbers into a truck or trailer and then raise the frame at home.

The Build Your Own course emphasizes smaller timber frame structures that can be completed in a single session. Students may choose from a variety of different stock frames. Changes to the stock frames as well as custom small frames can be completed but this needs to be arranged in advance with the instructor. Tuition and course length varies depending on the frame selected. Students may work alone or with a partner on their frame for no additional charge. A partner is required for the sauna frame.

  • 10’x12’ - 7 days - $2,495
  • 10’x16’ - 9 days - $3,175
  • 13’x13’ Sauna - 9 days -$3,695 (one assistant required)

See plans for the frames here

Tuition covers instruction and all materials, including timbers and pegs, as well as use of specialized timber framing tools. Traditional and modern tools will be used and/or demonstrated during the course. The frames listed below are often completed by individual students; however, working with a partner on the project is recommended for the larger projects. Plans are provided for all of the standard North House frames. Separate tuition payment & cancellation policies apply to this course. North House uses only certified sustainably harvested timbers.

North House is looking forward to hosting this course on campus in the safest way possible. Students will be asked to wear a mask at all times on campus, and to practice social distancing of 6 feet, as well as adhere to other safety protocols.


Tue, Aug 25th, 2020  –  Thu, Sep 3rd, 2020

Course Details

Length: 9 Days
Skill Levels: All Levels
Intergenerational age: N/A
Registration Cost: $2,495.00
Tuition Note: Tuition covers instruction and all materials, including timbers and pegs.
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies by Size

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • 1 1/2 inch Chisel: you will need a chisel with at least a 5” blade. The Stanley "Contractor Grade" and Buck Brothers are less expensive options. Woodcraft and  Sorby make good framing chisels, but make sure they measure exactly 1 1/2".  The Barr chisel is an excellent tool and is available at the North House School Store Call 888-387-9762 to reserve your tool.
  • Wood mallet:  with a  wood handled chisel you will want a 20­ - 40 oz. mallet with wood, plastic or  rawhide head. (Also available @ North House School Store).
  • ear and eye protection
  • Lots of layers, including a raincoat and footwear. We will plan to have open windows and lots of outdoor activity when possible.
  • Sunscreen, sunhat, again for extra outdoor time   
  • Please be sure to bring a mask(s) that fits you well and can be worn for an extended period of time.

Optional Tools

  • framing square
  • combination square
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • circular saw with sharp blade (thin kerf blades work well)
  • extension cord (12 ga)
  • hand saw (Japanese pull saws with both crosscut and rip teeth work well)
  • corner chisel
  • slick

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Waiting List

The course Timber Frame: Build Your Own Smaller Frames Tue, Aug 25th, 2020  –  Thu, Sep 3rd, 2020 is full.

Fill out the form below if you would like to be placed on a waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available. Full course details included above