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Timber Framing

Basic Timber Framing

Course Overview

Learn the planning, layout, and joinery necessary to construct a traditional timber frame (post and beam) structure, such as North House's Blacksmith Shop, bread oven shelter, Fish House classroom, Welcome Center, and other structures around campus. The course begins with the basic mortise and tenon joint, and then expands on these techniques to cover through-tenons and shouldered mortises. In both thorough classroom sessions and hands-on experiences, you will explore the use of traditional tools and techniques of timber framing as well as adaptations using common and specialized modern tools. We will also discuss foundations, enclosing the frame, wiring and plumbing issues, and basic frame and joinery design. The course culminates with the raising of a full-sized timber frame completed by the group on the final day of class.

New Registration Process

In the past, this class has had the tendency to fill quickly. In an attempt to even the playing field, we are implementing a lottery system for registration. If you are a current member (easily done by clicking on the red Donate button on our homepage or giving us a call) you can put yourself on the wait list on Member Early Registration Day through the registration portal of our website. You are also free to call us to be put on the list, though if you've tried in the past, you know it can be tough to get through on that day! If more people sign up than there are spots in the class, on the following morning, we will randomly draw names. We will contact you via email if you are selected. You will then have 24 hours to confirm your registration by making payment for the class through our website. If the class does not fill on Member Early Registration Day, all who put themselves on the wait list will receive an email confirming they have a spot and that they have 24 hours to confirm registration by making payment for the class through our website. Any remaining spots will be open for registration on Open Registration day, one day after Member Early Registration Day. 

Required Tools

  • Ear and eye protection

Optional Tools

  • 1 1/2 inch chisel: you will need a chisel with at least a 5” blade. Woodcraft and Sorby make good framing chisels, but make sure they measure exactly 1 1/2".  The Barr chisel is an excellent tool and will be available at the North House School Store. 
  • Mallet: with a  wood handled chisel you will want a 20 to 40 oz. mallet with wood, plastic or rawhide head. (Also available @ North House School Store)
  • Framing square
  • Combination square
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw with sharp blade (thin kerf blades work well)
  • Extension cord
  • Hand saw (Japanese pull saws with both crosscut and rip teeth work well)
  • Corner chisel
  • Slick

Currently Scheduled Sessions

Wed, Aug 21st, 2024  –  Sun, Aug 25th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Fri, Sep 13th, 2024  –  Tue, Sep 17th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructors: Clark Bremer, Alo Osberg