Cruck building is a Medieval English method of timber framing using pairs of large, curved timbers (cruck blades) that are joined at their apex to function as both post and principal rafter. The resulting Gothic arch creates a dramatic open hall space that is both structurally stable and visually appealing. Working with these naturally curved components to create a plumb, square, and level structure can be challenging for the carpenter. So, while class will work from drawings, the actual shapes of the cruck blades will determine how they can be best framed as the work progresses. Using primarily the French plumb-line method, fitting these naturally curved components will use a combination of “square ruled” and “scribed” techniques. Students will also hew or saw the edges of crucks, collars, and braces to a graceful curve, split out Pins (pegs) with a froe to dress them on the shaving horse with a drawknife, and culminate class with a hand-raising and a “topping out” ceremony.
Students should have some prior timber framing experience. At North House, Basic Timber Framing or German-Style Timber Framing would be good introductory courses to take before the Cruck Framing course.