Skip to main content

Stavlinebygg: Traditional Norwegian Building Techniques with Featured Guest Trond Oalann

Course Overview

North House is pleased to welcome Trond Oalann of Hordaland, Norway to lead a course in a traditional Norwegian building method, the stavlinebygg. The stavlinebygg style is one of more than 25 post (stav) building traditions in Norway. Dating from the late 1700's, the heavy construction utilizing sill timbers and mortise and tenon joinery developed in response to the strong winds of the Nordmore area. The relatively simple truss roof system lent itself well for large barns, boathouses and agricultural and commercial storage buildings. This building style incorporates the use of stacked and scribed wall plates, an element of horizontal log construction, as well as early timber frame joinery techniques.
The key to building stavlinebygg efficiently and confidently lies in the sequence of the work and in systematic use of templates. This course will not only focus on these skills, but also on the use of hand tools in traditional ways. Learning the methods of construction is as much a part of the Norwegian heritage as the completed structure itself. This is a rare chance to learn from master craftsman in this rich Norwegian tradition, as Trond offers his first course in the US.
In the first phase of this course, Days 1-4, students will hew logs into timbers using the axe and broad-axe. Instruction will cover the evolution of Norwegian hewing axes and techniques from the 14th century to the present. Reproductions of historical axes will be available for student use. Students will be able to pace their work individually, taking long breaks as the work is physically demanding. Emphasis will be placed on skills needed to properly and effectively use axes.
In the second session of the course, Days 6-10, students will cut the joinery and raise a stavlinbygg structure roughly 5m x 8m in size, using the hewn timbers from the first phase of the course. This will be done using primarily hand tools, especially axes but will include ample practice with a variety of tools and techniques.
The course will take place in two phases: hewing, days 1-4 and building, days 6-10. On Day 5, students are welcome to take the day off or observe demonstration sessions from a delegation of traditional Norwegian craftsmen that will accompany Trond, including blacksmiths, carpenters, boat builders and joiners. Students are welcome to register for the entire ten day course or for either phase independently. Note, there will be no formal instruction on May 12.
Note, by registering for this course, you are enrolled for the entire 10 days of the project. If you wish to participate in one phase only (hewing or joinery & construction) please register here.

Course Details

Length: 10 days