EcoNest Natural Building Workshops and Timber Framing Workshops

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Excerpt from The EcoNest Home: Introduction to the Modern Timber Frame

Timber Framing is the craft of post and beam construction connected with mortise and tenon joinery.  Coveted from generation to generation, the natural strength and warmth of a hand-crafted frame graces a home with a profound connection to the forest, invoking a deep sense of serenity.

In the USA timber-framing fell out of popularity when the invention of the headed nail and circular saw made light-frame construction possible in the mid-18th century. Efficiencies were gained but something was lost.

It was only revived as a lost art in the 1970s by pioneers like Tedd Benson, Jack Sobon , Steve Chappell and Ed Levin who pieced together the forgotten craft by researching old books and buildings. In 1985 the Timber Framer’s Guild was founded by approximately 200 craftsmen. Today it has a world-wide membership of 1,500 and continues to gain recognition as a viable craft in a modern age.

About the sustainable use of wood

Unlike conventional building where the framework is covered up concealing the workmanship, in a timber frame the timbers and joinery are completely exposed to the interior where the beauty of the wood and the careful craftsmanship can be appreciated. The lifespan of a timber frame can be measured in centuries 200, 500, 1000 years, outliving the lifetime of a tree in the forest. While these historic timber frames were exposed to the weather, a timber frame wrapped by a LSC wall system is completely protected from the weather potentially extending the life of the wood even longer. When the building has outlived its original purpose the timbers can be re-purposed through disassembly and re-assembly elsewhere.

An exposed timber frame brings the forest element into the home, quietly reminding us of mother-nature, the sustaining force of all life on the planet.