Cutting the Timber Frame


At our Adirondack timber frame shop, we follow a sequence of steps to transform each timber into its finished form as a specific component of the frame.

First we assess each timber for its structural and cosmetic quality and designate its place in the frame. Next we do the exacting and meticulous “layout” of the joints on the timbers–the measuring and drawing of cut lines and notations that map out the specific dimensions of the joints. We then “rough out” all the joints with a variety of hand-held power tools. All our joints are then finish cut to fine tolerances with chisels and planes. Only through the use of these hand tools can we achieve the tight fit between mortise and tenon that we require.

On a frame that is to have a smooth, well polished finish, we then “dress” the timbers with a large specialized power plane and champher the corners. The final step is to apply a deep penetrating oil finish to protect and enrich the beauty of the wood.

Timbers are then packaged for shipment to the job site. There, we first assemble large sections of the frame on the ground. We then raise the frame in a few dramatic days, usually with the assistance of a mobile crane.

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