Timber Frame (20)

Logtagon: Scribe-Fit Log Building


Hi Folks,

Before I knew of all your books I built the attached … thought it might interest you … Thanks for all the inspirational books!

Henry Fosbrooke

We have been involved with the construction and design of a number of timber structures for the past 10 years.

Trying to build with trees and timber grown locally and using scribe-fit log building and timber framing techniques, you can see some of the buildings that have been created.
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Ten-Sided Timber Frame Structure in UK



I sent you a few photos back in summer of a small oak-framed structure with a thatched/shingled roof. I thought I would share with you a project I have just completed, a 10-sided timber frame. The geometric patterns created in this 10-sided structure are amazing! I had eleven building craft apprentices working with me from the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.

–Jonny Briggs

–Jonny Briggs

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Cordwood Hermit Hut by Rob Roy


Lloyd tells me this one is too small for his new book on small houses. Well, it’s not really a house, anyway, just a cabin for a single student at Earthwood Building School, a hermit…

Eight-inch (8″) cordwood walls are supported on a foundation with an 8-foot square footprint, leaving just 45 sq. ft. of actual usable space. Still, there is a desk, a chair, a bed, two large ventilating windows. The door has to open out. The place is so small you have to step outside to change your mind.

The building was timber-framed by students at one of our Timber Framing for the Rest of Us workshops, and the cordwood was done at Cordwood Masonry workshops. Some of the students put interesting design features into the walls, like a sailboat — and a hermit!

Go to www.cordwoodmasonry.com for more on Earthwood’s classes. Our 2016 schedule will be posted about November 1st.

–Rob Roy

oct 11 063hh2 IMG_1821 Read More …

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Bridge Timber Houses in Big Sur


Completed in 1974, the Shaw House can be grouped with what the architectural writer Richard Olsen has called the Big Sur “bridge timber” houses. These were built out of reclaimed redwood timber sourced from local bridges that were demolished and replaced with concrete and steel in the 1960s. (The lumber for the Shaw House came from the old Dolan Creek Bridge, located just south of the Esalen Institute, the storied human potential movement retreat center.) Among the more celebrated bridge timber structures are the 1969 Hill of the Hawk house and the 1971 Staude House, both built by the Carmel Valley architect George Brook-Kothlow, who also did a similar place for Clint Eastwood in nearby Pebble Beach.

Check out the article at tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/mark-haddawy-big-sur

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Japanese Joinery

Japanese jointery

Submitted by Kevin Kelly. (Check out Cool Tools):

Japanese carpentry group Kobayashi Kenkou carefully demonstrates the fascinating way in which highly durable buildings are constructed with traditional methods of joining the wood with intricate cuts and interlocking plugs instead of metal nails. The fine planing and perfect fit of each interlocking piece of wood is a testament to the craftsmanship of the carpenters.
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Yogan's Tiny Ship-Shape House


In 2007, we got an email from Yogan, a young carpenter in France. He said he’d started out with a Volkswagen van, worked alone, and was following in the footsteps of old carpenters, using “…noble wood.” He had a large Mercedes van that contained his portable tools, as well as a bed and kitchen for working away from his home territory. He’d seen our book Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter, and wanted us to see the treehouse he was living in. We featured Yogan in both Tiny Homes and Tiny Homes on the Move. Here’s a new creation from Yogan, a ship-shape elevated 450 sq. ft. tiny home located in France, with a deck shaped like the prow of a ship.
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Calistoga, California Creekside Cabin

Creekside cabin

A 1920s shingled creekside cabin redesigned by architect Amy A. Alper.


“The architect designed a new double-height living room addition to wrap the original exterior. Weathered shingles and period windows remain — when open, kitchen and living room are connected. New materials contrast with the old; reclaimed beams mediate between them, and visually echo the surrounding woods. Window walls showcase views to the swirling waters below.” Read More …

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Straw Bale and Timber Frame Home


Hi Lloyd and Co.:

Saw your call for responses to the upcoming Small Homes book. Exciting! I think our straw bale & timber frame home fits squarely into that category. It’s actually around 440 sq. feet of interior heated space, but with the porch and balcony it’s a bit bigger.

15016408354_bd76ef81d5_c 08-strawtron 30-strawtron Read More …

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Six Gambrel Roof Barns in Oregon


These are barns I photographed in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in September, 2014. The gambrel is a distinctive and common barn roof shape in this part of the world, as is the curved roof barn (See www.theshelterblog.com/?s=curved+roof posted last month.)

The word gambrel “Šderives from the hock (bent part) of a horse’s leg, also called a gambrel. The lower part of the roof is a steep slope, the upper part shallower. The break-in roofline allows head room in the loft space, and is useful in barns for hay storageŠ as well as in homes for rooms above plate level.” –From Shelter II, p. 98.

There are also plans for a 24′ × 32′ gambrel-roofed barn on pages 102-103 of Shelter II.


P8010150-lo-res Read More …

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How to Build a Reciprocal Roof Frame

reciprocal frame roof

In Tiny Homes, we did two pages (pp. 110-111) on Ziggy Liloia’s cob cottage. In this excerpt from his website, TheYearOfMud.com, he explains how he built his reciprocal framed roof.

ziggy-gobcobatron-01A reciprocal roof is a beautiful and simple self-supporting structure that can be composed of as few as three rafters, and up to any imaginable quantity (within reason, of course). Reciprocal roofs require no center support, they are quick to construct, and they can be built using round poles or dimensional lumber (perhaps with some creative notching). They are extremely strong, perfect for round buildings, and very appropriate for living roofs, as well. The reciprocal roof design was developed by Graham Brown in 1987. Read More …

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Oregon Timber Frame Barn 2014

The owners of this magnificent new barn still under construction wish to remain anonymous, so I won’t be specific about location.

timber frame barn in oregon under construction

interior of timber frame barn in oregon under constructionpost detail of timber frame barn in oregon under constructionIt was one of those serendipitous finds: I ran into a cabinet maker while out photographing barns and he asked if I’d like to see a large timber frame barn. Did I! I followed him for about 20 miles into the hills until we arrived at the barn.

It was starting to get dark when I was there, so I had about 20 minutes to shoot these photos.

It is 70′ by 100′.

The timbers were cut by Collin Beggs Timber Framing in Northern Idaho. The posts and beams were salvaged from Douglas Fir trees that had been killed by timber beetles in Idaho and Montana. The curved wind braces were not cut out of dimensional lumber, but follow the natural curves of timber (from a certified forest) not suitable for milling.

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Silent Spaces: The Last of the Great Aisled Barns by Malcolm Kirk

DSC00920-lo-res DSC00919-lo-resA barn lover in Oregon told me about this book. and what a find! Timber frame lovers and barn lovers, this is a rare and beautiful book, now out of print, but available used from Abe Books. Photographer Malcolm Kirk documents this unique form of construction, often called “aisle and bay divided,” from pre-medieval Europe to Colonial America. (See pp. 30-32 of Shelter.) Terrific photos.
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