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The Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts
Learn to Timber Frame

Craftsmanship, Simplicity, Timeless Beauty

Signed copies of Will Beemer's new book can now be ordered online!

A classic timber frame is as practical and beautiful today as it has been for centuries. In this beginner-friendly guide, veteran builder and Heartwood Director Will Beemer brings the historic craft of timber framing within reach by walking you through the process of building a simple 12x16 structure — a starter project large enough to serve as a cabin, workshop, or studio — that can be modified to suit your needs. Along the way, you'll learn what makes timber framing distinctive, how to acquire and use local lumber, and the proper handling of chisels, saws, and other essential tools. Inspiring photos and instructive diagrams illuminate each step from preparing and cutting the timbers to the thrill of raising day. Hardcover; 192 pages.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Jack A. Sobon. Preface. Chapter 1: What Is Timber Framing? Chapter 2: Getting Started; Using Ungraded Native Lumber - Timber Frame Engineering 101 - Ordering and Storing Timbers. Chapter 3: Layout Systems; Mill Rule - Mapping - Scribe Rule - Square Rule. Chapter 4: Tools; Tools for Layout - Cutting Tools - Boring Tools. Chapter 5: Procedures for Layout & Cutting; First Steps in Layout - Laying Out the Mortise and Tenon - Cutting Procedures - Rules of Thumb for Joinery Design in Square Rule. Chapter 6: The Tiny Timber Frame; Plan Drawings - Timber List - Sills - Joists - Posts - Girts - Braces - Collars - Door Posts - Tie Beams - Plates - Rafters. Chapter 7: Variations on the Frame; Moving Doors and Windows - Adding a Loft - Changing the Roof Pitch - Overhangs - Making the Frame Smaller - Making the Frame Bigger. Chapter 8: Raising the Frame; Equipment for Raising Day - The Raising Script. Chapter 9: Foundations & Enclosure Systems; Foundations - Insulation and Enclosure. Epilogue. Glossary. Resources. Bibliography. Index.

"What a very easy to understand and well illustrated book on building a timber frame. I am but a humble woman, with a little experience in woodwork, but I marvel at the workmanship that is explained in this book - no easy screw and nail joins here, but proper mortise, tenons, dovetail and other joins. This building is a work of art, and will probably withstand whatever weather is thrown at it. It is lovely to see craftsmanship such as this passed on to the next generation - yes it takes longer, yes it requires patience but the end result is fabulous." — Leyla, Amazon Books 5-star review

"This new book exemplifies the disciplined approach that Will Beemer brings to all tasks, offering a solid background for the new‐to‐topic learner and then step-by-step direction to complete a small timber frame... For 30-plus years working with Michele, his wife and partner, Will has collected a body of work and a stable of spirited instructors at the Heartwood School to accommodate many different learning styles. Successfully. High quality photos and graphics, concise language and clear process will make this new book equally successful with the motivated self-builder who chooses to timber frame."— Timber Framing, Issue #119, March 2016
Click here to read the full review of the book from the March 2016 issue of the journal Timber Framing.

Learn to Timber Frame is $24.95 plus $8.00 shipping, handling and $1.56 MA sales tax (will be added to MA addresses only at checkout). You can send us a check or pay via Paypal below and we'll get your copy right out to you. We only ship to US addresses; for international or multiple copy orders please email us for a quote at

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