Course status April 29

Course status

Our June 24–26 Timber Framing course is now full, but we still have room in our August 19–23 class. We also have room in the following upcoming courses:
Intro to SketchUp for Timber Framers (May 30-June 1)
Concrete Countertops (June 1 & 2)
Advanced (3D) Concrete Countertops (June 7 & 8)

SletchUp model
Mike Beganyi’s SketchUp course is an intensive three days of learning to use this free, easy-to-use yet powerful 3-D drawing program. Mike has honed his presentation of this material over many years to suit all skill levels, whether you want to use the program for timber framing, furniture, cabinets or home design.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A Sojourn to France

Heartwood Director Will Beemer (3rd from right, front row) is pictured with over 300 French compagnons timber framers at their recent meeting in Besançon. Will was invited along with two other Americans, Dennis Marcom from Bensonwood and Rick Collins from Trillium Dell Timberworks, to describe timber framing education and business in the USA. The French charpentiers have expressed an interest in expanding their exchange programs to America. This is an exciting opportunity for us since their tradition, going back to the Middle Ages, provides the most extensive training in traditional craft anywhere in the world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Heartwood alumnus first North American to become French compagnon

Heartwood alumnus Patrick Moore (Scribing 2008, Cruck Framing 2009, Raising & Rigging 2010) has become the first North American to graduate from aspirant to full-fledged compagnon in the French system. It has taken him over three years, living and working in France (and learning to speak fluent French), and culminating in the construction of his “masterpiece” pictured here. This model, or maquette, is much more complex than it may appear, with intersecting and interwoven pieces traveling through the piece at unique angles. Drawing and construction takes 6-12 months of dedicated effort. Congratulations, Pat, and we look forward to you returning home and sharing your exoerience and knowledge.

Patrick Moore

Pat Moore with his "maquette".

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

New Green Woodworking videos online


Kevin Kiwak

Kevin Kiwak

Instructor Kevin Kiwak teaches three workshops at Heartwood that use traditional green (unseasoned) woodworking techniques. We have created three short videos that show more of the techniques, tools and project you’ll take home if you attend one of the courses. To watch the videos, click on the links below. The videos are embedded at the bottom of each course description page.

Build Your Own:
Country Windsor Chair: June 10–14
Shavehorse: June 17–21
Pole Lathe: Sept. 16–20

You may also find the videos on our YouTube channel at

Posted in Videos | Comments Off

Pegs or pins?

Heartwood Director Will Beemer had an article called “Making Riven Pins” recently published in the March 2013 issue of Timber Framing, the quarterly journal of the Timber Framers Guild. (We will have a reprint of this article available soon on our website).
In the course of writing the article, the question came up: are the wooden fasteners for timber frames, traditionally called “trunnels” (from “tree-nails”) correctly called “pegs” or “pins” in modern times? Some would argue that pegs are wooden and pins are metal…but bowling pins are wooden and traditionalists in the field have usually called trunnels “pins”. So the editor and authors of Timber Framing have decided, for consistency of style, to call them “pins”. Just a bit of trivia for you to add to your glossary.

Posted in Techniques, Tips | Comments Off

Berkshire Woodworkers Guild Scholarships application deadline April 1st

Heartwood belongs to the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild, a group of professional craftsmen and women who live and work in the Berkshire area. The Guild offers scholarships each year to applicants between 16 and 25 years of age who are pursuing an education and career in woodworking, architecture and related fields. Applicants do not need to be residents of the Berkshires. If you know of a young person who could use this financial aid, please tell them about it. The deadline for the current round of application is April 1st. Details can be found at the BWG website at

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Heartwood at the Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase

Heartwood at NWA Showcase

Heartwood at the Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase

Heartwood will be raising a cherry cruck timber-frame at the Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase next weekend (March 23 & 24). The event, to be held at the Saratoga Springs (NY) City Center, is one of the largest and best exhibition of fine woodworking in the US. It features:

  • Art in Wood Gallery
  • Continuous Schedule of Free Seminars on Tools and Techniques
  • Trade show with over 12,000 square feet of woodworking related vendors
  • Continuous Schedule of free Demonstrations

For more info, see

Be sure to stop by our booth and say “hi” if you go. We’ll have demonstrations of peg making, using a hand-operated boring machine to make mortises (kids love to drive this machine) and models of historic timber-framed barns. You can also preview some projects from our courses, such as Heirloom Dovetail Toolchest, Shavehorse and Country Windsor Chair. Hilary Russell, instructor from our Build a Skin-on-frame Canoe course, will also have one of these boats at the show.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Former Heartwood apprentices making waves around the world.

Three of our former Heartwood apprentices have been making waves across the hemisphere, and we’re happy to share news of their exploits here:
Shannon McIntyre (class of 2011) has been timber framing since she left Heartwood and is now in Monteverde, Costa Rica helping build a school there. Follow her blog here.
Chris Drake (2010) has become the first member of the Timber Framers Guild apprenticeship program to graduate to Journeyworker status. Congratulations, Chris! He works at Frameworks in Fort Collins, CO.
Mark Sowers (1998) has been working with Tiny House pioneer Jay Shafer in California in building a new business called Four Lights Tiny House Company, and we wish him the best of luck in this new endeavor. We’d love to get him to bring some of that knowledge back to Heartwood soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

One more timber frame available in 2013

We still have one project opening in our timber framing schedule for this summer, so if you would like to have us build you a small studio, garden shed, guest cabin or woodshed we would love to discuss options with you. Sizes can range from 8′x12′ to 16′x20′. See some of our project possibilities and learn more by clicking the link here

Woodshed frame

Timber frame from 2012 with the class that built it. Tuition to the course is waived for the person buying the frame.

Posted in Heartwood projects | Comments Off

New video of Mike Erkkinen and Toolchests

Instructor Mike Erkkinen teaches our new “Build your Own Heirloom Dovetail Toolchest” course offered from September 23–27, 2013. You can visit his shop and see the project in new video we’ve uploaded on our YouTube channel here. We hope to have more videos coming soon with other instructors to give you previews of the courses they’ll be teaching.Mike Erkkinen

Posted in Videos | Comments Off