Homestead
Timber Frames

What is a tenon as it applies to timber framing? By definition, a tenon is a projection on the end of a timber used for joining multiple members together.  Timber frames receive a multitude of handcrafted tenons and each tenon is created with great care and will end up joined inside a mortise.  A tenon starts life as a set of lines on the side of a timber post, beam, or knee brace.  Each line is drafted using the timber frame shop documents as a guide for length, width, and placement.  This is referred to as ‘laying out’.  Every member of a timber frame is laid out and checked before it is fabricated. 

Once the tenon is laid out it is time to double-check the work, grab a saw, and start cutting.  Our crew uses different sizes of circular saws to make the various cuts required in fabrication.  Once the saw is set to the correct depth the cutting can begin.  Depending on the tenon length this is usually a series of four cuts.  One cut on each side defining the position of the tenon and two additional cuts to remove the waste material.  At this point, we have the basic shape of a tenon.

The tenon is then evaluated for consistency and accuracy.  Any imperfections are worked away with a chisel.  Using a mallet and chisel, the joiner takes care to skim off waste material and leave behind a work of art that is ultimately hidden within its respective mortise.  Although never seen again, accurate tenon fabrication is crucial for a tight-fitting timber frame.  The more accurately the tenon is cut is directly related to how well the members of the frame fit together.  Too short and you end up with a sloppy joint, too long and the tenon sticks out of the mortise.  Our shop crew creates tenons so accurately that they receive a bevel at the end for easier fitment. 

Once a series of mortises and tenons are cut, it is on to pre-fitting the frame in sections.  During the pre-fit of the timber frame, the peg holes are drilled through the assembled mortise and tenon joints so that once raised, this geometry translates to the assembled frame and is truly a hidden work of art.  The frame seemingly squeezes itself together along with the raising crew to perfect fitment but in reality, it is the skill of the joiner that creates this illusion.

For decades, airplane hangars crafted of stone and steel have been the norm. As more and more of you discover the amazing benefits of timber frame airplane hangars, the norm is changing!

There’s a lot to consider when you’re deciding to build a new structure on your property. Timber frame structures, including timber frame hangars, include more specific considerations than most structures when you’re planning a build.

Here are 5 specific things you should consider when you’re choosing to build a timber frame hangar.

5: How Much Space Do You Need?

Timber frames naturally lend themselves to larger structures. In your own mind, you may be thinking:

“The bigger the structure, the better it’ll be.”

Well, that isn’t always necessarily the case. Big structures are great, but they’re also:

● More time-consuming to design and build

● Needy of more maintenance and care

● Not budget-friendly

If you don’t have a massive plane to store, several small planes to store, or a fleet of cars, you won’t really need a huge timber frame hangar. Before you consider building a timber frame hangar, take a look at how much space you’ll actually need. You’ll end up saving yourself plenty of time and money!

4: Do You Want Your Hangar to Be a “Full” Timber Frame?

When you’re considering building a timber frame hangar, you have the option to stick with a full timber frame, or a hangar that simply incorporates timbers in specific areas. Whether or not to choose a full or partial timber frame hangar depends on a few things:

● Your budget

● Your aesthetic taste

● Your preferred style of joinery

Full timber frames tend to be more expensive, and the style isn’t for everyone. You may also think joining heavy timbers with metal will make it stronger than a conventional timber frame structure. However, for the expense, a timber frame hangar joined with timber elements will, in most cases, be stronger than a traditional steel hangar.

3: Who’s Designing Your Hangar?

Designing and building timber frame structures takes a very specific set of skills. Designers and architects, for example, need to know how to combine the heavy timbers in a way that makes structural sense. Engineers and builders should be able to put them together in a way that ensures that the timber frame structure is strong and durable.

Before you opt to build a timber frame hangar, make sure you’ve joined (yes, pun intended) up with a team that can help you put it together from start to finish. By joining (again, pun intended) up with professional designers, architects, structural engineers, and joiners, you’re making sure your timber frame hangar will stand for generations to come.

2: What Kind of Timber Do You Want to Use?

Timber frame structures are always made with strong, durable heavy timbers. However, some timbers work better for some timber frame structures than they do for others. For example, while you can have an entire timber frame hangar built of, say, Baldcypress, it’s not ideal.

Your timber frame hangar will likely be an enclosed structure, which means you’ll want to use species that work best for interior areas. These timbers will need to span long distances for larger hangars so typically the use of Glulam's will be necessary to make those clear spans possible. Here at Homestead Timber Frames our wood species of choice for these large spans and types of structures is Douglas Fir. There are other species that can be used in the smaller hangars but we feel the Douglas Fir is the best all around for this application.

1: Your Budget

All of the above are very important to consider when you’re looking into building a timber frame hangar. However, none are as important as this one factor: your budget.

You may dream of a large, spacious timber frame hangar. However, the size and opulence of your heavy timber structure will depend on how much you’ve budgeted for your build. That’s why knowledgeable, experienced timber framers (like us) will work with you to help you reach as much of your dream timber frame structure as possible without breaking your budget.

Are you currently considering building a timber frame hangar? Reach out today and call us at (931) 484-7059 or use our contact form. We’ll be happy to help you put together the timber frame hangar you’re looking for!

If you know us, you know we could go on forever about the benefits of building a timber frame airplane hangar. Like any timber frame structure, timber frame hangars are strong, versatile, and spacious!

Like any structure, though, timber frame hangars aren’t perfect for everyone. We mean, they’re pretty darn close, but it all depends on your preference. To find your preference, you’ll need to weigh some pros and cons.

“But Homestead,” you may ask, “what exactly are the pros and cons of building a timber frame hangar?” Well, let’s explore a few of them.

Pro: Timber Frame Hangars Require Little Maintenance

Metal airplane hangars take a lot to stay in functional shape. They take a lot of pressure washing, and the caustic cleaners you’ll need to use to keep them from corroding or rusting can:

● Wear down the integrity of your metal structure

● Damage whatever you’re storing in the hangar

● Ultimately be harmful to your health

pros and cons of a timber frame hangar

Timber frame hangars require less attention and maintenance than a typical metal airplane hangar. There are natural finishes, like Heritage that you can apply to your timbers to keep them virtually maintenance free or you can leave them natural and they will age on their own not affecting their strength. Keep in mind if you paint or stain the timbers you will likely have to reapply years down the road, so essentially your maintenance is whatever you would like it to be.

Con: Certain Timber Species Are More Prone to Rot and Decay

For as much as we evangelize the positive properties of timber, we’re also aware of the negatives. There are certain species of timber, for one, that are more prone to rot and decay than others. This is especially dependent on the climate in which your timber frame hangar is being raised.

Species such as pine may require sealers or paint to maintain their structural integrity if used in a timber frame structure. It’s also not a good idea to use super-green timber, as the moisture content can lead to checking (cracking) and warping over time.

These "cons" are the reason timber framers have such high standards of grading when choosing the proper timber for all projects. Species like pine are not likely to be used in a large structural frame such as a hangar. The use of Glulam's and Douglas fir timber help to ensure the longevity and strength of the timber frame hangar.

Pro: Timber Frame Hangars are Incredibly Durable

Metal’s vulnerability to corrosion and rust already provides an element that ultimately compromises the structure of a metal airplane hangar. While metal can be incredibly strong, it has a great deal of give, meaning that it won’t always hold up to extremes in elements.

timber frame airplane hanger being raised

Timber frame hangars that are expertly designed and joined provide excellent structural protection against the elements. Many wood species are stronger than fabricated metal, which means a heavy timber structure can stand up to most anything. This means they’ll stand tall for generations without buckling, bending, or shifting.

Con: Timber Frame Hangars Can Be Quite Expensive

For all of the positives that heavy timber construction can provide, you’re likely to pay a premium price. While metal hangar construction isn’t exactly cheap, the design and build of a timber frame hangar can be very expensive. This cost means that a timber frame hangar may not be the right choice for everyone. This purchase is after all an investment to house another of your investments, your aircraft.

Ultimately, the cost of the design and build of your timber frame hangar depends heavily on what you’ll be looking for. Elements that factor heavily into the cost of a timber frame hangar include:

● The size of your build

● The complexity of the joinery

● Requirements dictated by building codes and structural engineers

● The species of timber you choose

While it’s not hard to keep your costs low if you stick to your budget, it’s even easier to go over and beyond it. When you want to stick to a specific budget for your timber frame hangar build, it’s suggested that you work with folks who are knowledgeable in the art of timber framing.

Speaking of folks who are knowledgeable in the art of timber framing, our craftsmen and designers are ready, willing, and able to help you create the timber frame hangar you’ve been looking for. Call us today at (931) 484-7059 or use our contact form to get in touch regarding your timber frame project.

Timber Frame Cabins Offer What Log Cabins Cannot!

Everyone has the dream of spending vacations on mountain getaways to a rustic log cabin. Even just thinking of one probably has you pining (yes, pun intended) for a cabin to call your own. While we’re sure that the ever-popular log cabin is the only type you’ve ever thought of, perhaps you should consider a still-rustic, yet cozier option.

Perhaps you should consider a timber frame cabin.

Whether you’re considering building your own using timber frame cabin plans, or letting seasoned pros handle the job, a timber frame cabin is an ideal place to live and relax. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why you should build a timber frame cabin.

5: The Aesthetic is Like No Other

Log cabins have their own striking, rustic quality, sure, but nothing beats the aesthetic of a timber frame cabin. One of the reasons why you should build a timber frame cabin is the aesthetic of the frame itself.

Heavy timber bents provide a stunning atmosphere for any interior property. Even the most conventional-looking bent catches the eye! Choosing timber frame construction for your own personal cabin will ensure that your property will have a classic, timeless, and warm look for years to come.

4: Raising a Frame is Faster than Building with Logs

Building a cabin can be a long project. The process of joining the structure can feel like it takes as long as a traditional stick build, if not longer. It isn’t far-fetched for someone to start building a log cabin in the summer, only to finish it the next spring.

Raising a timber frame takes nowhere near as long as joining logs. In fact, your timber frame cabin structure can go from fabricated to raised in as little as a month, total. Raising the frame itself can take anywhere from a day to a week, depending on the complexity of your project.

Better than waiting two or three seasons to finish it, right?

3: Timber Frame Cabins are Strong and Built to Last

This isn’t to say that log or stick-built cabins aren’t strong. It’ll require regular maintenance, but log and stick-built cabins can stand for decades without facing extreme deterioration. However, when it comes to durability and strength, they can’t beat a heavy timber structure.

Heavy timbers in themselves are durable and slightly flexible, allowing some give with the natural shift of your foundation without risking damage. If this wasn’t enough, heavy timbers can resist the touch of fire damage. In the event of a fire, heavy timbers can withstand more than dry logs or thinner construction materials.

In short? You can rest assured that a timber frame cabin will stay with your family for generations.

2: Timber Frame Cabins are Very Customizable

Log cabins are beautiful, yes, but they aren’t as versatile stylistically as a timber frame structure. In most cases, you can only build log cabins up to a certain size before you start running into heavy expense and the risk of structural compromise.

Timber frame cabins can be built into most any style you can think of. They can also be as large as you desire them to be without running the risk of fabricating a structure that may become unstable.

1: Timber Frame Cabins are Energy Efficient

If you go for a traditional log cabin, it’s very tough to insulate. In the summer, you’ll need to find a way to keep it cool. In the winter, you’ll definitely need to keep it warm. If you opt to use modern heating means, it can get very expensive, as the non-insulated structure can be a major energy drain.

Timber frame cabins are often built with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs prevent heat and cold from drafting in or escaping, creating an even interior climate that’s comfortable year-round. As a result, they can help you save big on your energy bill!

Still need to be convinced with more reasons why you should build a timber frame cabin? We’ve got plenty of them! Call us today at (931) 484-7059 or use our contact form to get in touch. We can help you get started on the build process for your own timber frame cabin!

Timber frame cabins have risen in popularity over the past few years. From young vacationers to golden year honeymooners, timber frame cabins have become a must-have. If you’re reading this article right now, you’re probably one of the folks planning your own timber frame cabin.

You likely have a dream timber frame cabin in mind to build. You’ve scouted a perfect patch of land in the mountains. You’ve been saving up. You’ve even sketched out a few quick plans.

That’s all well and good. However, we must ask this one question:

“Have you considered everything that goes into building a timber frame cabin?”

There are a lot of things to consider regarding a timber frame cabin build. Three in particular are more important than most. Here are the 3 top things to consider when planning your timber frame cabin.

3: What Type of Wood You Want to Use

The type of wood to be used will factor heavily into building your timber frame cabin. From your design to your budget, wood type and species will serve as a bridge between dream and final result. Here are a few things to ask when choosing wood type and species:

● “Do I want timbers sawn from hardwood or softwood?”

● “How do I want my timbers to be processed?”

● “Do I want aged timbers or younger ‘green’ timbers*?”

Choosing timbers for your timber frame construction

At Homestead Timber Frames, we often prefer to use white oak to build interior timber frame structures. This includes timber frame cabins. We prefer white oak because:

● It requires little maintenance

● It’s incredibly strong and durable

● It’s a versatile species that fits any aesthetic

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. It’s important to remember, though, that some species are stronger and more durable than others!

*Green timbers may sound appealing, and can sometimes be less expensive than seasoned or kiln-dried timber. It isn’t always a good choice to use, as the high moisture content makes it more prone to shifting and checking (cracking) as your timber frame cabin gets older.

2: To Build on Your Own, or to Hire Professional Joiners

Building a timber frame cabin is a major undertaking. Some of you are probably up to the challenge. We know that we have plenty of seasoned woodworkers and builders who follow us, which means we’re aware that designing and building a timber frame cabin is fully within your capabilities.

Even if you aren’t an expert with woodworking, joinery, or carpentry, you still may want to try your hand at building your own timber frame cabin. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and we encourage as many people as possible to indulge in the peaceful hobbies of joinery and woodworking!

Surfacing choices for your timber frames

Ultimately, your decision to build or to hire joiners likely comes down to time and budgetary constraints. That’s why we offer different service tiers for anyone seeking out our own timber frame cabin, the Beni. From plans to aid in your own DIY timber frame cabin build to full joinery services, our options fit any budget.

1: Your Timber Frame Cabin Build Budget

You’ve probably pictured your dream timber frame cabin in your mind many, many times. When some of you think of timber framing, you may picture large opulent structures. Ultimately, the difference between what you plan and what you build comes down to one factor: your budget.

Two story exterior photo of timber frame cabin

Building a timber frame cabin isn’t an inexpensive process. There can be, at times, a high cost per square foot, which means the bigger the cabin, the higher the price. You must also factor in the cost of materials and labor, which can raise the price further depending on the type of process you choose.

At Homestead Timber Frames, we can help you plan, design, and build a timber frame cabin that fits both your dreams and your budget. Call us today at (931) 484-7059 or fill out our contact form to book an appointment to start your own timber frame cabin build process.

Our blogs tend to talk about a lot of different aspects of timber framing. For instance, you can read articles and blogs about:

Our timber frame design and build processes

● Things to consider when designing a timber frame

● Reasons why you should build a timber frame

● Different wood types/species and why they're used in timber framing

Rarely ever, though, do you get to hear us talk about the inspiration behind our timber frame builds! One of our newest offerings is a timber frame cabin that’s lovingly been named after its designer. In this article, you’ll learn about the inspiration behind our timber frame cabin design, the Beni.

Timber Frame Cabin Building Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere

At its roots, timber frame design is classic and simple, yet it can feature intricacies and complexities that you wouldn’t get with a typical log or stick-build design. Our founders, Bruce and Cyndy Gardner, built this company on the principles of Craftsman designers like Gustav Stickley. Stickley’s works are classic and timeless, and we strive to capture that same quality.

While many of the roots of our timber frame cabin designs come from pre-Industrial Revolution design, we’re not afraid to look to contemporary sources. These days, YouTube is an amazing place to find inspiration for woodworking and construction. This is especially true if you’re looking to build a timber frame cabin.

Open space interior design of our timber frame cabins

Digging Deep Into our DIY Roots

As you know, our craftsmen at Homestead are avid woodworkers. These gentlemen are artisans who value and enjoy their craft. It makes perfect sense that they’d keep up with design trends by following fellow artisans who share their craft with others so that inspiration can spread.

It’s precisely in this way that we found the inspiration for our timber frame cabin design, the Beni! The stick-built cabin designed and raised by stellar woodworking and DIY YouTuber Graeme Jervey played a big role in the conception of our timber frame cabin.

interior of the Beni Timber frame cabin

What’s Traditional is Modern, What’s Modern is Traditional

The design and build that inspired the Beni is very much rooted in classic sensibilities. It’s a build that draws from the familiar compact-yet-spacious sloped-roof cabin or small house. It’s only 250 square feet, but thanks to the placement of the windows and the layout of the rooms, it feels far more spacious.

So many classic cabin designs are of a “studio” variety, meaning sleeping and common spaces are combined and the only extra space is allotted for a restroom. The timber frame cabin design that forms the Beni is in a similar vein, but features the modern convenience of extra rooms and a semi-open concept layout.

Many of the DIY cabin builds that may inspire you are stick builds. However, it’s quite easy to alter their concepts to support your own timber frame cabin design. A designer with expertise in designing timber frame cabins, like our designers, can help you make any timber frame cabin concept your own.

Would you like to learn more about the inspiration behind some of our builds? Give us a call today at (931) 484-7059 or get in touch via our contact form. We’ll be happy to talk shop and help you make your own timber frame cabin design a reality.

If your search journey has brought you to this page, it’s probably because you’re well into the process of planning your own timber frame cabin build. It’s also possible that you’re weighing the decision of timber frame cabins vs. log cabins.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “What’s the difference?”

Timber frame cabins and log cabins share a few traits. Right off the bat, we can name a handful in particular:

● Both are made from sturdy timber

● Both can be very rustic

● Both can last for decades

Exterior of a log cabin showing similarity  to a timber frame built cabin

In reality, both share more differences than similarities. Check out these differences between timber frame cabins and log cabins. By the time all is said and done, you may realize that you’ve found a clear winner!

There’s More Versatility in Design Possibilities for a Timber Frame Cabin

If you’ve ever planned or designed a log cabin, you know there’s only so far you can go with the design. Log cabins are very compact structures, and because of the way they’re built, there aren’t a lot of possibilities to add rooms in the future if you desire. Timber frame cabins offer that kind of versatility.

timber frame for cabin

Timber frame cabins can function as minimalist tiny homes, or they can serve as large multi-room chalet-esque structures. By design, timber frames lend well to open concept builds, which allow plenty of room for future additions. The versatility in designing a timber frame cabin is unparalleled, which gives it an edge over the log cabin.

Timber Frame Cabins Work Well With Half-Log Siding

Fitting a timber frame into a traditional log cabin is a nigh-impossible task. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t marry the structural integrity of a timber frame cabin with the rustic exterior look of a log cabin.

inside a timber frame cabin

Building a timber frame with half-log siding is a very real possibility! If you’re wanting the best of both worlds, an exterior sided with halved logs can provide an exquisite foil for the handsome timbers that comprise the inside of your cabin.

Timber Frame Cabins Eliminate the Need for Load-Bearing Walls

If you’re familiar at all with construction, you’ve likely been taught about the importance of the load-bearing wall. Just as it’s important in stick-built structures, load-bearing walls are crucial if you’re planning to build a log cabin. Large logs, after all, are heavy, and without those load-bearing walls, you risk the collapse of your structure.

external view of timber frame cabin

One of the best things about designing and building a timber frame cabin is the fact that load-bearing walls aren’t a necessity. Because of the way the heavy timbers in a frame are joined, walls can be added, removed, or foregone because they don’t have anything to do with the structural integrity of the build. Thus, this adds further possibilities for timber frame cabin design!

Curious about more major differences between timber frame cabins and log cabins? We can talk about ‘em all day long. If you’re interested in your own timber frame cabin build, give us a call at (931) 484-7059 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to chatting with you!

There are many choices and decisions to be made when faced with a new build of any kind and timber framing is no different. One of the first decisions you will have to make regarding the look of your finished timber frame is the texture of the timber surfaces. There are several different ways to do this, so we'll go over a few of the most popular.

Smoothly Planed/Surfaced

This most common choice is the result of a portable planer, sharp blades, and patient technique. The timber frame sets the planer blade height to a minimum setting to minimize grain tear-out and planes each visible timber surface while advancing slowly. Areas around knots may require additional attention from a belt sander.

Timber frame construction: Demonstrating the attention to detail in finishing work
Rough Sawn

Rough sawn timbers are the most rustic and basic form of surface finish. Once a tree has been cut down timbers are joined straight from the sawmill, saw marks and rough grain intact. Rough sawn timbers are often displayed in barns and homes. It is truly a rustic and natural surface choice for a timber frame home.

Rough sawn surface of timbers
Hand Hewn

Best described under the heading, "How to make a timber framer wince", this surface treatment is achieved by using an adze. The adze wielder chops along the length of the timber taking small divots of wood. The aim here is to replicate a timber that produced by hand from the log.

hand new surface for timbers
Sandblasted

Timber frame timbers can be sandblasted to mimic weathered timber surfaces without the graying. A steady stream of an abrasive agent such as sand or baking soda is directed under pressure against the timber surfaces. The abrasive agent removes the softer 'early wood' leaving the 'late wood'. The result is a timber surface that looks and feels like corduroy with the 'late wood' grain raised.

surfacing process for timber frames

Make sure to choose wisely, because the finish will likely be the first thing most people notice about your frame. There are no wrong decisions, but it is important to choose a texture that matches the look and feel you want in your new home. If you have any questions about these or any other kind of timber frame finishing, feel free to reach out and let us know! We are always happy to talk timber framing with new friends.

With the many kinds of construction available today one might ask themselves, why build a timber frame?  Our answer is why not build a timber frame?  There are many advantages of using heavy timber construction.  Some of the more obvious advantages are found in the strength, beauty, and energy-friendly benefits they incorporate into any structure. 

This blog will take a closer look at each of these benefits.

  1. Beauty and Comfort:

Large exposed heavy timber beams are honest. They put the natural grain patterns, texture, and color variations of each timber on display, adding an organic warmth wherever they are used.  

Timber frame construction is traditionally rustic, can contrast nicely with tile, wood, or concrete floors, and is greatly accented with the use of sheetrock walls.  Considering that timber frame homes are designed to each owner’s personal tastes they are truly an extension of their vision and dreams, creating the personal kind of beauty that lasts forever.

Ceiling timber frame construction

Each timber beam reflects the passion and care with which the timber frame was constructed, adding that beautiful “wow” factor to each entryway, porch, great room, or kitchen they are incorporated in.   Natural checking and proud wooden pegs also lend themselves to the euphoric feeling associated with the enduring style and artistry of timber framing. 

2. Strength & Durability

Timber framing has been around for thousands of years and can be dated back as far as 200 BC in India, Japan, and throughout Europe.   There are timber frame structures still standing today, such as the Jokhang Monastery in Tibet, which has withstood centuries of weather, earthquakes, and human use, showing the true strength of timber framing.

Timber frame strength comes in part from the care taken in the design of the structure.  The use of large structural timbers utilization of traditional mortise and tenon joinery allows timber frame structures to be flexible, giving them an advantage when it comes to structural loads as well as seismic activity, wind, and snow.

  1. Energy Efficiency and Eco-Friendly:

Timbers are a replenishable, natural resource when harvested responsibly. Heavy timber construction also creates a much smaller carbon footprint because of the relatively little amount of energy used to create the material compared to the amount used to manufacture concrete and steel. The use of natural heavy timbers reduces the number of chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process of pressure-treated lumber used in many conventional buildings. By using suppliers that practice reforestation, timber framers can build responsibly using what nature has already supplied.

Heavy timber frame construction can also be very energy efficient when used with structural insulated panels, which is a common practice, offering a higher R-value to the finished home or structure. They have a low thermal mass, which reduces the amount of heat absorbed and allows the house to warm up quickly. When designed thoughtfully, timber frame structures can fractionalize the cost to heat and cool compared to most conventionally built structures.

Other notable benefits:

A few other benefits to using heavy timbers in your structure include a higher fire rating.  This is due to the timber’s natural tendency to resist fire.  The timber will begin to char first sealing off the interior of the timber and essentially protecting it from damage.  The charring process delays the combustion process thus, the thicker the timber, the longer it takes for the timber to burn.

Timber frame structures are also quicker to erect than most conventional buildings.  Because the timber frame is cut, trial fit, and stacked before being shipped to the job site, time on site is cut down tremendously.  When structural insulated panels are used with timber framing, it can take days as opposed to weeks to “dry in” a structure.

Overall, the benefits of timber framing vary from beauty, substantial strength and durability as well as being energy and eco-friendly when compared to conventional construction methods.

One of the most striking elements of any timber frame structure is the truss. Designed to be aesthetically stunning and structurally sound, trusses provide beauty and great strength. In timber framing, we use many different types of trusses, with each serving their own specific purpose. Below, we've explained some of the most common truss types found in timber frame construction.

KING POST

The king post is the most common type of truss you'll see in timber frame construction, and provides a solid foundation for any structure from bridges to houses. This truss is defined by a central “king post” that starts at the tie beam and may or may not extend slightly beyond the rafters. In many instances, a king post truss will include two struts at or just below the center of the post that join into the rafters to provide extra structural strength. However, a well-designed and built king post truss is also strong enough to stand without the struts.

king post timber frame struss

QUEEN POST

The queen post is the next most common truss type found in a timber frame structure. Queen post trusses are designed to allow for longer central openings at the center of the truss, making them ideal for homes or commercial structures with planned attic space. This truss type is defined by the use of two central supporting posts, which may or may not have struts extending from the sides of each post to the rafters for extra strength and support. Learn more about the queen post here.

queen post timber frame struss

HAMMER BEAM

Hammer beam trusses are as strong as they are beautiful and ornate. This truss type is primarily found in homes and pavilions with vast open ceilings, as the center area of a hammer beam truss is very large and open. For that same exact reason, many cathedrals make great use of hammer beam trusses in their construction.

The design of the hammer beam truss is slightly more complex than that of the king post or queen post truss. The simpler form of the hammer beam truss is characterized by a small post and collar tie at the top for stability, with two hammer posts and hammer beams on either side connecting to the collar tie for added strength. The hammer beams are further supported by braces that link into wall posts.

More ornate hammer beam trusses may feature extra complex elements such as curved ties or central ribs. When ribs are added, they add an extra dimension, more beauty, and greater stability.

hammer beam timber frame struss

SCISSOR TRUSS

The scissor truss looks basic and simple, but don't let that fool you! These strong, slightly complex trusses are designed primarily for buildings, and help support sloping roofs. Scissor trusses are found in all sorts of settings, but you see them a lot in pavilions because of their open nature. Scissor trusses are named as such because they are comprised of two top and bottom chords each that intersect en route to connecting to the rafters, therefore creating a “scissor” pattern.

scissor timber frame truss

JAMBE DE FORCE

“Jambe de Force” translates into English as “leg of strength”, which a jambe de force truss easily demonstrates. The jambe de force truss is used primarily in buildings as well, seen in many cabins, homes, and pavilions with vast open roofs. A jambe de force truss looks almost like a hammer beam truss, but more triangular. You'll find a collar tie and post at the top, which is buttressed by jambe de force braces and central beams that provide a great deal of strength and support.

Jambe De Force Timber Frame struss

ARE THERE OTHER TYPES OF TIMBER FRAME TRUSSES?

Yes! Covering these five most common types of trusses only scratches the surface of the truss types used in timber framing. The best way to learn about other timber frame trusses, and to discover which timber frame truss might be best for your project, is to connect with our knowledgeable timber framing pros. Give us a call at (931) 484-7059 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a chat or a meeting. We look forward to hearing from you!

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