There are many sources of timber framing reference material. When you start your timber framing journey it is often tough to figure out where to look for materials to obtain a base understanding of timber framing practices. The references below are intended to provide an overview that the beginning timber framer can use to start their study. is a great site with a ton of searchable historical threads. Folks on the forum are always willing to answer questions and offer opinions. Content is geared toward “how to” and beginners. The Timber Framing & Log Building Section and the Forestry Forum Calculators have helped me acquire knowledge on a wide variety of timber framing topics over the years.

The Timber Framers Guild provides information on education and events; they have a bookstore with relevant publications for sale.

Vintage Tools NE is run by Jim Rogers who has been involved with timber framing for many years. If you need a restored boring machine, a chisel, or a drill bit that are high quality at reasonable pricing, contact Jim at Vintage Tools NE, Georgetown, Ma 01833 (800)422-6250. Jim also does timber frame design work if you are in need of a set of plans.

Timber Frame HQ is an excellent source of timber framing plans and ideas. The website section titled Timber Frame Construction Details allows you to view 3D timber frame joints to gain an understanding of how they are constructed.

Historic American Timber Joinery is a 2004 publication where Jack A. Sobon describes and provides graphics of traditional timber framing joints. This publication does an excellent job of providing an overview of historic American Timber Frame joints; the joints can be applied effectively to today’s structures.

The Army Rigging Manual provides instruction that can be used to safely raise a frame. This manual explains the concepts and equipment in a manner that is easily understood.

Introduction to Timber Framing at the Finger Lakes Museum Student Manual prepared by Rob Hughes, Big Beams Timber Frames.

Google Sketchup 2017 Make used in conjunction with Clark Bermer’s Timber Frame extensions (formally known as Timber Frame Rubies) allows you to design a small timber frame structures and produce shop drawings. You can also purchase the Timber Frame Design Using Sketchup , authored by Clark Bremer, from the Timber Frame Guild. The manual describes how to use Sketchup (including Timber Frame Extensions) for timber frame design. Or, if you live in the Midwest, Clark often offers one day classes on the how to use Sketchup at some of the local venues.

Clark Bremer’s Timber Frame Extension YouTube Videos

June 25-29, 2019 Beginner Timber Framing Class (Aspire Artisan Folk School, Waconia, MN).

We are looking forward to class where students will learn timber framing and build a small structure. There is still room in the class if you would like to join us. Sign up here.

The plans below were created in Sketchup using Timber Frame extensions. The layout method used is “Square Rule.” In class students will learn to read shop drawings as they cut the timbers and assemble this structure.

In order to timber frame, we need a mallet to whack on our chisel. For us, that means we find a chunk of hardwood; then, we use a froe, axe, and chisel to make up a mallet.