TFG Companies

Heartwood School

Classes & Workshops

We established Heartwood in 1978 to teach the skills and knowledge it takes to build an energy-efficient house. Since that time, we have expanded our programs to include all aspects of the homebuilding crafts, particularly timber framing. Heartwood Director Will Beemer was Executive Director of the Timber Framers Guild for eleven years and has authored many articles and books on timber framing, including Learn to Timber Frame (Storey Publishing 2016).

The people who come to Heartwood, varied as they are, together share a clear determination to empower their hands, to train their eyes for quality and beauty in the design of things, and to question and explore the ways we might live in a more honest relationship with our planet. The determination to become an active creator of your environment as designer or builder claims back your right to make a difference, to be able to build places that express your care for the life that will happen within them.

It is the same spirit referred to by the poet Gary Snyder when he advised:

Find your place on the planet and dig in.

We're here to help give you the tools to do just that.


In 2018, we're combining our apprenticeship and timber framing curriculum into one four-week intensive course, offered June 4-29. We think this will fill a need for those who want to get experience and a deeper understanding of timber framing but can't commit to an apprenticeship or are unable to "get their foot in the door." This course will include timber framing, basics of building, scribe rule and square rule layout, timber frame design, engineering and joinery decisions, wood science and selection, power and hand tool use and maintenance, and roof framing, including hips and valleys. It's ideal for those who want to build their own frames or pursue a career in the craft, and can be a step towards qualifying for TFG apprenticeship. We will continue to offer our one-week Timber Framing courses separately. 

2018 Course Offerings at Heartwood:

  • Cruck Framing, with Jack Sobon, Neil Godden, and Will Beemer (April 30 - May 4)
  • Timber Framing Intensive (June 4-29)
  • Basics of Building (June 4-8)
  • Timber Frame Design & Joinery Decisions (June 11-15)
  • Scribed Timber Framing - Using Natural Forms (June 18-22)
  • Roof Framing (June 25-29)
  • Concrete Countertops (July 20-21)
  • Timber Framing (July 23-27)
  • Timber Framing (August 20-24) or


Washington, MA


79 Heartwood Rd.
Washington, MA 01223
United States

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