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Scribed Timber Framing - Using Natural Forms

Scribing is an art as much as a craft, requiring a good eye and a steady hand. It involves laying out and transferring joinery intersections from one timber to another using plumb bobs, levels and marking devices instead of tape measures and math. This traditional method is useful for incorporating out of square, curved or oddly shaped pieces into a timber frame as well as for complex roofs.

We will practice various methods developed by a number of cultures and adapted and modified in modern times. This requires only a plumb bob, sharp pencil, a good eye, maybe some dividers, and steady hands. Accurate visualization of the pieces in the finished frame is critical during the setup and "lining" process, and this will be stressed early in the course prior to actual scribing and cutting.

Milled but naturally curved pieces can be joined to other timbers using the English or French scribe method; double bubble pen scribers can work with fully round members; “mitered” joinery can be developed by scribing which has the ability to carry great loads by producing bearing faces perpendicular to the forces affecting the joint. 

Visit or contact: or 413-623-6677.

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