Heartwood School

Course Descriptions


Please check back in the late fall/early winter for our 2023 offerings.

Converting Trees to Timber
In this course, students will learn how to grade timbers for strength and appearance, understand how to maintain a woodlot, safely and efficiently cut trees, and convert those round logs into square timbers.
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Cruck Framing
Cruck frames use large curved timbers to transfer the weight of the roof directly down to the foot of the posts. In this workshop, we will build a small, two-bent cruck frame, from tree selection to layout to raising.
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Demystifying Roof Geometry - The Stereotomical Approach
Roof geometry is a challenge most framers must face eventually. These problems can be solved either mathematically or visually (drawing by hand). The skill of drawing complex shapes and practicing stereotomy has been taught for centuries by the French, German, and Japanese carpentry traditions; it enables the carpenter to directly measure working angles and scale dimensions rather than calculating them.
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History of Timber Framing
This 3-hour visual presentation will cover the beginnings of timber framing in Europe and Asia and its spread to North America.
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Intro to Masonry Heating
Learn the basics of masonry heater construction with a combination of classroom learning and hands-on building.
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Outdoor Earthen Bake Oven
Earthen ovens are a traditional focal point of many cultures around the world, and in this two-day course we will build an oven mainly from local materials.
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Raising & Rigging
This course teaches the few, but necessary, knots needed by timber framers to safely lift heavy loads and equipment. All the elements of a knot, bend, and hitch will be covered, and more.
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Scribe Joinery
Students in the scribe joinery course will learn to join round timbers to both square and other round pieces, and out-of-square timbers to other out-of-square faces on adjoining pieces, practicing various methods developed by a variety of cultures and adapted for modern use.
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SketchUp for Timber Framing 2 (Intermediate Level)
This class is for students who have a good command of the basics of SketchUp as described in the beginner class and are ready to learn additional skills. We'll start with a brief overview of components, scenes, and styles, and learn how to use tags to turn on and off features in different scenes.
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SketchUp for Timber Framing: Intro
This course introduces SketchUp, a powerful and effective, yet user-friendly, 3D computer drawing and modeling program.
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Stereotomy: Building the "Moore" End Table
In this two-day workshop, students will build their own Moore End Table. Students will be taught how to use the visuospatial part of the brain to visualize in 3D, draw in 2D, and then construct their trestle.
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The Art of Drafting
Drawing has always been an essential tool for building. This two-day course will teach the skills to put pencil to paper, the traditional art of drafting. Students will learn about the types of drawing mediums, drafting tools and aids, drawing to scale, the various views, lettering, and drawing conventions.
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Timber Frame Design & Joinery Decisions
This course is geared towards timber framers and covers the architectural and structural basics for designing timber frame structures that are both beautiful and functional.
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Timber Frame Preservation
A guide to understanding, documenting, and repairing historic timber framed buildings. Students will learn how to document and date historic structures using both traditional methods and high-tech gadgetry. The course will address the evolution of preservation philosophy, the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and applying for grants and tax credits, as well as the repair of timber framed buildings.
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Timber Framing
Timber framing is a traditional framing technique that is incorporated into all building projects at the Heartwood School. In this class, we will lay out and cut the joinery for a complete frame and assemble it, and then raise it at the end of the course.
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Timber Framing for Women & Gender Non-Conforming Folks
This course is offered as a comfortable space to learn the basics of timber framing for people who may not feel welcomed in the almost-uniformly male culture found in construction. It is specifically and only for women and gender non-conforming folks and will be taught by two women timber framers.
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Timber Framing Intensive
This course combines the core of our previous timber framing, homebuilding, and apprenticeship curriculums into one package for those who seek more opportunities for development than is provided in our one-week courses.
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Timber Framing with Power Tools
In this course, we will fabricate and raise a timber frame, but with a modern twist, safely integrating power tools into the process.
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Woodworking: Build a Shaker Bench
This two-day course focuses on hand tool joinery fundamentals through the construction of a small Shaker-style bench.
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