Scribe Joinery 2- French Scribe

In this class we will be taking a deep dive into French scribing, a centuries-old technique for laying out joinery with minimal numeric calculation or math. It is particularly useful for joining out-of-square timbers and curved timbers that have been milled with flat faces. (For an introduction to scribing with round logs, you'll want to look into the "Scribe Joinery I" class.)

 With the use of a full-scale chalk line drawing on the floor, paired with steady hands and simple tools like a plumb bob, pencil, and straight edge, students will learn to transfer the unique shape of each timber to adjoining members, along with layout for mortise and tenon joinery. This technique lends itself well to working with hand tools since housings and shoulders are often slightly out of square from the timbers. 

French scribe fundamentals are covered in the "Scribe Joinery I" class, which is highly recommended as a prerequisite. In this class we will be reinforcing those skills and also taking a deeper look into the finer points of scribing with a plumb bob, with the opportunity to cut an entire timber frame using this technique. There are many delicate steps involved with French scribing and we will be working toward a methodical approach that will give students the confidence to tackle any joinery project with twisted, seasoned, out-of-square, or curvy milled or hewn timbers. 

This class is a 200-level course and previous experience is recommended.  If you have not taken a previous Scribe Joinery course, whether at the Heartwood School or some other school, it is recommended that you have previous scribe experience or previous timber framing experience.  This course will primarily focus on the premise of French scribe layout.  It would be helpful for students to at least have joint cutting experience.


Adam Miller and Ariel Schecter

Adam Miller is an independent carpenter specializing in timber and log framing.  He enjoys sharing knowledge learned from his own research and from work with others.  Adam finds special joy in the layout and cutting of curvilinear work, both geometrically and organically derived.  A long-time member of the Timber Framers Guild and Carpenters' Fellowship, Adam often presents at conferences and has edited Timber Framing, the Guild's technical journal, since 2018. 

Ariel Schecter grew up in the Hudson River Valley, gaining early expertise in the trade working tirelessly on Lincoln Log, Knex, and Lego sets. After studying structural engineering at Brown University, he meandered through a series of timber framing and fine carpentry jobs that ultimately led him to Timberhomes Vermont, where he is now a worker-owner. He particularly enjoys working with physical techniques like scribing and stereotomy - and getting away from crunching numbers (even though he likes those, too). Ariel is always eager to continue learning, teaching, and connecting with others who share a love of the trade. You can find him on instagram @fancystix. 

Oct 8, 2023 - Oct 14, 2023 $1,400

13 spots remaining.


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