Timber Framing for Builders

This course combines our basic Timber Framing class with hand tools and our Timber Framing  with  Power Tools class.  Participants will cut and raise a 12'x16' timber frame by learning how to layout timbers using the traditional square rule method (developed in the early 1800s). Participants will learn proper hand tool use and sharpening techniques, and be introduced to safe practices of power tool use for timber framing.  The instructors will provide demonstrations of how to layout and cut a mortise and tenon, how to layout and cut braces, how to layout and cut step lap rafter seats, and more.   We will cover some shop techniques such as gang cutting, checking and marking timbers, and efficient methods of cutting. There will be plenty of time for Q & A so feel free to bring along questions and photos of projects that you have in the works.  We will also cover what is needed to create timber lists and how to estimate projects, we will review telehandler signals and safety, and visit the Bensonwood facility for a shop tour.

Students in this class will learn many aspects of both traditional and modern timber framing that should provide the basic skills and confidence to help them plan for and build their own timber frame structure in the future. 


Instructors for this course are Kyle Murphy and Brian Snedeker.

Kyle Murphy lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he has been timber framing for 13 years and has owned and operated Falling Acorn Timber Frames for 11 years. He was first introduced to timber framing while working for a millwright, restoring historic gristmills. Through this work, he fell in love with the beauty, craft, and longevity that timber frames offer. Soon after, he attended Fox Maple School of Traditional Building, and subsequently other workshops up and down the east coast, devoted to continuing to learn the traditional craft. He served as a project manager for the Hidden Trace Farm Community Building Project in 2020 as well as serving as an instructor on several other Guild projects.  

Brian Snedeker began Timber framing in his early 20's. His introduction to the craft was restoring historic barns and buildings in rural Vermont. This sensitive procedure, full of tradition and heritage, sparked Brian's passion for timber framing. He continues to incorporate historic joinery and practices into his current work with his business Ivy Creek Timber Frames. Brian's background also includes experiences in the south west where he was exposed to rammed earth, adobe, and cob. He also spent 4 years working for a notable building company in Asheville, North Carolina where he learned conventional framing and enclosure systems building net zero houses. After that, he has enjoyed working as a subcontractor in a timber frame shop outside of Asheville while he built his home-workshop. Naturally gravitating towards a rural life with close community, he loves being immersed in family, farming and traditional craft. He resides in Barnardsville, North Carolina where he founded Ivy Creek Timber Frames and lives with his family.

*For any questions, please contact the Heartwood School at request@heartwoodschool.com or 1-603-678-1156.

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