Raising & Rigging

?The August 2024 session of this course will not be held at the Heartwood School campus in Alstead, NH. It will be hosted on the site at Griswold Scout Reservation(Hidden Valley) located in Gilmanton Iron Works, NH? and will conclude with the raising of a pavilion on the property.

Here is an opportunity to learn the few, but necessary, knots (a dozen or so) needed by the timber framer to safely lift heavy loads and tying off timbers for shipment. Students will practice these knots until they own them. All the elements of a knot, bend, and hitch will be covered. 

The rigging of blocks and use of tackle will be demonstrated. You will learn how to construct and adjust a gin pole (luffing) using various rope hitches and tackle. Time permitting, we will show you how to arrange, rig, and raise tripods and shear legs (A-frames) and maneuver a load with a jib-arm. More maneuverable and versatile than shear legs, the gin pole requires more rope and guying points (anchors).

Splicing synthetic and manila ropes for eyes and joining lengths will be practiced. Finding lift points, center of gravity (CoG), and how to secure pieces and bents for raising will also be covered, as well as crane signaling and the basics of crane setup and operations. 


Instructors for this course are Grigg Mullen Jr. & Grigg Mullen III.

Grigg Mullen Jr. got involved in timber framing in 1994 as a craftsman, engineer, rigger, and event organizer. Since that time, he has worked on numerous projects in both the United States and the United Kingdom. He joined the Timber Framers Guild in 1994, served three terms on the TFG board of directors, and is a founding and current member of the Timber Framing Engineering Council. As a professor of civil engineering at Virginia Military Institute, Mullen has led more than 30 community service projects with students and community volunteers. And he has built at least one Chesapeake Bay deadrise in his spare time.

Grigg Mullen III has a remarkable ability to understand and teach the complex math and engineering needed to safely raise heavy beams by hand with ropes and pulleys.  Grigg has been teaching at the Heartwood School for many years. He is a proud member of the Timber Framers Guild and has recently been elected to the TFG Board of Directors. Grigg enjoys supporting his community by organizing and participating in community service workshops to build picnic structures for parks, facilities to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and outdoor classrooms for local schools. Grigg is the owner of Precise Solutions Machine Shop, known in the timber framing community for their lightweight and foldable timber carts. Grigg lives in Virginia with his family and enjoys working on old machinery and antique trucks in his spare time.

Recommended Reading:

Additional Reading:

  • Handbook of Rigging for Construction and Industrial Operations, 4th Edition by W.E. Rossnagel, Lindley R. Higgins, & Joseph MacDonald
  • Rigging Techniques, Procedures, and Applications: US Army Field Guide FM5-125 by The United States Army

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

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