Historic American Timber Joinery

Historic American Timber Joinery: A Graphic Guide
by Jack Sobon

Revised edition, 2014, perfect bound, 67 pages including numerous drawings and photographs.

This illustrated catalog discusses the joinery in American traditional timber-framed buildings of the past, showing common examples with variations as well as interesting regional deviations. It was written and drawn by architect and timber framer Jack Sobon under a grant from the National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology, and it appeared previously in a series of six articles in the Guild's quarterly journal, Timber FramingTimber Framing Editor Emeritus Ken Rower has here assembled the articles into a compendium that includes a bibliography and index to joints and useful terms.


Tying Joints: Tie below Plate

Tying joints: Tie at Plate

Sill and Floor Joints

Wall and Brace Joints

Roof Joinery Excluding Trusses

Scarf Joints



Brent from Jackson, MI
Excellent overview of historical practice, and the sketches are veritable shop drawings for recreating themes and variations on joint styles.

George from Morganton, NC
So you want to be a Timber Framer. You want to use all the Beautiful and Ancient joints of our Ancestors. You're just not aware of how to go about It. If you had a clear explanation and maybe a few ideas of the reason why a joint is used, where it should be placed, and a clear diagram of the joints structure. YOU could with practice build a Structure that would last Centuries. You could provide your homestead with a shed, chicken coup, or a family home that will be sound and Beautiful for the life of you great, great, great, you get the idea. THIS IS THAT Book, that all those like-minded individuals are looking for. Between the Illustrations and the Explanations and a Commitment to building that structure, this is a portable classroom. This is not only a field guide but a visual aid you can take right to the job site. It’s paperback and loaded with illustrations that most any individual inspired by this art form will be able to learn to become a Master Timber Joiner. (well with a lot of hard work). This book makes me want to drop everything grab my chain saw and build. Get this book it has all you're looking for. INSPIRATION ON EVERY PAGE.

Royden N Powell III from Centreville, MD
I purchased this book and Historic American Roof Trusses. Both books are very well illustrated and include detailed, descriptive narratives. The book on joinery includes drawings of a variety of joints used in various applications of timber framing. These joint illustrations, in many cases show the assembled joint, as well as an exploded view, providing more insight into the intricacy of the joint. The book on historic trusses, in addition to the drawings, also provides various photographic examples of existing historic structures and the trusses used in their construction. I would recommend both books to anyone interested in in research or practical application of timber framing.

Andrew from Canton, MA
Bought this book as a gift, personally have little to no practical building experience. However, before gifting the book I peaked inside....and then went and read through most of it. It is truly a lovely book - thoughtfully and cleanly written with beautiful illustrations.

Erik from Winthrop, ME

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