As a method of building, timber framing surfaced centuries (even millennia) ago. There is still much to learn about early techniques. And the world’s built environment contains many old timber frames that we’d like to repair or restore.
Invigorating the time-tested ways of building, and learning how to honor structures built in this fashion. These imperatives drive the Traditional Timber Frame Research Advisory Group, (TTRAG), a special-interest group within the Timber Framers Guild, to focus on the documentation, repair, preservation, reconstruction, and reproduction of historic timber framing.
TTRAG members meet annually in a location rich in historic timber structures, present illustrated talks to each other, and follow a historic buildings tour. In addition, the group produces an annual public conference (much larger than the TTRAG members’ meeting but smaller than national Guild conferences) that includes speakers from outside the Guild and again a tour of local historic buildings. In recent years, TTRAG has featured a "historic track" at TFG national conferences focusing on historic architecture and joinery techniques in addition to a pre-conference tour.
Membership in TTRAG is for those Guild members who actively pursue a better understanding of historic timber-framed structures and techniques. To become a member, submit these two sets of information:
1. A written statement of your preservation philosophy and/or interest in historic timberframing plus one of the following:
a. A résumé of three historical projects, a written explanation of your involvement in them, and one
completed short survey form with 20 images of the structure surveyed.
b. Four short survey forms with 20 images of each structure surveyed.
c. A combination of (a) and (b), such as one résumé of a historical project and three short surveys with photos.
2. One of the following:
a. A presentation on the surveyed structure using the Historic Wooden Structures Archives Survey Checklist
b. A historical presentation relating to timber framing at a Guild-sponsored conference.
c. Publication of an article in TIMBER FRAMING related to historical timber framing.
To maintain membership in good standing, each year, submit a short survey form or present at a member meeting.
We invite you to join us. For more information, please reach the Guild office at 855/598-1803 or via email.
Abbott Lowell Cummings, South Deerfield, MA
Elric Endersby, Ewing, NJ
Bob Ensminger, Bethlehem, PA
Ken Rower, Newbury, VT
TTRAG members have been very active in contributing articles and editing for TIMBER FRAMING, the Guild's quarterly journal, over the years. Find articles on traditional timber framing in the cumulative index. In addition to contributions to TIMBER FRAMING and to the Scantlings newsletter, many members have published larger works including Historic American Timber Joinery and Historic American Roof Trusses, along with a glossary, a bibliography, and other publications.