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Timber Framing Books We Recommend

When looking for some great information on timber frames and timber framing construction techniques nothing beats a great book. Below we have provided you several books that we have read and love that focus on the details, information and house plans and that can help you with your timber frame project. If you have a book you would like to see us add to this list please let us know.

Timber Frame Books

Learn to Timber Frame by Will Beamer

In his beautifully illustrated book, Will Beamer explains timber framing clearly and thoroughly in words a novice can understand. His book educates the reader about the basics of timber framing, beginning with wood species, basic engineering principles and wood handling. He discusses lumber procurement and building regulations. He explains the basic types of timber frame layout and labeling, and the tools necessary to construct a timber frame.

A huge bonus with this book is that Will Beamer expands on teaching the basics with instruction on building an actual timber frame cabin. The core project is a 12 x 16 foot shed designed originally by Jack Sobon for his book Timber Frame Construction. For this book, Will Beamer includes the plan and section drawings, and a timber list, and then he discusses in detail all the elements and joinery details of the frame. Will includes detailed photographs of the steps in laying out and cutting the frame, and shares many tricks of the timber framing trade along the way.

Will shares ways to alter the basic design of the frame, from changing the location of doors and windows, to adding a loft, changing the roof pitch, adjusting the size of the frame, and even increasing the frame with room additions.

For someone brand new to the field, this wonderful book provides the background and technical knowledge to gain a true understanding of the art and craft of timber framing.

Timber Frame Construction by Jack Sobon and Roger Schroeder

In this comprehensive examination of timber frame construction, Jack Sobon (along with writer Roger Schroeder) delve into post and beam building history and techniques. Throughout the book the historical aspects of the different parts of the structure are discussed.

Jack Sobon thoroughly explains the parts of the frame, including detailed drawings and photographs. From bents and plates to bracing and trusses, he describes the purpose of each and their historical uses. He then continues by identifying the various house and barn varieties commonly constructed with timber framing.

The most indicative aspect of timber framing is the joinery, and this book clearly describes the different joints and their variations, again with illustrations and photographs. It also explains where in a frame the specific joints are generally used.

Of course, a timber frame is made totally of wood, and this book carefully examines the different aspects of wood and their effects on a frame’s strength. From how trees grow, to different wood species, to the effect of improper storage, to the effects of aging on lumber, Jack Sobon shows what to look out for when selecting lumber for a frame. There is even an in-depth examination of the processes of felling, hewing and milling wood.

By studying this book, a complete novice to the craft of timber framing can gain a good basic understanding of the history and methods for constructing these beautiful, honest structures.

A Timber Framer’s Workshop by Steve Chappell

Steve Chappell’s book is a thorough introduction to the art and craft of timber framing. It provides an explanation of the processes involved in creating a frame, from structural design and joinery techniques, to a discussion of the properties of wood and how that affects the strength of a timber frame structure. This book is intended to impart the knowledge to enable the reader to successfully complete their own timber framing project.

Introducing the basics of timber framing to the reader, the author discusses structural considerations of loads and stresses. He identifies the various parts of the frame, the many truss designs, and joinery details.

In order to help the reader understand the forces affect a timber frame, Steve Chappell delves deeply into explaining how to determine those forces and how they transfer to different parts of the frame. He explains how to correctly design the mortises, tenons and pegs to resist the forces that act upon them.

Steve includes a chapter devoted to detailed diagrams of some of the most often used joints, as well as a chapter containing several timber frame plans with timber schedules. He finishes up with a chapter teaching the geometric math principals necessary to properly calculate a layout.

Steve Chappell’s book will impart to the reader a comprehensive understanding of the principles behind the beauty of these traditional structures.

The Timber-Frame Home by Tedd Benson

Ted Benson delves into the structural and architectural aspects of designing timber frames, and how they impact the entire building. He celebrates the flexibility in design of a timber frame structure, and how the aisles and bays created by the frame are the strongest elements in shaping the space within a home.

Ted discusses the basic anatomy and the reaction of structural members to the stresses and forces acting upon them. Several different roof and floor systems are described with detailed drawings and photographs. And the critical element of joinery is examined in detail, with the many joint variations illustrated clearly.

This book examines recent improvements in home insulation. Foam core panels (stressed skin panels) are highly energy-efficient, and alternatives such as infill systems and exterior stud systems are explored as options for cladding walls and roofs.

There is a detailed look at the various options for constructing foundations, planning electrical and lighting systems to work smoothly with the components of a timber frame, and planning plumbing systems for best use with a timber frame.

There is a lot of information given about the design details of creating a beautiful timber frame space – from embellishments to dealing with doors and windows, to finishing details.

Tedd Benson’s book gives the reader an in-depth exposure to what it takes to design and build a successful timber frame home.

The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing 2nd Edition: 7   Unique Post & Beam Styles to Accentuate Any Design Theme by Bert Sarkkinen

Hybrid Timber Framing has experienced a massive resurgence in modern architecture. The potential for gorgeous personalized design is unmatched. Hybrid Timber Framing done wrong, however, can create ugly imbalance and detract from the overall look and feel. Done right, it goes so far beyond the initial investment, the value is hard to overstate.

The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing explores the link between traditional craftsmanship, with current building styles such as "Craftsman", "Rustic", "Modern" and beyond. It is a must-read for Owners, Designers, and Builders who want to influence the look and feel of their project using exposed beam construction. It is rich with ideas, imagery, and instruction to jump start your inspiration and planning.

Important topics to consider include:
• How to achieve optimized beauty by first defining ugly
• Where to draw the line with hybrid timber framing
• Seven chapters portraying diverse and unique timber styles
• How to avoid the over simplified “Hail Mary” approach
• How to accurately predict the cost of hybrid timber framing

 Bert Sarkkinen, the author, has explored timber framing from the perspective as a builder, a designer and a researcher. His specialty has been in matching clients’ personalities and tastes, to the ideal timber frame designs to accentuate what is unique about the clients project or theme. The book delves into these relationships between design preferences, and actual Hybrid Timber Frame applications. This book is highly informative, with beautiful photography, and is like a coach in your pocket a with personal touch!

More Books That We Recommend

Reciprocal Frame Architecture Book

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