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The 5 Basic Timber Frame Trusses

Let’s look at the five basic types of timber frame trusses and review each of them them.  Now while there are dozens of variations of these five designs they represent the majority of trusses used today.

Common Truss

Common Timber Truss

The first one is the common truss. While basic and simple, the strength and affordability of this design are unmatched. As its name implies is the most common truss used in timber framing today and in the past. You can tell it is a common truss by the lower tie beam joining with the two rafters.

Queen Post Truss


The next design is a queen post truss.  It is similar to the common truss in that it utilizes the bottom team beam but it also adds the two posts dividing the gabled space these are known as the queen post.  This works well for highlighting the windows in a great room and adds strength and character as well.

King Post Truss

King Post Truss

The third truss we are going to discuss is the king post truss. The post dividing the gabled space is known as a king post, it is a bold and intriguing design that is commonly used in conjunction with other truss styles. It also often incorporates two struts on either side that not only add strength but character

Hammer Beam Truss


The fourth and in some opinions the most dramatic is the hammer-beam truss.  This design is the most complex of the five and deserves an engineer’s touch to make sure it holds up over time but the results is well worth any effort you put into it.  Common pieces are the hammer-beam and the hammer post, and a king post is often incorporated into this upper gabled area.

Scissor Truss


The final truss design is the scissor truss which has two beams that run from the lower part of the Rafter to other opposing Rafter crisscrossing each other creating a unique and loved to look.  While sometimes difficult to figure out the best way to join the timbers in the middle it can solve difficult span requirements while adding character to the frame.

Joinery References:

I hope you found this article helpful and if you have any other questions about the timber frame trusses or need a timber frame house plan please let us know.

Timber Frame Trusses - The 5 Basic Types
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