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Timber Framing Schools and Workshops

Shelter Institute – 10 hour Online Timber Framing Course

Build your own Timber Frame structure using our expert training and step-by-step guidance, without having to travel far away or spend thousands of dollars in tuition.  It can be hard to take a week or two away from “real life” to take a class at their Campus in Maine so they created an online Timber Framing Class. In it they cover in detail all of the things you need to know in order to build timber frame structure.
  • Learn At Your Own Pace – Didn’t quite understand something the first time? No problem, watch it as many times as you need to. Something came up at work or home? Take your time, this course isn’t going anywhere!
  • After completing this course, you will go from knowing nearly nothing about timber framing to becoming confident and competent enough to build your own timber frame structure.
  • They taught this cours in-person over 250 times since 1974 and they are excited to finally take advantage of modern-day technology to make timber framing even more accessible to everyone!
  • On the fence?  They’ve handpicked over an hour of content from their Timber Framing Online Course, and created this FREE Mini Course that will walk you through everything you need to know to cut a Thru Tenon (an essential part of timber frame joinery!)


Heartwood School

Heartwood Timber Frame School2-day to 2-week courses for novices and professionals in timber framing, design, woodworking, housebuilding and more. Please call or write for a free brochure.


Year of the Mud – Timber Frame Workshops


The Year of Mud offers high quality hands-on natural building workshops, including straw bale construction, cob building, and timber framing. Our Timber Frame Workshops are focused on equipping students with valuable and timeless hand tool experience, and demonstrating the important connections between framing and natural wall systems. The Year of Mud teams up with experienced instructors to offer classes covering everything from square rule layout to roundwood timber framing, and we pride ourselves in crafting a memorable experience that students will greatly cherish.

Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Yestermorrow Design Build School2

Course Description

Timber framing is the craft of building with posts and beams, joists and rafters, all connected by wooden joinery. This carpentry tradition goes back well over a thousand years in Europe, and longer yet in Asia. While in many parts of the world, timber frame carpentry traditions are alive and well, in America it has experienced a resurgence after being neglected for light stick framing. With the revival of interest in the craft in our country has come an openness to experimentation and exploration of world carpentry traditions. Timber framing in America today is an exciting blend of old and new, West and East.  Our class project will be to cut and raise a small timber frame. Students will learn how to draw out joinery on timbers using the traditional Square Rule layout system; cut mortise and tenon joints using hand tools; and assemble and raise the frame. We will divide our course schedule between the daytime hands-on learning of woodworking skills as we cut our frame, and the evening sessions, where we will view slides and discuss a variety of topics relating to timber frame design and construction.
Yestermorrow Design Build School1School
Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 150 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft including a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design and green building. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1980, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our 1-day to 3-week hands-on courses are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country.

EcoNest School of Natural Building

IMG_6347The EcoNest company…
founded in 1996 by Robert Laporte and Paula Baker-Laporte has evolved a unique and proven training system. Graduate professional builders and owner-builders have successfully built EcoNest homes throughout North America.

Our Timber Framing Workshops gives you hands-on experience in timber framing – a true craft. http://www.youtube.com/embed/WgGp8hDszzY It offers you a unique opportunity to work with timbers as well as with others of like mind. For some, this experience could be a doorway into the rich world of wooden architecture and perhaps the beginnings of a career in timber framing. Regardless of your intent, the process of transforming a tree into one of the “bones” of a home is magical.

In this five-day workshop, you will review the history of timber framing and contemporary practices used to build modern timber frame homes. Students will learn the basic principles of crafting a timber frame and will develop the following skills:

  • Wood selection: Learn how to chose the right timber in the correct orientation to transform a tree into a structural member of a home
  • Shop drawings: Make sense of complex shop drawings by learning to understand the details and dimension lines necessary to producing accurate work
  • Layout: Learn how to take information from drawings and accurately and efficiently transfer them to the timbers before cutting.
  • Joinery: Learn to precisely cut mortise and tenon joinery with hand and power tools.
  • Sharpening: Using Japanese water stones, gain proficiency in giving your chisels, slicks and planes a supreme cutting edge.
  • Assembly: Learn to mate joints with wooden pegs and assemble timbers into bents and walls.
  • Raising: Participate in the experience of erecting a timber frame and see your patient hand-work become a three-dimensional reality.

Adirondack Folk School

woodshedWhat defines Adirondack Folk School (AFS) is its commitment to teaching and promulgating arts, crafts and skilled trades
unique to the Adirondacks. The work of AFS preserves the distinctive cultural heritage of the region, instills self-reliance,
and promotes community as well as ecological sustainability. The sense of wonder that hundreds of AFS student-artisans
and tradespeople experience at the school is palpable, and no less valuable than their extraordinary work, hand-made to
last for generations.
The AFS Timber Framing class series ranks among the school’s most popular and enduring offerings. It includes
introductory work in Trestle Ponies and Custom Mailbox construction to more advanced work making the Adirondack
Woodshed and Adirondack Cabin, during which students also learn about raising techniques, roofing, siding and
different types of foundations.

North House Folk School

north house folk school1Timber frame courses at North House Folk School emphasize hands-on experience and offer a range of learning formats, from introductory workshops to build-your-own structures. Timber frame classes have been a featured theme at North House since our beginning in 1997. During each course students have the opportunity to use professional timber framing power tools, utilize traditional hand-powered tools, learn sharpening skills, read timber frame joinery plans and much more. Our campus features seven timbered structures, a fantastic resource for learning.
Examples of timber framing courses include:
– Basic Timber Framing
– Build Your Own Large or Small Timber Frame
– Grindbygg – Norwegian ‘Trestle Frame’ Timber Framing
– Build Timbered Sawhorse Trestles
Find more information and a complete listing of North House’s Timber Frame courses here: http://www.northhouse.org/courses/themes/timberframing/index.htm

north house folk school2School

North House Folk School is a small educational 503(c) non-profit organization on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minnesota. We foster a non-competitive learning environment devoted to teaching traditional northern craft. We offer over 350 courses year round in everything from timber framing to woodworking, blacksmithing to fiber arts. Learn more and see a complete course schedule at www.northhouse.org.

Contact info:

The American College of the Building Arts

226838_862010886272_16112768_41468440_1749462_n3About ACBA: 

The American College of the Building Arts is the only college in the world to offer the four-year Bachelor in Applied Science in Building Arts (B.A.S.) degree. We also offer and Associates degree (A.A.S). Students major in the Building Arts and select one of the six areas of Craft Specialization in which to focus the work in a trade.  Students select a Craft Specialization from the following to provide a focus for their craft education: Stone Carving, Architectural Carpentry, Forged Architectural Iron, Masonry, Plaster, and Timber Framing. The B.A.S. degree is designed to synthesize a traditional liberal arts degree with the Craft Specialization and training in the Building Arts. After completing the degree, students may seek employment within the fields of architecture, design, construction, and preservation, among others.

Students pursue a hybrid curriculum that embraces tradition without ignoring the present – a foot in the past to be able to go forward into the future.  Trade classes are integrated with general education classes to the point where a debate about ironwork can happen in English class and research papers show up in the blacksmith’s shop.  Borrowing from the real-world emphasis of European programs like the Compagnon du Devoir in France, ACBA has developed a world-class internship program that has sent students abroad to work on castles and cathedrals.

Handshake Joints2Timber Framing Overview:  At ACBA, the carpentry and timber framing programs are combined for the first two years due to the commonality of material, joinery, and most of the tools used in the two trades. The first part of the curriculum covers the basics of hand tools, wood science, and shop safety. Students will learn how to properly use, maintain, and sharpen any tools, from hand tools to portable electric tools as well as all stationary equipment commonly used in carpentry and timber framing shops.

T Coleman, Handshake Joint1Through a series of small projects, students will be introduced to stick framing as well as mill rule layout, the most basic and modern approach to timber framing. Through these projects, they will learn how to layout and cut the joinery typically used in carpentry and timber framing. Students then learn the principles of laying out, cutting, and assembling straight and winder staircases, and progress into the introduction of sophisticated spiral staircases. Senior students are required to produce a “capstone” project prior to graduation. This project is meant to be representative of at least one aspect of their broad education. This process often requires extensive research, design, and estimating work, as well as the time and labor involved in creating an actual finished product. Projects range from elegant and complex scaled models to smaller full-scale installations for local clients.

Contact info:

School of Practical Stereotomy – École Pratique de Stéréotomie

The Professional School of Practical Stereotomy is a small private professional school, unique in the English speaking world, where students are given experience in the application of the historic, time-tested techniques of practical stereotomy – L’Art du Trait. Stereotomy employs working drawings to design and construct structures both simple and complex. It is an empirically based method that has been used for millennia in the design and construction of European cathedrals, fortresses, castles, including historicallyProfessional School of Practical Stereotomy Class classified UNESCO world heritage monuments such as the Chartres Cathedral. Students of practical stereotomy become knowledgeable through hands-on experience of a process which makes the most complex designs very manageable. In truth, the experience of this approach not only provides students with new skills and enhances those they already possess, but in fact transforms them in a more profound way. They begin not only to do things differently and think differently, but indeed to see differently. To see now what before they could not see. The result of this experience is that students are now able to undertake with confidence projects they previously found intimidating or too complex to attempt.

Professional School of Practical Stereotomy ProjectOnline courses : http://www.shop.historicalcarpentry.com/Art-du-Trait-courses_c2.htm

Workshop courses: http://www.historicalcarpentry.com/courses.html

Patrick Moore

Professor, Carpenter, and Consultant
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
website – www.historicalcarpentry.com

Cell – (819)664-9596


SIPschool Installing Panels on Timber FrameA large percentage of Timber Frames utilize Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) as the preferred method of enclosure. SIPschool provides classroom and hands-on instruction to individuals and businesses that seek SIP industry recognized training.

SIPschoolEstablished in 2006 by SIP industry veteran Al Cobb, the school’s instructors have many years and hundreds of timber frames worth of experience. Most importantly, the school is not affiliated with any manufacturer and maintains an impartial and unbiased view on various types of panels and variations in details and techniques.

Consider SIPschool if you’re looking for dedicated SIP training and how it can enhance your timber frame or timber frame business. Learn more about SIPschool at www.sipschool.org.

Spring 2016 – April 21-22, 2016 SIPs 202 Two Day Installation Workshop

Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia, USA

Contact [email protected] for more information.

Island School of Building Arts

For 24 years, the Island School of Building Arts (ISBA) has been training students from around the world in the art and craft of working with big wood in both timber and log form. Located in the spectacular Gulf Islands off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, ISBA provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their learning while surrounded by nature.

ISBA offers four-week courses in Timber Frame Post and Beam, Timber Frame Hammer Bents and Log Building in both the Spring and Fall session. Curriculum is based on a centerline layout approach, ISBA supplies all tools and final course projects are a full-sized timber frame or log cabin. Each term, we offer two affordable workshops in SketchUp for Timber Framers, allowing students to explore TF design on a personal level or add it to their toolbox and offer design components to employers and clients.

Instructor and author, James Mitchell, shares his passion for the craft, as well as over four decades of working with log and timber construction. Graduates from the ISBA Big Wood courses are highly regarded by industry in Canada, the US and across the globe.

Whether your goal is to build your own home, work in industry or simply to acknowledge your passion for working with log or timber joinery, ISBA will give you the skills and the knowledge to carry you on your journey.

For more information and course schedules, visit www.isba.ca or call the office at 250.247.8922.

  • Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada

Do you offer a school or workshop and want to be on this list?…great!  Just head to the contact page and drop us a line and we will get you added. – Brice

7 thoughts on “Timber Framing Schools and Workshops”

  1. A great idea would be to put where each of these schools are located first thing. It ain’t a treasure map search to find one, but it’s a trek. And it’s the first thing folks wanta know, after how much does it cost.

  2. I agree with Steve. Having the location of each school listed would be a very helpful time saver. Thank you for putting this list together.

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