Arron signals the crane operator as he lowers the H onto the sill

Paper Beats Rock

We all have illusions about longevity. Many people think that a building’s strength is derived from its foundation, made of stone, or brick, or concrete, but that’s only partly true. A good foundation is a blessing, but a bad foundation is not damning. We’ve seen so many foundation failures that in a well-designed timber frame, we…

Jennison Barn

Bread and Butter Barn

I write a lot about our unusual jobs: a deserted island, an elevated dance floor, or a building-sized jewelry box, but most of us got into this to do jobs like the Jennison barn. The job incorporates so many of PTF’s defining motifs: barn preservation, adaptive re-use, local history and creative clients. The Jennisons called in early…

True-Randall Farm, Tie Beam Scarf Repair

It really tied the barn together

Tie Beams are the defining component of a timber frame.  They tie a barn together better than The Dude’s rug ever could. A tie beam crosses the gable at or below the plate (eave) level, and prevents the eave walls from spreading under the outward pressure of the rafters.  Tie beams, more than any other…

Carpenter's shop, naked at dawn

A Carpenter’s Shop

I think most people on the crew have come across a frame that made them stop, and think, “Man, that’s the frame I’d build for myself.”  I think I’ve found mine.  It’s one of what will be three barns on a piece of property in Poland, ME – a horse barn, dairy barn and carpenter’s…