The 2021 Spring Timber Frame Apprentice Program

I've noticed that when a group of different people show up to learn about wood, good things usually happen. This definitely was the case when our timber frame apprenticeship started last May.

Emma cleans out a mortise on a plate beam.
Cleaning out mortises

We began with learning about moving beams safely, cutting straight lines with hand saws, and making hardwood peg blanks.


Our students came with a diverse set of skills and experience, with most having a good basic understanding of woodworking and carpentry. They came from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and even Wales.


Grant, Trista, Javier and I were excited to have our community grow for the month, and share our land, workshop and home after such a long time in isolation due to the pandemic. Our community potluck dinners gave us time to connect as a community in the cold spring nights.

Stephen cutting a rafter pocket on the plate beam.
Stephen cuts a rafter pocket

It started with some rain and snow, but it was a glorious spring that just got better and better as the weeks rolled by.


Each beam was carefully considered, marked and 'laid out', then hand cut by these wonderful people.


My friend and mentor Craig Boynton came down and shared some skills in cutting and hand hewing a basswood log from our Hawk Circle forest.



When we got our frame cut and the pegs made, we had a 'raising' and saw it all come together. The joinery was excellent, and watching them all work hard to get it 'just right' was a joy and an honor to witness.


It was hard to see everyone head off home with their newly acquired skills, but at the same time, we are excited to see what they accomplish in their building careers.




The magic is carried forward into the world, to be shared, one beam at a time!



Hand Hewing a Basswood Log
Hand Hewing Beams with John, Stephen and Craig

Using heirloom tools to cut some wood
Alo and Stephen use a cross cut saw to cut a 7x7 inch beam

Some finished joinery in our Porch Frame project
The assembled post, tie beam, braces, plate beam and rafters for the Maple Cabin Porch Frame

Justin cuts a rafter pocket
Justin cleans out a rafter pocket

The Spring Apprentice Program posing with their finished frame!
The completed Maple Cabin Porch Frame

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