Time: Thu, Jul 8 - Sun, Jul 11, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Hidden Valley Nature Center
Students will work in small groups over the course of 4 days to learn the basics of timber frame construction, and ultimately to build and erect the frame of a small building. The class will be led by Bob Lear of Bob’s Beams in Whitefield, ME along with assistance from several other experienced staff members.
Students can expect to get a thorough introduction to most aspects of building a timber frame, and several short presentations on interesting related topics. The class begins with a lesson on sustainable forestry and time spent with a saw mill operator in order to better understand why timber frame techniques are well suited to New England forests. Afterwards students will begin to review the building plans and design. Building plans will be given to students in advance and there will be time to discuss why certain joints are being used, and not others; why beams are sized a certain way; and how to begin drawing a plan for a simple, small building.
By the end of day one students will have tools in hand, and will be laying out and cutting their first pieces. The pace of the rest of the workshop will be dictated by the students. Generally speaking, students will work in small groups with supervision to measure and cut pieces to plan. Periodically the whole group will check in to be introduced to another idea or technique, or to ask questions and review.
By mid-morning Sunday the group will begin to erect the pieces of the frame. This is a hands-on, experiential workshop. Tools and equipment are all provided, but students should bring their own tools if they have questions about them. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.
Class will run 8am-4pm each day July 8-11. Camping space is available, and HVNC huts are available at a discount to students.
Davies Allan, a local businessman, has been inspired to make this experience affordable for anyone eager to learn the craft. He has made Midcoast Conservancy an extremely generous offer: he’ll pay half of the course fee for prospective students. All he asks in return is that each person write him a brief statement, explaining why they want to take the course. No Shakespearean prose is required, just a genuine explanation of why acquiring timber framing skills is of interest! If you are interested in this opportunity, email your statement to us.
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