Jointing, Shrinkage & Movement

how we make a frame

A structural timber frame requires large section timber. This size of timber is only available green, meaning it has a high moisture content. Even timber that has been felled for quite some time retains it's moisture, a 10" by 10" post will take years to season. Green timber is used because it is readily available, it is easier to work and much more economical. The downside to using green timber is that it will shrink and move as it seasons.

To take account of this movement every joint is individually hand scribed, cut and fitted in the workshop to ensure a tight clean fit to begin with. Once the joint is cut and fitted the peg holes are offset, drilled slightly out of line to pull the joint together. When the frame is finished and erected on site we use hand cleft and drawn tapered oak pegs to pull the joint together.

The only factor more important than the quality of the carpentry is timber quality. If sub standard timber is used then even joints cut by the most skilled craftsmen can fail. This is why we order the highest quality timber from only reputable and well established sawmills that we know can supply us to the standards we demand. Once the timber arrives at our yard each piece is checked for defects and straightness before being orientated and finally framed in to the structure. This timber selection, orientation and quality control is of the highest importance, it can literally make or break your frame.