Timber Basics

What you need to know

Our timbers are harvested out of the Pacific Northwest. Selected trees graded #1 Douglas Fir, or better.  We only use the wood that is free of the heart center, minimizing checking and shrinkage for a higher performing timber.  Then our material is kiln dried which will set the pitch to enhance uniformity

For thousands of years, timber has been the construction material of choice for its functionality and pleasing aesthetic. It can be seen in landmark architecture and simple homes alike.

Today new technology has unleashed timber’s full potential. Timber frames today are more structurally sound, customizable, insulated and resistant to seismic activity.

Timber framing is different from other construction techniques because the connections are wood on wood without the use of metal. We use the Tenon connection, Scarf Joint and Rafter-Ridge beam connection techniques. We can engineer concealed knife plates and reinforced beams that provide modern stability  and still give an old-fashioned look.

Figure 1

The Mortise and Tenon connection (Figure 1) is a traditional look best described like this:

The mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form, it is both straightforward and secure. Although there are many joint variations, the basic mortise and tenon comprises two components: the mortise hole and the tenon tongue. The tenon, formed on the end of a member referred to as a rail, is inserted into a square or rectangular hole cut into the corresponding member. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly and usually has shoulders that seat when the joint fully enters the mortise hole. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place. (Wikipedia)

Figure 2

The Scarf Joint (Figure 2) is an elegant connection where flat sections of the joint interlock and are reinforced. This creates a sturdy joint that allows for a wide range of design flexibility.