Timber Framing is an ancient method of building a house from wood beams. It has been practiced for centuries originating in Europe. In the early 1600's it found its way to the East Coast of America. Craftsman with the knowledge of Timber Framing traveled on the ships from Europe, serving as ships carpenters during the journey. Arriving on the East Coast they found an abundance of Virgin Forests, giant trees the likes of which had never seen before. By this time throughout Europe, the forests had been cut down and what remained belonged to the King. In the 'New World' of America, houses built from 1620 through 1820 were Timber Frame constructed. The Industrial Revolution brought along automation and saw mills popped up where ever there was hydo power or a water source available. By the mid 1820's Timber Framing stopped and from then on houses were built from sawn lumber. Today Builders still use "Stick and Frame" construction, where the nailing together of many small pieces of wood to construct a house frame is the standard. The only exceptions to Wood framing are found regionally, where mud and straw, or stone and mud were the abundant natural resource found in the immediate environment. (see Adobe).
The method of joinery for Timber Frame is Mortise and Tenon. This is a method of precisely cutting and fitting together two large pieces of wood fastened together with a wooden peg, or tree nail. A standing timber frame is completely self supporting and structural, and can be covered or infilled with just about anything one might choose. The large beams are usually left exposed and finished with oil to show off the natural beauty of the wood. Often the beams are carved or Chamfered decoratively. The exposed Timber and joinery allows for a simplicity and honesty of material and Fine Craftsmanship like no other method of construction can offer.
Today we add Bolts and Metal Plates as needed when specified by Structural Engineers, when used for principle structure, although historically, buildings up and down the East Coast have been standing for over 375 years.