Tuesday, March 18, 2014

International Timber Framing

International Timber Frame - Hamanasi Resort - Belize

Last year I had the opportunity to work on a timber frame project in Belize. It was for Hamanasi resort, and used one of the beautiful arched truss designs we have done in the past. The frame was cut by a local contractor using Vermont Timber Works' design expertise. I also traveled down to consult with the resort director and the local timber framer during the planning and erection stages of the project. Details of the project can be viewed on VTW's Hamanasi Timber Frame page.

The timber frame design uses a classic arched truss with a steel tie rod.
Local timber framers cut the trusses using Santa Maria timber that was sourced in the rain forests of Belize.

 Moving the crane in along the beach.

The first truss is secured in place with come alongs.
A girder truss for the widows walk is flown in with the crane.
The final timber is lifted using a palm tree and a Santa Maria tree for tradition.
And end view of the frame.
The finished product is beautiful. It will be the roof of the new Hamanasi Resort Restaurant and will have an observation "widows walk" that has a view of the ocean and jungle for miles around.
Time to relax after months of preparation and a week of raising the timber frame.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Learn About Timber Framing

Timber Framing Details

Learn About Timber Frames

Billings Farm Theater
Timber framing is an art that has existed for thousands of years. It is also a science that relies on current engineering standards to span large areas with beautiful beams. Vermont Timber Works' new web page has details on post and beam framing styles, the timber framing process, timber joinery and wood connections, wood species and finishes, information about timber framing for architects, wood textures and engineering timber structures. I believe that the more our potential clients learn about timber framing, the more they will want to work with a company that has the depth of knowledge Vermont Timber Works has. I also believe that timber framing is fun and that learning the way natural, renewable trees become beautiful buildings is fascinating.

Post and Beam Framing Styles

Fancy Barn Timber Frame

All timber frames start with a principal frame called a bent. From that basic building block many different shape and designs can be added. Some types of post and beam designs are the classic farm house, the gambrel barn, the raised cape, New England saltbox, fancy barn and the classic hammer beam truss.

Timber Joinery

Traditional Timber Joinery
Timber framing is the art joining beams in a way that is elegant and strong. Joints can be made of mortice and tenons and hardwood pegs - traditional timber joinery, steel gusset plates can be used, or both wood and steel joinery can be incorporated in a design to meet the structural and aesthetic needs of a construction project. Dovetails are often used to connect joists and purlins to girts and principal rafters. What is a dovetail, girt purlin or joist? Visit VTW's Timber Framing Terms blog to find out.

Wood Species and Finishes 

Wood for timber frames comes in a variety of types and textures. Typically, douglas fir, eastern white pine, hemlock and oak are the species of choice. The beams can many types of stains on them to give the timber richness and enhance their texture.


Wood Textures

Hand Hewn White Pine Beams
Along with different wood species and stain colors, the texture of the wood can be varied. It can be planed smooth, rough sawn, semi-sanded or hand hewn. The texture depends on the owners taste. For a traditional barn, rough sawn wood may be used. For a modern house, the owner may want to have the wood planed smooth (sans burrs and splinters). For an antique look semi sanded timber or weathered wood beams may be used.

Timber Framing by Vermont Timber Works

Timber Framing

Over the past year, Vermont Timber Works, Inc has revamped it's web page. We have added a search function, redesigned the navigation, and expanded the content to make more information about timber frame design  available to our clients and the general public. below is a tour of the new site:

Our Work

Beautiful Timber Frames by Vermont Timber Works
 See images of beautiful timber frames including barns, churches, homes, timber trusses, pergolas, parks, and pavilions, and heavy timber projects. VTW does all kinds of custom timber frame projects, focusing on the timberframe itself. We rarely do the same project twice, and excel in complicated designs and long spans.





  The Timber Framing Process

Timber Frame Barn Raising

An overview of the timber framing process with links to pages about design, engineering, fabrication, tools used in timber frame construction and YouTube videos of the timber framing process from conception to installation. Originally titled "Learn" this page links to tons of detailed information on timber frame construction and post and beam construction.

Ask the Experts

Ask the Timber Framing Experts Questions

A blog dedicated to answering questions people have about timber framing. There is a form on the page where specific questions can be asked for VTW's team of experts to answer.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Arched Church Beams

Arched Church Beams for St Andrew's Church in Ridgefield, CT

 We are just home from installing these beautiful arched beams in Ridgefield, CT.

We will have to go back and photograph this church once the construction is complete.

 They are a combination of douglas fir timber, glulam arches and steel connections.
 Heavy timber adds a wonderful look to a church... or it will, once the aluminum foil insulation is covered up!
Here is a view looking up at the cross in the church truss.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pavilion Oak Timber Truss

Oak timber Truss in a Pavilion's Great Room

 These oak ceiling trusses were stained dark to the owner's taste. They are in a pavilion in Quebec.

See more timber trusses at Vermont Timber Works
 A detail photograph of custom oak corbels that were designed and cut for the job.
 Here is an image of a timber truss and a stone fireplace. They  look great together.
 A look toward the staircase.

Pretty Boat House

Pretty Timber Frame Boat House in Quebec

 This boat house is under construction in Quebec 
 Here is a photo of the boathouse overlooking the lake.
 We custom designed and cut scrolls on the rafter ends. See more of our work at VermontTimberWorks.com

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Timber Frame Homes

Timber Frame Homes by Vermont Timber Works

 I designed this farm house back in 1989, and still love the look. It is a classic New England Saltbox custom designed for two photographers from New York City. They moved to Vermont to have a child and raise her in a rural area. The "house" is actually an addition to the main house, and includes a guest suite, office, caretaker's quarters and carport.
 This image is of a beautiful post and beam house in Westerlo New York.It's gambrel design using rough hewn beams and a modern interior. A detail page of the project can be seen at www.vermonttimberworks.com . Jupiter Barn
This is a traditional hammer beam truss for a living room that is part of a Vermont Estate. Hammer beams are interesting because they rely on outside buttressing, like old cathedrals, for support. They make great open ceilings
 This is the caretaker's quarters for the farmhouse pictured above. It uses rough sawn cottage beams that have been stained driftwood grey.
This is the living room of a great house on Stratton Mountain in Vermont. It features douglas fir ceiling beams, curved braces and a cathedral ceiling.