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Author Topic: Timber Frame Books  (Read 4317 times)

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Offline Norwiscutter

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Timber Frame Books
« on: March 03, 2004, 09:35:04 AM »
Just ordered Chappell's book, "A Timber Framer's Workshop" and Sobon's book, "Build a Clasic Timber Framed House" from Barns and Noble. Good price too- $41 for both.  Was wondering if it is worth while to get Sobon's book  "Timber Frame Construction" or if it would be redundant to the information presented in the others?
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2004, 04:12:47 PM »
I know Jack personally, as I took one of his one week courses. He wrote the book Timber Frame Construction first. And the newer book, Build a Classic Timber Frame house has more photos and more procedures about how to do many types of joints.
We use Build a Classic Timber Frame house book here at the sawmill yard as our workshop text book. And follow the procedures of how to cut, for example, a brace very often.
Jack writes about how to make and do traditional timber framing. That's the old style with long timbers or scarfed timbers. And not always "no" power tools, but many times every thing is cut with just hand tools.


I also, know Steve Chappel personally as I've also taken one of his one week courses, and have been to many raising's by the school's students in the last four years.
Steve's book is very good on explaining the math involved in timber framing. And I believe he's working on a new one with or about advanced compound joinery.
His buildings and designs are more contemporary. And I use and teach a lot of his layout methods and techniques. They are very accurate, which is what is always needed in timber framing. And he usually cuts every thing with power tools, but he is also great with a sharp chisel.
You'll enjoy both books.
Take some from each, and develop a good understanding of both styles and methods, and blend the two together along with any others you've read.
I have posted earlier my list of books, I've read and the list needs to be updated as I've been reading some that I got for Christmas and there are more on my new book shelf that I haven't read yet.
I've learned one thing about timber framing, you'll never stop learning about it if you have some interest.
Happy reading.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Norwiscutter

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2004, 08:10:04 AM »
Thanks Jim, I now feel a lot more comfortable that the information I will be gaining is infact the right way to go.  Was worried that I would miss something by not getting both. Can't wait till the snow melts to get started...only two months to go. 8)
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Offline raycon

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2004, 06:41:50 AM »
Stewart Elliots Timber frame Planning book. Has a dozen or so frames with details.
Lot of stuff..

Offline Norwiscutter

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2004, 06:45:27 AM »
Just got the books in and am very impressed with the content.  They both take some fairly complicated concepts and break them down so that an amature like myself can figure them out.  I can see what I will be doing at night for the next month or so.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Offline TN_man

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2004, 03:28:06 AM »
Jim, I am sorry for getting onto this thread so late, but I just recently joined the forum ::). I was wondering what you thought about the books that Ted Benson puts out. I notice that he does somethings different from the way you suggest ie. not housing the knee braces, ect. I felt his first book was very hands-on and practical. Thanks, I will hang up and listen to your reply. :)
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2004, 08:48:39 AM »
TN_man:
Welcome to the forum. No need to apologize.
I've got Ted Benson's book, the one with the brown cover, titled: "Building the Timber Frame House", with James Gruber. I believe it was written in or before 1980.
Needless to say we've all learned a lot about timber framing since 1980.
Ted helped form the TFG (Timber Framers Guild) in 1985.
This book, I've found useful in understanding how to use templates and to find out what order to make your cuts.
After this book was written the was more understanding about why things were "housed".
His method of "mapping" a frame is good if you choose to go that method. This will allow you to not house things such as braces.
Housing joints help hide problems such as miss cuts and gaps caused by shrinkage.
The other books that I've seen of his, seemed to be just coffee table books showing pictures of finished frames in his houses, not so much as a "how to" book as the first one I've mentioned, the one that I have.
As these weren't, in my opinion, "how to books" I haven't purchased any of them, as yet.
I recommend that anyone interested in Timber Framing read as many different authors on the subject as they can, in order to learn as much as they can, from many different points of view. This way they'll have the most information available to them.
If there is another "how to" book of his that isn't the one I've mentioned then I might not know about it. Which book are your referring to?
Keep reading and asking questions.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline TN_man

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2004, 03:06:25 AM »
Thanks for the response. I attended a "class" several years back In Bathe Maine put on by Pat Hennin. The spelling may not be correct. Anyway, since then I built two TF barns and am currently cutting the timbers for my house and then my parents want me to build them one. I have used Benson's first book until it is about to fall apart on me. I have his other books which I have found to be more about what to do after the frame is up, but they do occupy space on my coffee table. I have a book by Jack Soban (sp?). I think it is "building the classic timber frame". I did not find that I took to it to the sawhorses with me like Benson's. I had not heard you mention Benson and wondered if you did not like his methods.
I have decide that I need to go back to take some  more classes and would like to take my 15 yr old son as well. Any suggestions would be welcome.  thanks Jeff  and I appreciate the time and knowledge you share with us
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2004, 08:37:57 AM »
TN_man:
What courses to take and who to take them from depends on what you want to learn.
If you want to learn traditional timber framing, such as square rule joinery. Then I suggest you take Jack Sobon's course coming up this September. It is only held once a year, at a Shaker village here in Massachusetts. If you want the contact info I can send it to you in a private message.
If you want to learn a more modern style then Fox Maple in Maine has opening for his September. Up there he teaches both intro to timber framing and advanced which is compound hip and valley rafter joinery.
If you'd like contact info on this school, let me know and I can give it to you.
And of course the guild has classes and you can check out them at there web page http://www.tfguild.org.
Let me know what else I can help you with.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Jim Haslip

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Re: Timber Frame Books
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2004, 07:12:35 PM »
I,too am new to this Forum and relatively new to Timber Framing.  
A book which no one has mentioned yet that I found to be quite helpful and very informative is the red book published by the Timber Framer Guild that is titled "Timber Frame Joinery and Design Workbook" available online from the Guild  at www.tfguild.org.  This is a collection of reprinted articles from their magazine. The book contains the most requested reprinted articles from over the years and includes a lot of information, including the Engineering formulas, etc for sizing Timbers , Hip and Valley layouts including the calculations for  irregular roofs, details on peg placements and a whole lot more...  A more recent publication from the Guild is a small booklet titled 'Historic American Timber Joinery' by Jack Sobon. This ones is a graphic guide to joinery with a historical perspective. It is available free from the guild as PDF files or it is only about $10US (a bunch more in CDN$)
Like Jim, we all have our favorites, but there is an acient expression that goes something like "live like you'll die tomorrow, but learn as if you'll live forever..." so keep reading and absorb the good stuff...


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