Unique Tra­di­tions of Timber Fram­ing

Timber Home Living - - Build It -

In the timber-frame con­struc­tion process, there are a few steps and tra­di­tions not found in con­ven­tional home build­ing, and they’re all part of the charm and his­tory of the timber-fram­ing craft.

1. THE RAIS­ING

Rais­ing oc­curs when all the wall sec­tions are ready. The pieces of a timber frame are typ­i­cally cut, laid out and fit­ted to­gether on the ground, then raised into place us­ing ropes and pul­leys, gin poles and hu­man power. Th­ese days, the rais­ing may be done by crane, but the joy and won­der of a rais­ing con­tin­ues, no mat­ter how it’s ac­com­plished.

2. PLAC­ING THE COIN

The builder will take a coin, minted the same year the struc­ture is built, and place it un­der a post, where it will re­main un­til the build­ing is dis­man­tled.

3. SET­TING THE WET­TING BUSH

With its roots in north­ern Europe, where trees sym­bol­ize life and the prom­ise of good things to come, set­ting the wet­ting bush is a tra­di­tion dat­ing back cen­turies. An ever­green bough is nailed into place at the top of the fi­nal beam, and ev­ery­one drinks a toast to honor the trees that went into the struc­ture, for good luck to the new home and in cel­e­bra­tion of a rais­ing well done.

4. MARK­ING COM­PLE­TION

While not as com­mon­place, the date of com­ple­tion is carved into the frame, in an ob­vi­ous or a hid­den spot. Many timber framers carve that date on the post clos­est to their home shop.

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