Craftsmanship – A Timber Frame Tradition

Goshen Timber Frames – Post & Beam Crafcraftsmen raising a handcrafted timber frametsmanship

The old expression “Raise high the roof-beam” regains its meaning when the structure in question is a timber frame. As the crane lifts the oversized timbers and swings them into place, the crew taps the hand-cut mortise and tenon joints together with huge mallets called beetles or “persuaders” and then pounds in wooden pegs that are the only nails. When all the timbers have been fitted into place, the frame looks and acts like the skeleton of the house, defining its outline while holding all the structural weight.  Craftsmanship shows in each timber as it connects to the next.

Timber framing is the most sophisticated form of what is called post and beam construction. “Post and beam” is the oldest method of building, dating back at least to the early Greeks. It includes any structure built of vertical posts that hold up beams laid horizontally across them. The posts and beams may be of wood or stone, or even concrete, in modern times.

It is easy to understand the great popularity of post and beam homes when standing in a finished timber frame and looking up at the heavy-beamed cathedral ceiling filled with light from the huge expanses of glass. There is great satisfaction, as well, in knowing that your home is a secure haven that connects you to the traditions of the past and will stand strong well into the future. Have questions concerning timber framing? Contact Bonnie Pickartz at