Sunday, September 30, 2007

A late addition to my timber frame library

Last year, I wrote a review of all of my timber frame books. But since then, I've acquired a new timber frame book worht mentioning. It's called "Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings" and was written by Richard Harris. The author is English, and it was actually one of his former students, Ken Hume, from across the pond that turned me on to this book.

It's a small paperback, presumably meant to be carried with you whilst you galavant about England "discovering timber framed buildings." The author gleaned a lot of the information for this book from personally inspecting, cataloging, and drawing historical timber frame houses and barns in England. In spite of its small size, there are several gems of information contained within this book that I haven't found elsewhere. For instance, the author goes into considerable detail about the different styles of cruck frames found in various regions of England. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this author maintains that cruck frames were a highly evolved form of the timberframe craft rather than a crude precursor to the more linear timber framing practiced today. (I really want to build a cruck-framed entrance for our house now!) He also covers hammer beam structures, jetties (overhangs common in cities), and the "rafter-to-post-connection for hip roofs" better than any of the other timber frame books in my collection.

This is not a how-to book. Instead, I'd call it a very compact historical reference volume on English timber frames. If you already have how-to books on timberframing, or if you simply want to better understand the history of timberframing, then this one is definitely worth adding to your collection.

More about the photograph: My timber frame library is housed within a huge mortise in the Big Honkin Post (BHP for short). The BHP is a post in our basement that holds up the middle of our house. I left the bark on the bottom of the post, and sawed the upper portion of the post to 16" by 20". This left plenty of room to hog out a bookshelf for my most coveted volumes. Fortunately, the newest addition to my library is thin and fits (squeezes) into the mortise with the rest of the books!


Blogger Karen said...


This is Gary from Mississippi. I've emailed you in the past. Did you get my email from last week?


October 1, 2007 at 11:45 AM  

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