How To’s

Mortise and Tenon

Mortise and Tenon 3D sketch

The mortise and tenon joint is central to timber framing. There are many variations of the basic mortise and tenon joint, and in this article we’ll be focusing on the shouldered mortise and tenon. You can think of the shoulder…

How to Cut Down a Tree

Cutting down a tree

Bringing down a tree is dangerous work. If you’re not physically fit, don’t attempt it. If you don’t understand the proper techniques, or have never done it before, don’t try it. At a minimum, do your research and ask someone…

Where to Buy Timber Framing Tools

If you’re new to timber framing, you probably don’t have the specialized tools to turn trees into a frame. Most carpenters have drill bits, but not a 2″ t-auger. Most carpenters have small bench chisels for finish carpentry, but not…

How to Sharpen an Axe

Before and After picture of restored double bit axe.

Restoring an old axe can be very rewarding. The axe in the picture to the left was discovered in the basement of an old barn in Michigan.  To restore an axe, you’ll need a few tools and a lot of…

How to Buy a Good Used Chisel

Some vintage tools I picked up at the flea market.

Chisels are great tools to buy used. Partly because it’s so difficult and expensive to buy new chisels of good quality. Most of the chisels you buy at the hardware store are junk when it comes to serious woodworking. The…

Timber Frame Layout

Their are two types of layout methods for timber framing; square rule and scribe rule. Scribe rule involves full-scale layout and mating each piece together before marking and cutting, a laborious process but useful for irregular timbers. Square rule assumes a perfectly square timber exists inside every timber, and if we take measurements off of this perfect square, we can cut all of our joinery and then assemble it later and it will fit. No test fitting needed… or very little. We’ll be covering square rule layout in this article.