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The timber-framing contractor's tale

My first job, in a small building conservation group in Bristol, was to replace a set of medieval oak bellstocks for a local church. I had the originals and the more I looked at them, the more I wondered about this material; a material that had been growing for so long but which had now become as tough as iron.

Realising that my work might be around for another 400 years (because of the longevity of the material), I was determined to find out more about the use of timber - especially oak. This eventually led me to find work as a timber-frame carpenter and I began to investigate the resurgence of timber framing (post and beam style) in the US.

Eventually, I started to explore the use of our home grown softwood and hardwood, in order to offer greater choice in design and budget possibilities. Our aim is to assist people in designing and building traditional (and modern) craftsman-made timber-frame structures using traditional carpentry techniques.

Our highly skilled carpenters offer alternatives to conventional materials, having developed innovative construction techniques, and using home grown Douglas Fir, which is much more stable and predictable than oak.

This particular project has been an effective collaboration, with an enthusiastic client and architect who have been very clear about what they want to achieve. It is great that more people are beginning to realise the potential of large-section framing to create economic, ecological and exciting timberframe buildings in the UK.

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