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An introduction to traditional timber framing

Learn the basics of timber framing

About the Course

This introduction to traditional timber framing course is for complete beginners to traditional carpentry as a method of construction. Whether you are a home-owner who wants to learn how your timber frame is constructed, or you are looking at self-build, or you are a surveyor needing to understand the strength of the frame design, this course will provide you with the basics and more.

Your tutor Rick Lewis has over 30 years of timber framing and runs his own Traditional Oak Carpentry business here in mid Suffolk. He has 10 years of experience teaching at Orchard Barn during which time he has facilitated the learning and development of hundreds of students. Since 2009 Rick has overseen the reinstatement of parts of, and repairs to the 17th century timber frame barn which is now used as a classroom. During this time we have sourced trees from Suffolk woods and overseen their conversion to the green oak used in our courses.

Rick has a wealth of experience of using traditional hand tools which he encourages participants to try out. Hand tools and traditional techniques are the main focus on this course. If you’ve never used a chisel or a saw before then we can get you started. This course is both theory and practical. Key components are named and the main mortise and tenon joint explored. Among other insights, you will learn how the sole plate is connected to the jowl, and how the jowl supports and connects to the tie. Wall plates, mid rails and studs will all be covered. Students will learn the basics of peg making using a shave horse and draw knife and be able to take home their own oak peg.

The Orchard Barn site is a community run project which showcases the work of over 3,000 students and volunteers who have learnt with us, and left their mark for posterity in the fabric of our beautiful building. We have used a range of traditional building materials from the local landscape and are happy to talk with you about their use. These include earth fast elm posts, hand-cleft shingle roof, cob walls, daubed ceilings, beaten earth floors. Furthermore we are totally off-grid, so you can relax and leave the stresses of the 21st century behind when you walk through our hand-cleft gates. A warm welcome awaits you.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

The use of traditional carpentry tools is included.
CPD certificate of attendance included.


Sarah Partridge at Orchard Barn
Orchard Barn
Bildeston Road
Ringshall, Stowmarket
IP14 2LY
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Suitable for

  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners

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