Mastering The Basics Of Square Rule Timber Framing
August 19-25, 2018

Minimum enrollment, 14 students.

Workshop Frame

Our 2018 workshop will build the core frame shown above and depicted in the drawing below

Our 2018 Workshop Frame is for Sale!

Purchase the traditional, hand-crafted timber frame from our Square Rule workshop at a great price. See our Sale Flyer for details.

The 12'x16' frame would make a great workshop, garden shed, outdoor living space or art studio.

Check out our finished frame gallery to see how past frames have been utilized.


This unique workshop offers students a solid introduction to basic timber framing using the "Square Rule" technique. Developed in America in the early 1800s, the "Square Rule" approach to timber framing is an elegant system that allows framers to accurately layout traditional mortise and tenon joinery on roughsawn, imperfect timbers. In this workshop we begin with a stack a roughsawn timbers and end with the celebratory raising of a complete, finely crafted frame. The workshop frame is purposely designed as a teaching tool and, as such, incorporates a wide variety of pegged mortise and tenon joinery. Hand tools (chisels, axes, adzes, handsaws, spokeshaves, handplanes) will be our tools of choice, not power tools, as we believe this to be the most effective and enjoyable way to get new framers started.

Workshop Frame Sketch

Click on the photo above to view a larger image

Topics covered will include (see tentative daily schedule summary below):

  • Timber framing fundamentals-the layout and cutting of mortise and tenon joints
  • Accurate layout on roughsawn timbers using the Square Rule technique
  • Proper use of hand tools to cut joinery
  • Tool sharpening

Evening sessions will feature slideshows by the instructors, discussion on basic engineering and design, and ample time for questions and answers.

Minimum enrollment for this workshop, 14 students. Register early!

Raising the Frame Square 
	    Rule Timber Framing

Be sure to see our gallery page for more photos from square rule workshops.

Tentative Daily Outline

  • August 19 (Sunday)
    :: Dinner at 6:00 PM
    :: Individual student introductions
    :: Meet in classroom for workshop/Pingree Park orientations
    :: Overview of course and project
  • August 20 (Monday)
    :: Meet in classroom after breakfast
    :: Introduction to the Square Rule technique
    :: Frame and critical dimensions
    :: Safety
    :: Move to site for demonstrations
    :: Evening class, slideshows
  • August 21 (Tuesday)
    :: Brace layout
    :: Demo whole stick layout and tenon cutting
    :: Layout posts and tie beams, start cutting
    :: Evening off
  • August 22 (Wednesday)
    :: Work continues on posts and tie beams
    :: Demo on brace cutting
    :: Continue work on posts and ties
    :: Evening discussions on engineering/design
  • August 23 (Thursday)
    :: Continue work on posts, ties
    :: Brace cutting
    :: Plate layout and cutting
    :: Evening off
  • August 24 (Friday)
    :: Rafters
    :: Continue plates
    :: Continue cutting, begin raising, scribing demo
    :: Evening party
  • August 25 (Saturday)
    :: Finish cutting and raising
    :: Disassemble frame and load for shipping
    :: Site cleanup
    :: Depart

Taught by Skip Dewhirst, Chris Kates, Chris Drake, and Peter Haney.