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Building the Timber Frame House: The Revival of a Forgotten Craft Kindle Edition

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Length: 211 pages Optimized for larger screens
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Popular Science A delightful handbook.

About the Author

Tedd Benson is the founder and owner of a post-and-beam construction firm in New Hampshire. A builder for ten years, he has specialized in timber framing for six.

Product Details

  • File Size: 13081 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (September 1, 1981)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 1981
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036QVOS2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,639 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Since 1974, Tedd Benson has championed high-performance, sustainable building. He and his custom design-build company, Bensonwood, have been featured on numerous shows in the PBS series, This Old House, as well as Good Morning America, and the Today show. The entire 2008-2009 season of This Old House followed Bensonwood's Weston project -- the first time TOH featured a newly constructed home. Tedd has authored four seminal books on timberframing, the first of which, Building the Timber Frame House, was instrumental in the revival of this centuries-old form of building with heavy timber. Tedd is an internationally recognized authority on sustainable building and a frequent speaker at such events as Greenbuild. Tedd founded Unity Homes in 2012, a diverse line of affordable, high-performance, prefabricated homes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By LGabe1111@AOL.Com on April 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
My wife and I built a hybrid timber frame home using this book as a guide. Although we have construction skills, this book was invaluable in guiding us through the process. We can't wait to build another. We highly recommend this book to anyone considering a timber frame house.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Daiku on September 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Timber framing is my hobby, and I own several books on the subject, but this has always been my favorite. The how-to section is very thorough, and includes information on tools and techniques. The author's enthusiasm for the subject is what really makes the difference, though. The sections on history and woodworking are especially good. If a friend wanted to try timber framing, and asked me which book to buy first, I would pick this one without hesitation.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B. Rehart on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one of the classics on Timber Framing for those who want to get into this type of construction or build their own house. It is a very easy read. Though sometimes the author tends towards to much philosophy about life, construction and wood working.

This book has very useful sections on joinery, design, raising, engineering, load physics, etc. Very easy to understand even if, like me, you are not a professional carpenter, contractor or mechanical engineer. I know nothing of contracting or building and understood the whole book.

The book does not mention anything about Scribe Rule and Square Rule techniques and the differences between the two. These old techniques may not have been widely known when this book was written, although they were well known by early timber frame carpenters, before Timber Framing was replaced with cheaper, but faster Balloon Framing.

A book that does go into Square Rule in a more structured way and is equally easy to read is Buid a Classic Timber-Framed House, by Jack Sobon.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was first written in 1980, though the philosophies presented between its covers are appropriate in these recent years of speculative energy prices and wobbling economic foundations. Timber frame house construction was "green" before that word was media-masticated and spit into popular culture.

The book is well illustrated and instructive, and it is also well written. The authors have both experience and passion for this topic. The hand-drawn illustrations are well labeled with a drafting font that makes it interesting and captivating to read.

The book begins with a historical review of this art, and slowly drills down to detailed diagrams of the many joining techniques. It is amazing that this old style of construction intuitively solved problems in structural mechanics without the need for finite element modeling, or even nails for that matter. The strength of this method of construction comes not from the size of the timbers (though they are substantial), but from the joints crafted from wood with axes, augers, and hammers. Timber framing is like cabinet building, but bigger.

There are many detailed drawings of joining techniques, and the reader quickly realizes that the craftsmanship and careful execution of these joints is the secret to this respected building trade. Flipping through these pages also immediately reveals the compromises that are made in modern home construction. Those who have ever wondered where the term "stick built" comes from will find the answer in this book. Dimensional lumber are sticks in comparison to timbers. Though metal connectors used in today's framing have done wonders for total structural stability, this book shows you that timber framing negates the need for stamped steel reinforcement.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Roy on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all the major timber frame books on the market, including both titles from Jack Sobon. Benson's book is packed with information on how to build a timber frame and has an index in the back that allows one to figure out what size timber is needed. This book is one of, if not, the best on this subject.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ian McLeod on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yet another example of an superb book done a serious disservice by e-book publishers.

Multiple spelling errors, improperly placed figures & captions, whole sections of the book written in CAPS for some reason.

If you are looking for an excellent reference on traditional timber framing, look no further, but please pick up the print version instead of the e-book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Apreutesei Cosmin on April 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
The details on this are excellent. Sketches, plans, perspectives, maths, tables, formulas, theory, you have it all. All graphics hand-drawn! Each joint has a photo, a drawing and cutting details and dimensions. Focused too: nothing outside the scope of the *classic* timber frame.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Cheeney on August 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. I purchased it for my husband, who is a very accomplished wood-worker. After spending a winter studying it we have spent the summer raising our timber frame addition.
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