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Summer Beam Books

A Timber Framer's Workshop by Steve Chappell

A Timber Framer's Workshop by Steve Chappell

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By Steve Chappell

 The major portion of A Timber Framer's Workshop was first written back in 1983. Over a period of a number of years several revisions and additions took place, as it was used as the handout workshop manual for Fox Maple Timber Framing Workshops. At last, it was published for general distribution in 1998.

When this book was first written, there did not exist any scientific testing results for pegged mortise and tenon joinery. The corollaries that could be made were drawn from testing results for bolted connections. This is common in engineering, because the essential physical laws concerning force and motion, primarily Newtonian physics, are symmetrical. Therefore, it is possible to extrapolate from the results of one test the critical information that may reasonably be assumed to apply to a different, albeit similar, condition. However, nothing ever beats a direct test for a specific condition, as the results end with an emphatic exclamation point.

In recent years, a number of testing results have now been carried out and published for specific conditions of pegged joinery. While the extrapolated results of the past have proven to be on target with reality, reality beats extrapolation hands-down every time. The impetus for this revision was in large part to update and include some of these new testing results so that the readers would be privy to the latest engineering results available. Along the way, over 150 new photos and drawings were added and editorial additions were made to clarify specific conditions, or to more fully explain a critical aspect of timber framing. While the essential book is the same, virtually every element is expanded in some way to paint a more vibrant picture of the technical aspects of how to build a traditional timber frame. In addition, there is an expanded element of color and nuance to make the reader understand more fully the magic of timber framing.

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