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4.8 out of 5 stars14
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2000
This book was used as the course textbook on a timber framing course I did in the UK. It covered all we needed to know. The only shortcoming being a lack of metric stress loadings which are required for UK and european building regulations, however conversion doesnt take long.
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on 24 April 1999
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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on 10 August 2010
There are books that have lots of words and pictures in but frustraitingly dont actually say much but this book is definitly worth the money. I was delighted with how much usefall information it had pact into it and was a pleasure to look at and read.
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on 5 March 2012
An excellent book for those wishing to get your hands on some timber and do a timber frame. Lots of good solid advice of how to and what not to do. All the joints you will need explained in detail in such a way as to be able to decide were and what to use. A comprehensive table of timber sizes needed and the formulas to size custom beams. Written by somebody that is in the trade with years of good learning experience. A very good book indeed.
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on 16 June 2016
The 40% of it that's useful is REALLY useful. A good book for beginners and more advanced builders.
The drawings are very helpful (though sometimes you'll need a magnifying glass) but the photos are diabolical and the paper is very poor quality. - luckily the photos don't really matter, but the whole thing could do with a revamp.
The explanations of how to choose and make joints are excellent. The step by step instructions are comprehensive, though they don't cover every joint you might have encountered.
Being American, it's all in imperial measures and there's good information buried amidst a lot of waffle and homespun philosophy. It deals only with squared timbers, so if you want to know about using round wood, look elsewhere (though not to Ben Law - he doesn't want to give anything away in his book as it's really only aimed at selling his training courses).
The section on bad construction and how to avoid it at the design stage is brilliant. It should be required reading for all self builders.
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on 14 November 2011
I was looking for a guide to building a large oak timber frame extension to our house and this was all I needed. It naturally gives some interesting history of the timber frame, but doesn't get too bogged down with that. It gives clear diagrams of all the joints and how to make them. The best positions to use each individual joint and stress areas etc. The photos and diagrams are clear and simple to understand and, whilst it's an American book it cross's over easily with the English style of building. These Oak frames were being constructed in England before America was even discovered, of course. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to undertake a project of this sort. You don't need to grow a big bushy beard though as it seems every American carpenter must have as part of his equipment.
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on 22 December 2013
I bought this for a present for a relative, but having had a flick through it, I am planning to build a timber framed garden shed to practice, and decided to keep it. Structural calculations included which reminded me of my time at university...
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on 18 August 2011
I keep re reading this book, I,m just starting to teach myself joinery and found this book invaluable.

Well written, with clear diagrams, it guides you through the whole process of planning and building a timber frame house.

I didnt know when this book was written, I just assumed all timber framing craftsmen had beards!

So the biggest surprise is at the end, Tedd Benson describes how timber frame houses are perfect for modern highly insulated designs, to quote him "Energy conservation is the hope for the future. In conscience, we must mark the end of the era of sub standard housing that is cheap to build but expensive and wasteful to maintain" This was written in 1980!!!!!
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on 13 August 2014
The illustrated text boxes are very good, but main text is far too romantic for my liking, it simply takes forever for the authors to reach the point. I believe the book would have benefited immensely from separating the facts from the philosophy, both have their places but not necessarily mixed together.
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on 16 June 2014
Great book with a little history and lots of feeling, good explanation of joints and when and where to use them.
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