The Timber Framers Guild (TFG) partners with other non-profit organizations to take on Community Building Projects all over the world. Sometimes these are small park structures that take a weekend to complete, other times a team will travel to far off places for many weeks to share the love of craft and spirit of camaraderie. All TFG projects are "good news stories" and we believe that we are really building communities more than building structures. Please join us - - sign up for Guild membership and make your way to Prince George, British Columbia, for our next event.
The BC Railway & Forestry Museum in Prince George, BC, will host TFG members from around the world to gather, fabricate, and raise a heavy timber structure on Museum ground to shelter valuable railway rolling stock and a handicap accessible viewing platform. The large structure (44 feet wide and 266 feet long) will require quite an effort of the volunteer workforce so the project is divided into two major events:
Fabrication Phase: May 22 - June 2
Raising Phase: July 17 - 28
Folks are encouraged to participate for just one week, or multiple weeks, and training sessions on a range of topics will be scattered throughout the program (see "Training" page).
The Guild pioneered the idea of working vacations more than 25 years ago, and this project continues that tradition. Volunteers will camp on site and be supported by the community for meals and other necessities. Many will bring families to enjoy the surrounding area and travels to and from central British Columbia will be fantastic that time of year - plan extra days if you can. Scrap wood from the day's cutting will fuel the nightly campfire and several musical instruments often are pulled out of dirty pickup trucks.
The principal goals of the project are:
Provide great training in heavy timber work to TFG members
Raise a quality structure for our community building partner
Recruit new members to the Guild
Public awareness of the vibrant timber framing industry
Promote the TFG brand of craftspersonship and good works
If you have some time - please read through the Blog posted during the Pemberton Barn project in 2014. The upcoming project in Prince George should be relatively similar, if everything goes according to plan.
What is timber framing?
The craft of carpentry exhibited on a large scale. Joinery is traditionally mortise & tenon or other wood-to-wood, but often also includes large structural screws and engineered steel connectors (many times hidden from view). Custom timbers frame homes are often referred to as large pieces of furniture which mix with other elements (windows, colours, furniture, art, dogs) to define the theme of your house design. Rough structures like barns and outbuildings are popular but don't require the finishing time of a more refined home frame. The Guild is not focused purely on traditional or historic structures, but those are often highlighted because of the unique spirit and "energy" people attribute to a notable highly crafted structure. Modern projects, particularly in high snow load or earthquake prone zones, will almost always incorporate extra contemporary fasteners to satisfy the load transfer requirements (all frames should be reviewed and approved by a structural engineer familiar with wood design best practices). Log building is a close relative of timber framing as it also uses large wood elements to create the structure, many skills are transferrable between the two. All timber framers enjoy their work and would love to tell you more about it.