Our timber frame house

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Blog entry by timberframedave posted 1411 days ago 1114 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We are currently building a passive solar timber frame home in the woods out in Port Orchard, WA. My wife & I worked with my dad (who is a very experienced Architect) come up with the floor plan & site orientation of our house back in the summer/Fall of 2006. It took a few months to draw up the final plans, have them engineered & drafted in auto-cad.

Our timber package was delivered to the job site in mid 2007. My dad helped me & my younger brother Mike – layout some of the complicated joinery details & start cutting the green Doug Fir #1 timbers.

I had only worked with small timber framed projects previously. Nothing bigger than a garden shed, gate, workbench, etc. The joinery is very similar – just a heck of a lot bigger with a house. We finished cutting the joinery in about 6 months time – test fitting every connection & moving the big timbers by rolling them around the shop using pipes & wheeled dollies.

The main house raising was done in an 8-hour day using a large crane & quite a few volunteers.
The collar purlin (ridge beam) and main house truss raising only took 2 hours in the pouring rain with the help of a large boom truck.

I am currently finishing up building all of the interior cabinet doors & drawers. The interior trim is all custom cut Brazilian redwood decking (Massaranduba). Not sure why this wood is cheaper to purchase than American cherry. It is as dense as Ipe (Ironwood) but has real nice red tones & nice to take light passes thru the router.

10 comments so far

View Suthy's profile


13 posts in 2255 days

#1 posted 1411 days ago

This is but a tease. You need to show sooooo…. much more.


View Manitario's profile


2306 posts in 1517 days

#2 posted 1411 days ago

I agree with Mike: More pictures!!!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1606 days

#3 posted 1411 days ago

Looks great so far. Very envious here.

-- Galootish log blog,

View rivergirl's profile


3198 posts in 1472 days

#4 posted 1411 days ago

Go man go!!!! Make a blog and keep going!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Bearpie's profile


2586 posts in 1652 days

#5 posted 1411 days ago

Man this is fantastic! I have always wanted to build one but never had a chance. More pictures please, showing joints and fittings.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View HenryH's profile


132 posts in 2038 days

#6 posted 1411 days ago

Wow. I am so jealous! It looks great. It is good to see people are actually able to follows through with their plans and dreams. congrats.

-- HenryH - PA

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 1938 days

#7 posted 1411 days ago


-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View a1Jim's profile


112018 posts in 2211 days

#8 posted 1411 days ago

How great is that love it.

-- Custom furniture

View RonPeters's profile


708 posts in 1514 days

#9 posted 1411 days ago

Yeah, more pictures! Very nice layout. Can’t wait to see it finished.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View timberframedave's profile


20 posts in 1445 days

#10 posted 1410 days ago

Ok – here are the rest of the pics that I can find. Had 2 computers die during this project (think the sawdust in the shop may have had something to do with it).

Note on the joinery for this project. All joints were mortise & tenon or dovetail. Use the 1/3 rule for tenons. We cut all the joints using a wormdrive circular saw, Japanese pull saw – when needed, jig saw for any curves, 1/2” drill to hog out material in mortise & sharp chisels to clean up. I picked up a Bigfoot beam saw early in this project – raised our cut depth to almost 4”.

When I was new to woodworking – I wasted a lot of time drooling over the biggest & baddest & newest power tool. If I could do it all over again – I would have spent way more time learning to sharpen my chisels. I practice all of the different joinery options on scrap wood. I keep a 4” x 4” x 16” sample in the shop. I cut a dovetail on top, mortise/tenon on the sides – use this for a visual aid for visitors who have never seen such things & don’t understand how the joints fit together.

Here is a link to my dad’s website:
He did a top-notch job detailing the frame & joinery for our house. We used his solar chart to plot our house orientation for maximum solar gain in the winter which saves us money on heating & lighting. Dad has published a few books – check out the Projects, Publications on his site.

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