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4 Unique Timber-Frame Traditions

In the timber-frame construction process, there are a few steps and traditions not found in conventional home building, and they're all part of the charm and history of the timber-framing craft.

Written by Allison Aurand
4 Unique Timber-Frame Traditions


1. The raising

Raising occurs when all the wall sections are ready. The pieces of a timber frame are typically cut, laid out and fitted together on the ground, then raised into place using ropes and pulleys, gin poles and human power. These days, the raising may be done by crane, but the joy and wonder of a raising continues, no matter how it’s accomplished.

2. Placing the coin

The builder will take a coin, minted the same year the structure is built, and place it under a post, where it will remain until the building is dismantled.
 
 

3. Setting the wetting bush

With its roots in northern Europe, where trees symbolize life and the promise of good things to come, setting the wetting bush is a tradition dating back centuries. An evergreen bough is nailed into place at the top of the final beam, and everyone drinks a toast to honor the trees that went into the structure, for good luck to the new home and in celebration of a raising well done.

4. Marking completion

While not as commonplace, the date of completion is carved into the frame, in an obvious or a hidden spot. Many timber framers carve that date on the post closest to their home shop.
 
 

Tour a Traditional Timber-Frame Construction Site