This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Timber Framer’s Guild Conference at the National Conference Center in Leesburg VA.
From meeting a lot of the top timber framer’s in the country, to great talks, joint busting and axe throwing there was a lot to take in. Below is a quick recap of some of the more memorable events from this year.
I was excited to meet a lot of the guys who helped to found the Timber Framer’s Guild and wrote many of the books I often reference in my work and teaching: Jack Sobon, Ted Benson, Will Beemer, and many others. It was also great to see lots of friends from the field and make new connections.
Rich Friberg, my good friend and the second year instructor at the North Bennet Street School gave an interesting talk on Preservation Principles and Methods and showed off some of the great work the school is doing.
We also got the chance to meet Thomas C. Hubka author of “Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England” and learn about his current research as well as the other projects he’s been involved with including the Timber Framed Synagogue in Europe.
I was excited to get up on stage Friday night and talk about some of the timber framing work I did with NBSS. Shown below I was discussing the new square rule barn and also the historic ~1791 two bay English Style Barn we restored at Brookwood Farm in Canton MA.
BANG — CRACK — SNAP — JOINT BUSTING! In a corner of the trade show portion of the conference during the inter-session breaks we got to see a lot of the joint busting competition. Basically you build a timber framed joint meeting some specific size specifications and it is placed into a hydraulic or pneumatic press that will apply an incredible amount of pressure to see what it would take to cause the joint to fail. This info is projected on the screen and also logged by computer sensor for research purposes. When the joint fails it often makes quite the sound.
Look out for flying axes at the AXE THROWING COMPETITION!
Outside the guild setup some targets and allowed us to practice our axe throwing before the big competition. I had never thrown an axe before, but after a quick lesson, it was a lot of fun and with a little practice we made some good shots.
I had a great time at the show, I’m all fired up to get out in the yard and start hewing and framing some more outbuildings and I can’t wait to go back next year!