Thursday, June 25, 2009
Our timber framer
Since he is Amish, you will not find any website or e-mail address for our timber framer. So I thought I would put in my own plug. We learned about Aaron King through a friend who’d had Aaron build him a timber frame barn which later became a home. I looked into several different timber framers before visiting Aaron at his shop in the spring of 2007. I was not only impressed with his shop, which was orderly, clean and run using either pneumatic or hydraulic-powered tools, but by Aaron’s understanding of what I had in mind and his ability to explain ways to improve the design and gain savings in the process. I made three visits to his shop that spring, each time taking Aaron a new set of drawings. In the end, we had a plan that both of us were happy with.
His craftmanship, precision and sense of the wood were superb. No matter how much the ideas for our house were Linda’s and mine, it was Aaron’s ability to translate those ideas into finished timber art that really make our house special.
Aaron K. King, LLC does not have a phone, but he can be reached at his shop’s address: 21 West Eby Road, Leola, PA 17540.
You can also reach him by calling the number for the phone that lives outside his shop in its own little booth. If no one answers, leave a message. (717) 656-8253.
A special note on terms: Many people see our house and say, “Oh, you have post-and-beam construction.” Well, yes and no. While technically a timber frame structure is a type of post-and-beam, that term is generally used for structures in which the timbers are held together with steel sleeves and/or bolts—such as I used to make our deck. In “timber frame” everything is pegged together with wood dowels, in this case, oak.
Timber framing yields a structure that is all of the same material (wood). This results in tighter joints with less chance of wear from the harder steel flexing against wood. Generally builders consider timber frame buildings to be more durable, stronger and better-looking, although either methods can work well. That is why we went with timber framing. It was also a construction method we had both grown up with and admired.
All the pictures were taken either by Linda and myself using a Nikon Coolpix 995, a D70 or a Nikon SP equipped with an F-mount 21mm nikkor.