Did you know that your local lumber store may consider any piece of solid wood with a cross section side of more than five inches a “timber?” But mill construction, which is a way of building that minimizes fire risks with materials and design, specifies that timbers be at least eight inches a side.
What about trunnels? Girts? And king posts?* These are not plot points from Game of Thrones; they’re terms that you’ll become familiar with when you partner with Black Canyon Builders to build your timber frame home.
As a homeowner, you don’t need to learn the proper name for every construction detail, but we find that most timber frame homeowners delight in learning the terms and pointing out the details with their guests. Living in a timber frame home is living out a piece of history. The construction technique dates far earlier than even the many fine examples of partial timber frame structures that still standing from the 12th century. There are examples on every continent, save for Antarctica.
Though for years I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a glossary of terms for my clients, I’m grateful to Timber Home Living magazine for beating me to the punch. Click over (and download and share) to the article, “Timber Frame Terminology.”
Thanks, Timber Home Living! An excellent resource for an esteemed, heritage practice.
* The following definitions are directly quoted from Timber Home Living:
- Trunnel: A large wood dowel or peg used as a fastener in wood joinery. The word is derived from the descriptive term “tree nail.”
- Girt: This critical frame component forms a horizontal band, or “girdle,” completely around a timber frame. Often referred to as a girder, bent girt or girding beam, it also serves as the base, or sill, for each upper floor and is frequently used as the outer support beam for individual floor joists.
- King Post: This key timber forms the center point in a truss, or geometric support framework, and is often used as an intersection for other frame members.