A brief introduction to Oak Framing

Oak framing has been used for centuries and is typically the method of creating structures using heavy squared off oak beams with detailed jointed ends. Fitted together with nothing more than oak dowels or pegs.

If you have any wooden furniture in your home then take a look at some of the connection details. Oak framing is just the same, but on a larger scale  

The method of getting square beams from oak trees has changed over the years, but the principal is very similar. The trees are selected for their straightness and checked for faults then they are cut. Nowadays, we have very large machinery with laser guiding technology to cut the beams, but hundreds of years ago it was all done by eye... and hand tools!

Traditional jointing methods remain the same, though the tooling has changed slightly. What hasn't changed over the years is the craftsmanship. Some of the joint names such as mortise and tenon, scarf joint and dovetail are exactly the same as they were hundreds..... no THOUSANDS of years ago. Some of the oldest examples of framing can date back to 80AD. Some of the earliest known timber houses in Europe have been found in Great Britain, dating to Neolithic times.

The joints are cut and placed together, the holes are then drilled for the oak pegs. Once the whole frame is erected and pegged, it will then settle as the oak dries out. A lot of the joints were originally designed so that when the oak is drying and the frame is settling, the joints will actually pull tighter, strengthening the construction.

We hope you have enjoyed our introduction into oak framing and how long its been used. As you see, the tradition with oak framing and the use of oak beams in construction is still alive and really hasn't changed much at all. The oak tree is still one of the most beautiful species, and it happens to produce a wonderful building material. 

You have to be interested in something to really appreciate it, and we love oak and working with it!