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Vermont Family Forests
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Conserving The Health Of Our Local Forest Community

From Forest to Frame

View photos from the 3-day course here.


This course offered a hands-on introduction to the traditional craft of timber framing, and its place within the broader context of local eco-friendly forestry. Timber framing (sometimes called post and beam) is a traditional style of structural carpentry, utilizing heavy timber and mortise-and-tenon joineryŚno nails or screws! The craft of timber framing has been around for thousands of years and was the dominant construction form in New England until around 1900. Timber framing, like other traditional crafts, uses local resources and human-scale industry to create durable, effective, and beautiful buildings.

Over the course of three Saturdays, students learned about timber framing from forest to frame. They started in the Brynn Family Forest and The Watershed Center’s Waterworks Property, where David Brynn led an exploration of forest health conservation practices and timber selection. They then moved through the processes of tree felling and log forwarding with Paul Cate, logger and forester. Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber demonstrated the use of a Woodmizer portable sawmill.

During the second meeting (at the Goosewing Timberworks shop in Lincoln), Will Wallace-Gusakov demonstrated hand-hewing logs into square timbers, giving interested folks a chance to try their hand. Then they explored the history of timber framing and timber frame design, and got familiar with the design of our own frame. Students learned how to lay out and cut joinery on the timbers milled at the Waterworks Property.

Finally, students met at the Waterworks Property and raised their finished timber frame—a "forest hut" to support The Watershed Center’s outdoor conservation education programs—as part of the summer solstice celebration.

About the Instructors

Will Wallace-Gusakov runs Goosewing Timberworks, a small custom timber-frame shop in Lincoln that specializes in designing and fabricating custom timber frames, and in restoring historic timber frames. His passion for timber framing and traditional carpentry has led him to work, learn and teach all around the world, including in France, Estonia, Poland, and Ghana. He's a proud member of the Timber Framers Guild of North America and has led Guild projects in Vermont and around the Northeast. He's excited to share his love for this human-scale, local, and durable craft with the folks in his community.

David Brynn is founding executive director and conservation forester for Vermont Family Forests located in Bristol, Vermont.

Paul Cate is an exceptional logging forester based in East Montpelier, Vermont. He is skilled in the advanced logging techniques and operates a small, nimble and effective Vimek forwarder.

Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber in Huntington, Vermont will demonstrate the art, science and craft of milling with his WoodMizer bandmill by sawing the logs into high quality timbers.

Course Details








May 16, 2015


Brynn Family Forest & then Waterworks Property

Bristol, VT

Conservation forestry; felling, bucking, and forwarding


June 6, 2015


Goosewing Timberworks shop

Lincoln, VT

Hand hewing; timber framing history, timber frame design, lay out and cut joinery for pavilion


June 21, 2015


Waterworks Property

Bristol, VT

Solstice timber frame-raising


Minimum and maximum number of students:

Minimum: 8        Maximum: 12

Fee: $180 ($10/course hour)
Credit Hours*: 1.125 (18 hours of instruction)

*While our courses offer the structure and content of college courses, we are not seeking accreditation for Hogback Community College, nor do we currently offer credits for transfer to other educational institutions. Many teachers have taken Hogback Community College courses as part of their Professional Development requirements.

How to Apply: Download a registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc. Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.