Timber frame lumber (timbers)


Boxed Heart Timber: Timber whose section includes the heart of a tree.  Since checks generally do not cross the heart, such a timber rarely splits completely.


Camber: Hewn, sawn, natural or deliberately bent upward sweep in a beam or in its top surface, often incorporated into the lower chords of timber trusses, to resists deflection (especially in bridges) or to obtain aesthetic effects in the space below.

Check: Separation of wood fibers following the direction of the rays, caused by the tension of uneven drying.

Crossgrain: Grain not parallel to the long axis of a timber. The ultimate strength of a timber in bending is greatly dependent on the slope of its grain.

Crown: Vertical curvature in a timber’s length placed upward in spanning members where the load will tend to straighten it.


Depth: The vertical thickness of a beam.

Diagonal Grain: Grain that is other than parallel to the length of a timber. This will greatly reduce the strength of a timber.

Dimension Lumber: Planed timber sold according to its nominal size, usually less than 6 inches think.


Fohc (free of heart center): Timbers sawn to exclude the heart can in theory be seasoned without checking.


Grain: Pattern of growth rings, rays and other wood structure elements revealed from the tree.

Green Wood: Wood freshly cut that is not dried or seasoned.


Hardwood: Wood of certain deciduous trees, e.g., oak, maple, ash, etc.


Nominal Size: Sawn or hewn timber dimensions before sizing, actual dimensions may be larger or smaller than nominal.


Seasoned Wood: Wood dried over time to equilibrium moisture content with its atmosphere.

Shake: Separation of growth rings in a timber, a structural defect normally developed during the growth of the tree.

Shrinkage: Reduction in section and length of a timber as it dries. Sectional shrinkage is analyzed into tangential (shortening along the rings) and radial (shortening along the rays).

Sizing: Shaping timber to uniform section, by hand locally at the joints or by machine for the whole timber.

Softwood: Wood primarily of a conifer or evergreen, e.g., pine, spruce, douglas fir, etc.Timber Frame Stickers

Stick, Sticker: Spacing piece used between stacked timbers or boards to provide air circulation and between stacked bents for strap clearance (shown to the right).

Surfacing: Planed, rough sawn (band or circular) or hand-hewn (shaped with an axe). Pictured above.

Timber Frame Timbers shown with a wooden mallet


Timber: Large squared or otherwise shaped piece of wood ready for fashioning as one member of a structure.


Wane: Nature’s chamfer; the rounded arrises of a timber squared from an undersized log.

Wattle And Daub: A framework of woven widths covered by layers of daub mixed of clay, lime, and horsehair and cow dung, used to fill openings between studs in early timber frames.


Remember to visit the Timber End Detail.


Click here to go back to the Timber Frame Main Glossary Page.

TimberhArt Woodworks (formerly Acorn Timber Frames)
L. Daniel and Kimberley Reagan
195 Fuller Rd., Hantsport NS B0P 1P0
Tel: 902 684-9708 || Toll Free: 1-866-395-3838 || Fax: 902 684-9844
E-mail or use our CONTACT FORM »

Copyright © 2001 – TimberhArt Woodworks