Timber Frame Tools


Adze: An axelike tool with its blade at right angles to its handle, used to shape or dress timbers.


Beetle: A large wooden mallet typically weighing fifteen to twenty pounds.

Boring Machine: Hand-cranked device with gears to drive a removable auger bit, used to bore large or deep holes, as in roughing out a mortise or drilling pegholes.

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.

Broadaxe: Wide-bladed axe with its edge usually beveled only on one side, and fitted with an offset handle for knuckle clearance.  Used to hew timbers from logs or for similar shaping work.


Carrying Sticks: Sticks placed under a timber to provide an easy hand hold for carrying. Typically, two carrying sticks and four people are needed to carry a timber in this way.

Timber framing tool Makita chain mortiserChain Mortiser: Jigged power tool with chain-mounted cutters that plunge into the face of a timber to cut a mortise, fitted with a depth stop and other controls.

Crosscut Saw: Saw whose teeth are sharpened to a point and set outward to cut across the wood fibers by severing to left and right, so that the waste falls out as dust.


Draw Knife: A knife blade with handles on both ends so that the knife can be pulled by both hands toward the user; for shaving pegs and shingles, trimming and chamfering.


Framing Chisel: A heavy duty chisel typically with one-and-one-half to two-inch-wide blade. Designed to be Timber Frame chiselused with a mallet.

Framing Square: L-shaped metal graduated measuring tool with fixed at 90 degrees, used for layout and checking of angular lines.

Froe (Frow): Stout, flat-bladed, handled tool for riving pegstocks as well as shingles, clapboards or sections for furniture.


Gin Pole: Lifting device composed of a single pole, stayed by guy lines, from which lifting tackle is hung.


Haft: Tool handle such as of a hammer or axe.


Kerf: Space left by passage of a saw blade.

Kerfing: Either a series of cuts with a circular saw set at a desired depth to remove a section of wood or the hand-sawing along the shoulder of an assembled joint to improve the fit of the joint.


Mallet: Striking tool of wood, rawhide, steel or synthetic material weighing generally between 24 and 40 on.


Peavy: Pointed tool with long handle and forged side hook used to roll logs or heavy timbers.

Pike Pole: A long pole pointed with a sharpened spike used for raising frames. These tools were known as early as the fifteenth century, when they were called "butters".

Plumb Bob: Cast lead or improvised weight attached to string line for sighting perpendicular lines.


Rip Saw: Saw designed to cut parallel to grain.

Router: Hand or power tool designed to produce or to level grooves and housing along across the grain; the power tool can also be used as a molding plane.


Scaffold: Temporary structures for access to sides of a building.

Slick: A chisel with a blade two and one-half or more inches in width. It is pushed by the hands instead of being struck with a mallet.

Spokeshave: Extremely short plane with wing handles in line with edge of blade, pushed or pulled to form and finish curved and cylindrical surfaces.

Square: At a 90 degree angle; a measuring tool with beam and blade fixed at 90 degrees to one another.

Story Pole: Slender stick marked with important intervals, for repeated transfer in frame, finish or individual timber layout.


Windlass: Horizontal winding pole used with a rope for lifting.

Some of the other tools we use for Timber Framing are shown below:

Timber Framing Tool Mafel 10 inch planerTimber Framing tool King Planer 16 Inches










Timber Framing tool Shop tenon cutterTimber Framing tool Circular Saw Makita
















Timber wrench - used for turning large timbers.














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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
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