Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Timber frames – finishing touches

In addition to choosing a wood species for your timber frame or post and beam home, you’ll have to decide how you want the timbers finished.

There are several choices for the finish. Most prefer to have their timbers planed smooth and sanded on all sides for a clean finished look. You might, however, choose not to have them planed, and leave them rough sawn (not planed or sanded) for an antique look. For an even more traditional, antique look, timber may be hand hewn. Notches, or cuts, are made in the timbers using heavy hand tools such as an adze or chisel.

Most manufacturers offer the option of chamfered edges. A chamfer is made in the timber by cutting off the edge of the corners, either a simple flat 45 degree cut or a variety of other styles are available as well. Chamfers give the timbers a refined, sophisticated look as well as alleviate the sharp corner and possibility of splintering wood.

In order to protect the timbers’ natural grain, manufacturers typically apply a tung oil or stain after the joinery is cut. You can choose a clear stain or a darker color to match your preference and desired interior look. While the finish will be applied to all surfaces and joints in the beams at the manufacturer’s shop, an additional coat or two may be applied on site.

Whatever finishing options you choose, the beauty of a timber frame home is undeniable and will be the focus of the home’s interior.

Kimberly Bonin, Executive Project Manager

Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC

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