Traditional Timber Frame Repair and Conservation

This course has been postponed due to Covid. Please email us if you would like to be notified when it has been rescheduled.

This day course is aimed at those who are interested in or involved with traditional timber repairs and are looking to learn more about historic carpentry, identifying defects, understanding when repairs are needed and how to approach repairs effectively.

The course will be led by Rick Lewis. Rick runs his own carpentry business in Suffolk and has built up an excellent reputation for his high-quality work and in-depth knowledge on historic carpentry and timber framed buildings. He has worked on over 100 timber frame buildings in the eastern region, and regularly leads hands-on educational courses in timber repairs as well as talks on the subject.

The day is divided into three parts:

The first session will comprise of two talks which explore how to identify if, and, when repairs are needed, and what repair methods might be appropriate to heavy carpentry. Modern and historic methods and hand tools will be covered, along with specialist power tools that have been designed with heavy carpentry in mind. It will also cover case studies of timber frames, discussing the process of repairs and how to pre-empt/mitigate risks along the way. Some points on design and engineering along with the need for clear drawings and method statements will be discussed.

The second session will allow students the opportunity to see examples of timbers and the tools best suited to repair them up close. Rick will lead the session and guide students through examples of timbers from his workshop collection which highlight key issues common in historic buildings and how to conserve or repair them. This session will also provide an introduction to the tools most commonly used for traditional repairs.

Lunch (provided)

The final session will be an opportunity for a tour of the Grade I listed thirteenth-century barns at Cressing Temple (among the oldest timber barns and few surviving Templar buildings in England), to see historic and modern timber defects and repairs up close. Rick will discuss the various approaches deployed on the site over time and students should gain a valuable insight into the ethics and the logistics of heavy carpentry repairs.


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Inside Cressing Temple Barns, Essex
Traditional timber frame building at Cressing Temple Barns
Timber frame building, Cressing Temple Barns