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Shipwright School Blog - Timber Frame Apprentices Learn The Traditional Methods

31 March 2014 - Timber frame apprentices have joined us at Buckler's Hard to experience the traditional methods of timber conversion.

Today we have 12 timber frame apprentices who have come from all over the UK to train with us with Hewing and Sawing. They have come along with their supervisors from the Construction Industry Training Board and they are all experiencing for the first time how timber was converted in the old days.

Henry Russell gave them a great talk on the history of sawing, showing old etchings from medieval books of how it was done and of course a long health and safety talk.

We were also joined by a few local New Forest carpenters, all keen to learn the old methods and learn how to develop their skills.

Timber frame apprentices gather at Buckler's Hard

Hewing the oaks was hard with a variety of axes to get the perfect finish. Mostly for tie beams, braces and jowl posts. They worked trying out three different methods of sawing, see-sawing, scissor sawing, frame and pit (on trestles) sawing with different types of saws. Really hard work and not easy at all. All under the watching eye of tutor Barbara Czoch, expert sawyer.

In the evening we went to visit some of the Beaulieu Estate barns to look at their historic roofs and Henry enthused over the way they were made, some maybe 15th and 16th century.

Timber frame apprentices visit one of the Beaulieu Estate barns


- Mary Montagu-Scott

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