Homestead Timber Frames

Surface Treatments for Your Timber Frame

Posted by Cyndy Gardner on Oct 31, 2016 3:14:39 PM

When building the timber frame home of your dreams, you're sure to be faced with many choices to make when it comes to the look and feel of your new home.The first decision you're going to have to make regarding the look of your finished timber frame is the texture of the timber surfaces. There are a lot of different ways to do this, so we'll go over a few of the most popular:

Smoothly Planedunspecified-8.jpeg

This most common choice is the result of a portable planer, sharp blades, and patient technique. The timber framer sets the planer blade height to a minimum setting to
minimize grain tear–out and planes each visible timber surface while advancing slowly. Areas around knots may require additional attention from a belt sander.

Hand Hewn 

Best described under the heading, “How to make a timber framer wince”, this surface treatment is achieved by using an adze. The adze wielder chops along the length of the timber taking small divots of wood. The aim here is to replicate a timber that was produced by hand from the log.  

Sandblasted unspecified-7.jpeg

Timber frame timbers can be sandblasted to mimic weathered timber surfaces without the graying. A steady stream of an abrasive agent such as sand or baking soda is directed under pressure against the timber surfaces. The abrasive agent removes the softer ‘early wood’ leaving the ‘late wood’. The result is a timber surface that looks and feels like corduroy with the ‘late wood’ grain raised.

Rough Sawn  unspecified-6.jpeg

Timbers are joined straight from the saw mill, saw marks and rough grain intact.  Barns and sheds often display timbers that are rough sawn.

Make sure to choose wisely, because the finish will likely be the first thing most people notice about your frame. There are no wrong decisions, but it is important to choose a texture that matches the look and feel you want in your new home. If you have any quesitons about these or any other kind of timber frame finishing, feel free to reach out and let us know! We're always happy to talk timber framing with a new friend. 


Topics: Home Planning