The Building Process

Douglas Fir timbers from the west coast and Oak timbers from mills in Pennsylvania and Ohio are stacked in our shop ready to begin the timber frame construction process. We transform these natural timbers into timber frame homes, home additions, and other structures all around the country. We accommodate most floor plans with our many customized designs that will meet engineering specifications in your area. For example, the timber members used on a timber frame project in Alaska would be far greater than the material used in the southern states due to snow and wind load. Each and every timber frame home that Atlantic erects is unique to the location of your home.

Our frames are designed using Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and White Oak, all having different load bearing capabilities.

Our Timber Frame Construction Reflects Our Craftsmanship Approach

Click on the images and videos below to learn more.

Your Timber Frame starts with a complete set of detailed shop drawings. This is where old world craftsmanship and new age computer software technology meet. Using computer drawings, we scribe into position all the mortise cuts, hole placements, tenon cut lines and housings.

Our timbers are milled on a joiner built in the 1800s for the Bessemer Railroad. This tool is unique to our company. Saw mill timber most generally hook and bow; this joiner allows us to straighten and square the timbers prior to layout. Unlike a four sided planer which follows the contour of the timber, this joiner brings it back straight and true. After the timbers are straightened and squared on the joiner it's off to the layout line.

With the layout complete we end cut the timbers then apply a beeswax end seal to slow the drying process.

This video demonstrates the saw cut and the end seal being applied.

We are now ready to start cutting your frame. All timbers are cut using hand tools, chisels, saws and drills as opposed to the new modern computer cutting machines.

The holes are made with a horizontal drill to assure a straight pin line though the timber.

A chain morticer is used to cut in all necessary mortices to a specified width for the tenon; most mortices in the frame are two inches in width.

This video shows the chain morticer in action.

Using a chisel to add relief to the tenons allows for that super tight fit we are looking for in all our work. This is where a hands-on approach really makes the difference. Great pride is taken to fit all the joinery together like the perfect piece of furniture it is, a one of a kind creation of your dreams.

The wind braces used in the frame are generally made from 3'' x 6" stock. Tenons are cut on the braces allowing for a 1/2" relief to trim the mortise pocket while enhancing the beauty of the brace.


We would love to talk with you about your timber frame project.

Contact us today for your no obligation consultation