Timber Frame Joinery

Timber Frame Joinery


Timber frame joinery is what makes timber framing different from other methods of building. Our Maine timber framers use traditional mortise and tenon timber frame joinery, employing the shoulder and spline method of timber framing with oak pegs and maple splines. Because timber framing is such a specialized type of building, many people do not understand the different terms that timber framers use.

Here is a brief overview of timber frame joinery terms:


Timber Frame Joinery
A specific type of framing which uses wood beams that are joined by mortise and tenon joints and secured with wooden pegs. The joinery specifically refers to the way the pieces are held together. Where traditional stick-built framing uses nails and screws, timber framing calls for wooden pegs.


Mortise and Tenon
This type of joint is the foundation of all timber frame joinery; many other types are just variations of the mortise and tenon premise. Mortise and tenon refers to the way the beam and post fit together and are held in place with wooden pegs.


Shoulder and Spline
Spline joinery comes into play when two beams are joined to a post that does not have enough width to use a tenon. The spline acts as a connector which is capable of supporting the force of the beams. A spline is pegged through an open mortise in each beam.