What is Oak Framing

 Oak Framing, Post & Beam Construction, Timber Framing and Green Oak Framing are some of the many terms ascribed to green oak timber framing – the ancient craft of building structures from freshly cut oak timber or trees.

From primitive structures tied together with twine, through grand medieval manor houses to new highly insulated contemporary homes, people have always looked to green oak for the means of building a shelter.

The term ‘green’ in green oak timber framing does not refer to the colour of the timber, neither does it necessarily refer to the environmental credentials of the timber. Green timber means that the timber is relatively freshly cut, from timber in the round. Being freshly cut the oak timber is very easy to work which is in stark contrast to the incredibly hard and tough nature of oak when it has fully seasoned.

Timber framing is the craft of interlinking structural beams using a variety of hand-cut joints. Although a traditional style of construction, it lends itself to a variety of structures & is a very versatile building form. Due to its varied uses, there is a comprehensive list of timber types – below is a simple guide to help navigate around an oak frame.

Although oak is not the only timber used in ‘heavy’ timber framed buildings, but it is by far the most commonly used and is out on its own in terms of strength and durability. We are privileged in Britain to have so many important historical sites and museums that showcase these beautiful, durable buildings.

In our workshops today we are building from the same freshly sawn timber as our predecessors, relying on the same wonderful characteristics that green Oak provides, to create bespoke, handcrafted and sustainable structures. At English Oak Buildings, like the medieval carpenters before us we use the traditional ‘Scribe Rule’ to mark out our oak frames. This technique allocates each timber to a numbered place within the frame, shaping it specifically to join into the adjacent timber.

Green oak timber framing is now proving to be the ideal choice for the contemporary builder. The fantastic mix of sustainability, durability and adaptability in design, together with the controlled off-site construction of green oak frames, makes them the obvious choice for the modern build. From a small extension to a large development a green oak timber frame will not only cut your build time on site, but its character and quality will add significant value to your build.

As you can see from the example truss configurations below, oak frames are adaptable to suit many different requirements.

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