Grindbygg Timber Frame Course

May 17 – 23, 2021 (6 full days & 1 half day)

Grindbygg is a unique Norwegian vernacular timber frame building style. It’s unique joinery harkens back to the early days of post construction before the common usage of mortise and tenon joinery. The specific grindbygg design and joinery was first seen in the late 1400’s. The indicative feature is the necked tying joint where the post, tie beam and plate all come together. The series of slots, laps and notches are held tightly in place by the force of gravity on the roof. Until the early 20th century, Grindbygg frames were common in western Norway as unheated out buildings: barns, boathouses and storehouses. There is renewed interest in preserving this building technique and now there are numerous builders in Norway constructing Grindbygg frames, mostly for out buildings and carports.

During this course we will construct a grindbygg using primarily materials we find on the building site (attached are pictures of some of the logs and rafters being harvested just weeks ago). Timbers and rafters will have been harvested on site at the Avon Hills Folk School. The finished product will be a shelter for the folk school’s new evaporator purchased in 2020 for the Maple Syrup operation. 

The focus will be on traditional techniques for layout and cutting joinery with hand tools. Joinery layout is a combination of scribing one piece to fit to another and the use of templates. While the  oldest grindbygg were likely cut with only an axe and drill, we will also be using saws and chisels. The course will culminate with raising the frame.

This  class will be limited to between 6-8 students to ensure a high quality experience for everyone. 

Watch for additional class details to follow to include: cost, tools needed and tools provided, day by day schedule, lodging options and a what to bring and what to expect list. 

Meet our Instructor

Peter Henrikson is a professional timber framer and designer who has also been teaching the art of timber framing for over 20 years. His experience extends beyond timber framing to bridge building, basket and paddle making as well as log building. Peter lives with his family just outside of Grand Marais, MN. He is an instructor and member of the North House Folk School community. Check out Peter’s article on Grindbygg Timber Frames from Norway in The Journal of The Timber Framers Guild, December 2013 Edition below.

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