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Learn Timber Framing and Build Our Shed!

We are excited to partner with Rattlesnake Gutter Timberworks to offer a fantastic opportunity to learn traditional American timber framing technique while constructing a new 12’x16′ shed at the Community Garden.

Two weekends, July 16-17 & July 23-24, 2016
Full days (approx. 9am-5pm)
Tuition is sliding scale $350 and up
(see scholarship fund info below)

  • No prior construction or woodworking experience is necessary.
  • This class is open to anyone 18 years of age and up. Don’t count yourself out due to age, gender or background; great physical strength is not a requirement – we will have strength in numbers!
  • Tuition includes both weekend classes, additional hours during the week (for those who have a flexible schedule) and the raising of the completed structure.
  • Class size is limited to 12 students, so reserve ASAP!
  • We need at least 8 students to make the class work, so sign up soon and share with friends!

To sign up, or for further questions, please email Hank at

About the Course

Proprietor Hank Silver and colleague Shannon McIntyre (bios below) will instruct participants in the methods, tools, and techniques of “square-rule” timber framing, a style practiced in New England since the early 1800’s. Timber framing is a building method that uses heavy timbers, connected by mortise and tenon joinery and held fast by handmade wooden pegs (no nails!). The frame is raised by a large group of people (think “barn raising”) and fitted together to form the finished structure.

Participants will learn the proper care and use of antique woodworking tools, as well as layout methods, design fundamentals, and the history of traditional timber framing. This frame will be built using traditional hand tools only – no electricity!

Our Scholarship Fund

Those who are able are encouraged to make an additional contribution that can offset costs for participants unable to afford the full fee. We think this is a fantastic opportunity, as similar courses at New England woodworking schools cost over $1000. Any student experiencing financial difficulty is welcome to propose a partial barter exchange or request a reduced fee using the scholarship fund.

Course Instructors

Hank Silver is sole-proprietor of Rattlesnake Gutter Timberworks, a timber framing business based in Leverett. Hank has been a full-time carpenter for the past 10 years, has a broad range of carpentry experience, and is a licensed contractor. He spent 3 years in central Vermont, where he studied traditional timber framing with Timber Framers Guild Journeyworker, Josh Jackson and apprenticed under him one-on-one. For two years, Hank worked as a timber framer at Timberhomes, LLC of Vershire, Vermont, cutting and erecting traditional barns and houses. Hank has built and raised countless timber frames across New England with a variety of skilled builders and is becoming proficient at timber frame design as well. He just completed a large timber framed barn of his own design for a farmer in Gill, MA. He is also an active member of the Timber Framers Guild and attends conferences whenever possible. Hank believes that the discipline required by timber framing and the satisfaction of building something with your own hands is an invaluable experience and is excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the Grow Food Northampton community.

Shannon McIntyre has studied a variety of traditional and natural building techniques in schools and apprenticeships across the US and Canada, including a 6-month stint as an apprentice at the Heartwood School in Beckett, MA. Over the past 5 years Shannon has built dozens of timber framed barns, houses, and outbuildings. She was lead carpenter and instructor on an ambitious timber frame community build in Costa Rica, and is a regular timber framing instructor at the Yestermorrow Design-Build School. Shannon recently returned from a Timber Framers Guild build project in Michigan, where she expanded upon her understanding of compound roof framing. Shannon lives in Montpelier, Vermont and is currently a full-time timber framer at Timberhomes, LLC, in Vershire, VT.

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