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Timber Frames

John makes timber frame structures of many sizes, from entryways and gazebos to full cabins. Custom orders are encouraged. Timber frames have a host of advantages over common stick-built construction — both aesthetic and structural. Instead of 2x4s and sheetrock, John’s builds are cut from heavy beams and timbers. The joinery is hand-fit and shaped in his wood shop using the same techniques craftsmen employed centuries ago — mortice and tenons held with wooden pegs or wedges. In most cases, no metal fasteners are used in the frames themselves. The wood is free to expand and contract with the seasons without fatiguing the screws and nails used in nearly all modern construction.

Because the buildings don’t rely on sheathing for structural support, they can be finished in any fashion, from rough sawn cladding to structural insulated panels for an energy-efficient getaway.

The frames can be raised on location in as little as a few hours, but take on an immediate air of historic permanence — as if they’ve stood for 100 years already.

Previous Enger Grove Projects

Lake Lodge

This 14′ x 20′ timber frame sits with a 180 degree lake view. The owners chose a rustic look and decor, with block-planed timbers charred black in the traditional Shou Sugi Ban tradition. It is used for entertaining and campouts.


Writing Cabin

In 2017, John made a small writing cabin in the woods at Enger Grove. With no electricity, the rustic getaway is an ideal retreat from distraction and the perfect place to get in a creative head space. We use it as a writing “office,” summertime camp out, and mystical playhouse for our children.

Each beam in the cabin was hand-hewn with an axe. It is primarily made from Enger Grove pine, with salvaged windows and cedar planking. All the joinery was hand-cut and fit with no power tools. The walls are planked with Enger Grove pine, milled by a local sawyer. The eaves are finished with diagonal tin, creating a bold, Viking feel.