Traditional Norwegian Carpentry Course

Location: Remote Farm by Lake Mjosa, Norway


Marius Holje  (Born 1979)

"I'm 40 years old and started my own way as a carpenter at age of 19. I probably should have started earlier, because I've been into old log houses since I was a kid. I grew up on a mountain farm and went to forestry school. Wooden craftsmanship and carpentry has been big in my life, as well as my love for horses. I have built new buildings,maybe 15-20 ones over the years of different sizes. Most of the time I've spent on restoring and fixing up old buildings including a few buildings being preserved for national heritage interests. I've been working by myself mostly, but in the last three years I began to employ some fellow carpenters as well. Currently we are a team of four. At the moment we have three or four different projects going. We are taking all the logs for our buildings directly from the woods in the correct time of the year - winter. We are using old school horse logging to extract the logs from the forest. I am a father of my beautiful daughter."

Jacob Dimiters  (Born 1985)

Master carpenter and Timber Framing tutor in Northmen carpentry classes. Founder of Northmen guild and designer of Northmen woodworking tools. Has done a deep research in historical hand tools and medieval carpentry techniques. During the last 3 years Jacob has been teaching traditional timber framing to more than 200 international students. He started his journey as a cinematographer at 18 and after 8 years working in movie making went back to his childhood dream to become a carpenter and create things with his hands, building around himself a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making and creating. In 2017 he formed Northmen Guild - a platform for independet craftsmen to share their work with the world.

Jacob has been learning his carpentry skills from French carpenters, acquiring the knowledge of how to layout and cut precise joinery using rough hewn or crooked timbers based on ancient French and Japanese center line layout systems. Since then Jacob shares those almost forgotten techniques to his students. An independent movie maker. Father of 2 daughters.


Overall course description

Course participants will learn the historical way of building a house in a timber framing and full scribe log building techniques using only hand tools. Learning about the historical and cultural context of log-building in Norway.

Norwegian Log building students will learn:

  • Understanding and using different traditional carpenters hand tools (17. - 20.ct) from different cultures - Norwegian, French, German, English, American, Japanese (chisels, axes, planes, rip and cross cut saws, draw knives, augers - their history, sharpening and techniques using them).
  • Introduction in different historical log joints from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Baltics
  • Hewing - turning logs into square timbers using different axes
  • Full scribe Norwegian log building technique building a real log cabin
  • How to lay out and cut Norwegian saddle notch
  • Window and door frame making in a log house

Timber framing students will learn:

  • Traditional timber framing turning trees into houses and nature into the culture using ancient hand tools and techniques Understanding and using different traditional carpenters hand tools (17. - 20.ct) from different cultures - French, German, English, American, Japanese, Scandinavian (chisels, axes, planes, rip and cross cut saws, draw knives, augers - their history, sharpening and techniques using them).
  • Hewing - turning logs into square timbers using different axes
  • Medieval carpentry/timber framing and plumb bob or “French” scribing technique
  • French and Japanese centre line axial layout system. Learning the lay out principles for hewn, reclaimed, twisted, crooked and rough sawn timber.
  • Introduction into traditional Japanese carpentry hand tools and their usage - Japanese hewing axe Ono (斧) (masa-kari) , Kanna pull planes, Japanese adze, Kobiki Nokogiri and Temagari Nokogiri - Timber Saws, Ryoba saws, Whale back saw - Maebiki oga 前挽大鋸 and Japanese chisels
  • Traditional timber framing (building without nails) joinery - mortice and tenon joint, dovetail joints, birds mouth joinery, rafter layout, European and Japanese scarf joints, draw boring peg holes, interlocked mortice and tenon joint, king’s post structure, shouldered mortice and tenon joint, brace mortice and tenon joint, tongue & fork rafter joint.

The ten day class will be compiled in two groups of 8 students, one group of 8 students during the class will be working on the log building construction and the other group of 8 students on the Timber Frame.

Students will learn to lay out timber joinery using the traditional Square Rule, and French scribe centre line method; cut mortise and tenon joints using hand tools; assemble (fixing with white oak pegs) and raise the frame.

We will divide our course schedule between the morning-daytime hands-on learning of woodworking skills as we cut our frame and logs, and the evening free sessions, where we will view slides and discuss a variety of topics relating to timber frame design and construction, log building, lifestyle and enjoying being together.

All the woodwork will be carried out with traditional hand tools alone (axes, chisels, hand saws, augers, beam drills, drawknives, planes and e.t.c.) – both those made by The Northmen Guild and also old, restored hand tools.

This event will happen on the shore of the beautiful Norwegian lake Mjøsa in a remote farm with more than 350 years behind it. All students will be living in the surrounding log cabins, eating local organic and wild food and enjoying the rural countryside and nature of Norway while learning the craft from the Northmen guild's Master Carpenters.


Norwegian Organic & Wild Food

During the class we will have a professional chef making all the meals for us from local organic ingredients from Norwegian farmer’s as well as wild food - fish, deer, elk, e.t.c.


Educational Excursions

Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd

An excoursion to Oslo Open Air Museum.

Visiting eldest Norwegian log building from 957 A.D.


An excoursion to Oslo Viking Ship Museum

Seeing the oldest ship from the Viking era in person - The Oseberg Viking Ship


Rowing together with the whole class in THE replica of the Oseberg viking ship in the Fjord


Visiting several Norwegian stave churches with more than 600 years of history behind them


Visiting Midgard viking center

Course Location

Vardebergvegen 647, 2337 Tangen, Norway

google maps

Age limitation: 15+

Woodworking experience: Participants are not expected to have any log building or timber framing experience, but any woodworking experience is appreciated.

Training site: The course will be held in remote historical farm located by the shores of lake Mjøsa in Norway.

Woodworking experience: Participants are not expected to have any joinery or green woodworking experience

Language: The course will be held in English.

More information/questions -

Teach the young! Honor the elders!