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Northmen guild's international 10-day timber framing and full scribe log building practical educational course

16 international students

Course participants will learn historical way of building a house in a timber framing and full scribe log building practical educational course using only hand tools and also learn about the historical and cultural context of log-building in Latvia.

Log building students will learn

  • 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.
  • Introduction in different historical log notch joinery from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Baltics
  • Hewing - turning logs into square timbers using different axes
  • Full scribe log building technique building a real log cabin
  • Sliding dovetail notch joinery with wind lock key
  • Window and door frame making in a log house
  • Forgotten forestry – making super wood - injuring and scaring growing trees. Knowledge about preserving growing wood making the wood last hundreds of years. Importance of moon phases for felling the trees and correct time of year for harvesting timber for log buildings and timber frames.

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.
  • Forgotten forestry – making super wood - injuring and scaring growing trees. Knowledge about preserving growing wood making the wood last hundreds of years. Importance of moon phases for felling the trees and correct time of year for harvesting timber for log buildings and timber frames.

All students will learn traditional timber framing and full scribe log building. They will be working/studying in two groups - acquiring one craft for 5 days and the other also 5 days.

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. As well as live acoustic music on the barn stage some special evenings.

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 in a huge timber framed barn, on the grounds of the beautiful old manor of Ratnieki where all students will work under one roof. All students will be living in the nearby manor house itself, eating local food and enjoying the rural countryside and nature of Latvia while learning the craft from the Northmen guild's Master Carpenters.


Tutors



Jacob Dimiters (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.


Educational Excursions
 

A visit to nearby Woodcraft Museum, meeting Green woodworker artisan and Northmen guilds craftsman – Rihards Vidzickis

A Sunday in an Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia

Taking part in a traditional smoke sauna in a historical Sauna Museum

An afternoon visiting famous Latvian wild food chef Eriks Dreibants in his Chefs Creative Workshop in the middle of the Gauja National Park forest we will go over Gauja river with the only (last) wooden ferry boat in Latvia and take a walk 2 miles through the woods to his house. Erik will cook wild food meal on open fire for all the students and tutors.


Cost: 2950, Euros - includes everything in-country: tuition, accommodation, all meals, organized field-trips. Participants are responsible for their own international transport, travel insurance, and extra-curricular costs. Half (50% deposit) of the cost is paid when applying for the course (via PayPal or Credit/Debit card) and the remaining 50% - one month before the start of the course or cash at arrival.

Conditions for canceling your participation in the course: if you cancel the participation 3 months before the starting date, we give back 75% of the deposit, if you cancel it 2 months before the start of the course, we return 50%, if you cancel later, we do not return the money.

Age limitation: 14+

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 Gauja River National Park at the beautiful old manor of Ratnieki.

Full lodging and 3 local organic food meals (per day) is provided from the day of arrival till the departure. In the evening of arrival will be provided dinner at 7pm.

Language: The course will be held in English.

Apply For A Course

Teach the young! Honor the elders!
More information & questions - courses@northmen.com