Western Timber Frame uses a very interesting dovetail joinery system that produces a really strong joint that’s fast and easy to erect. The picture at the right shows how the roof rafters attach to the ridge beam using large dovetail joints. These joints are very strong and made assembly really easy and fast. I was very impressed with the quality of the joinery and how well the entire frame fit together.
Dovetail joints are used in this frame at several locations including:
- Roof Rafters to Ridge Beam
- Beam to Column Connections
- Truss Cord to King Post
- Ridge Beam to King Post
Once the joints come together, a rubber mallet is used to pound them tight followed by a large structural screw to keep things together. All of the joints came pre-drilled for the large fasteners which also helped speed installation.
Fit & Finish – Excellent Quality
One of the downsides to ordering any product online and from a great distance is the inability to “touch and feel” the product in person before making the purchase. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to be extremely nervous about this when I decided to order this kit from Western Timber Frame. I relied on my gut feeling after speaking with these folks and reviewing pictures from their gallery of projects.
To say I’m very happy with the quality of their product doesn’t really do it justice. The quality of the materials and the milling that went into the kit was exceptional. Every piece fit perfectly and it only took about 7 hours for 4 of us to completely erect this pavilion including the time it took us to install a layer of plywood on the roof. All of the timber was pre-stained, all of the materials were straight and free of defects, and most importantly the dimensions were very accurate.
Little details always make the difference and I found that to be true with this kit. If you look at the photo above you’ll see what I’m talking about. Notice that the coped beam end has very smooth cuts, chamfered edges (they route the edges after cutting), all of the joints are tight, and the pre-stained finish is in great condition even after a long journey across country and after all the abuse of erecting the frame.