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Timber Framing Course: Norwegian Grindbygg "Trestle Frame"

by Tyler

This August, join us with master timber framer Peter Henrikson to hand-craft and raise a one-of-a-kind Norwegian Grindbygg workshop in Arlington, Vermont. This unique style of roundwood construction is the oldest known building technique in Norway. Archeological evidence suggests it was in common use during the Viking age—over a thousand years ago (790-1066 AD)!

Course Details

Where: Going Slowly HQ in Arlington, Vermont
When: August 12th - 16th, 2013
Cost: $300 per person
Openings: SOLD OUT
Lodging: Stay in one of many nearby motels, or bring your tent and camp in our woods.
How to Register: Please fill out our questionnaire and email it to us@goingslowly.com

Norwegian Grindbygg "Trestle" Frame Plans


The course starts on a Monday, but we'd like people to arrive and visit on Sunday—that way we don't have any folks lost or missing on the first morning. If you are thinking of camping, please be aware that it's rustic. We have a hand-pumped well, solar showers, and there will be a few Porta Potties on-site. Electricity is currently limited to a small generator.

What will the days be like?

There will be instruction on Grindbygg framing each morning, followed by a lot of hands-on work from 9AM to 5PM, with an hour long lunch break somewhere in the middle. Food is not included in the tuition fee, but there is a fantastic farm stand about 3 miles from our land, a burger joint not far away, and a takeout place that actually delivers to us!

About Grindbygg Timber Framing

The basic form of a Grindbygg frame is similar to many European and American timber frames: posts held together by tie beams, then topped with wall plates supporting common rafters. Yet there are no mortises or tenons in this style. Instead, the tie beams sit in a slot cut into the top of the posts—a necked tying joint. Wall plates rest on the tie beam, and against the top of the posts. All bracing is cut into the side of the timbers, then pegged.

Norwegian Grindbygg Timber Frame

While many modern Grindbygg frames use sawn timbers, the basic design and scribe layout makes the incorporation of round and/or curved members a fairly simple task. We will be working with green wood, freshly felled from the area surrounding the worksite. Traditional frames were cut primarily with an axe, chisel, drill and handsaw. Due to the short duration of our class, we will use modern power tools as well.

Norwegian Grindbygg "Trestle Frame" @ North House Folk School

If you are using Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox, you can fly through a 3D rendering of the workshop (as designed by Peter) below.

SketchUp Web-Viewer

This is highly experimental. Please allow some time for loading. Does not work on iPads (yet).


Mouse: Look up/down/left/right
Left Click: Fly forward
Right Click: Fly backward

Click to Start

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Wish I could join for this! Anyone have a Green Card to spare? :P
Posted by Dietrich on April 5th, 2013 at 2:01 AM
can three year olds come or would it be too crazy dangerous?
Posted by sarah on April 5th, 2013 at 10:40 AM
Dietrich-- I wish!

Sarah-- We would love to have you and Jamie and Isaac at the workshop! Let me talk to Peter and see what he thinks. I'll update the entry when I find out (and shoot you a message too).

Posted by Tyler on April 5th, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Hi guys,
The class and building sound great! Wish I could join. I wanted to let Tyler know that the 3D flyover worked for me, except I couldn't get myself off the "ground". I got to see it from an ant's POV and the place looks HUGE! Best of luck!

Oh yeah - how do I stop the thing? i was getting dizzy.
Posted by mel on April 8th, 2013 at 3:01 PM
I totally thought I could go for a second, but I'd only be able to come for two days and I'd be pushing it cos it's a ten hour drive with a 9-5 job wednesday though sunday. If something happens in the fall I could probably make it though!
Posted by maddie on April 12th, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Thanks for the kind words and the confirmation that the 3D flyover worked (sort of, anyway). I don't currently have anything mapped to stop the viewer, but putting your mouse in the center of the box should make it stand still. If I tinker with it any further I'll drop a note here to mention it.

Bummer :( You're more than welcome to drop in for a day or two if you'd like! We don't have anything planned for this fall just yet, but if you sign up for our newsletter we'll let you know if that changes.
Posted by Tyler on April 12th, 2013 at 4:54 PM
Hey Tyler--Here's an idea: why not ask Jenna, at Cold Antler Farm, to mention your workshop on her blog (I reached your site via hers). She seems to have a wide following, and a fan base of people who take her workshops.
Posted by Nancy Kane on April 17th, 2013 at 4:09 AM
BTW, here's a link to a NYTimes story you both (and the biking community) might be interested in:
Posted by Nancy Kane on April 17th, 2013 at 6:34 AM
Nancy-- That's a fantastic idea, we'll definitely ask Jenna to mention our workshop. Cool article, also!
Posted by Tyler on April 18th, 2013 at 4:50 AM
Do participants need to bring their own tools?
Posted by Dave on May 8th, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Nope, but you are welcome to if you like!
Posted by Tyler on May 8th, 2013 at 1:47 PM
Is the workshop really completely sold out? Any chance of cancellations? My partner love your blog and have been seriously inspired by you both. We would love to come if any openings arise!
Posted by Liz on July 11th, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Hey, there,
I am thinking of you two and looking up what is happening with the timber frame course. Tomorrow is the last day of the Hobbit Sauna workshop...and I am able to turn my attention to what is next. I would like to talk with you about the possibility of attending, and what that would look like...if there is stlll space.
Posted by Deanne Bednar on July 27th, 2013 at 8:56 PM
You're in luck Deanne, we recently had a cancellation! Feel free to give us a ring or shoot us an email any time, we'd love to have you :)
Posted by Tyler on July 27th, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I am attending the course and I will be renting the house at the following link on Wednesday and Thursday night. If anybody attending would like to split it with me let me know. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/792282
Posted by Rachel Forster on August 5th, 2013 at 9:18 PM