Training Course Carpentry Woodwork Arbour Construction

The course

In this workshop the basics of timber framing will be taught through the construction of an arbour – an outdoor garden seat. Starting from the ground up you will make all the members using both traditional and modern hand tools.

The course is suitable for beginners and more experienced woodworkers. It will be a good introduction for anyone wanting to learn more about working with green (freshly felled) timber, developing skills in timber for construction purposes and keen enthusiasts in traditional buildings.
By completing the workshop students will have covered the marking out and cutting of all the joints required for an outdoor arbour and have learned the basic principals and techniques used in timber framing.

The Tutor

James Thomson is a professional timber framer with many years experience in both teaching and carpentry. He is the founder and director of Thomson Timber – an established timber framing business in the heart of Fife, Scotland. He has widely travelled to learn new techniques and developing a network of like-minded timber frame enthusiasts.

Participant information

The course will be limited to 8 participants, and is suitable for everybody, from complete beginners to experienced carpenters. Warm and practical clothing should be worn and a pair of steel-toe safety boots are required.

Course Timetable


9 – 10am –        Introduction to each other with brief reasons for coming

–        Brief explanation of 3 main timber framing techniques; Scribe Rule, Square Rule and Mill Rule and why each was developed.

10 – 11am –        Detailed explanation/demonstration of Mill Rule. Introduce use of ‘Master Reference,’ templates, rods and go/no go gauges.
11 – 12am –        Students will mark out and cut soleplates using tools and measuring techniques explained previously.
12 – 1pm –        Lunch.
1 – 2pm –        Students mark out and make posts.
2 – 5pm –        Students mark out and make wallplates


9 – 11am –        Students mark out and make tiebeams.
11 – 12am –        Students mark out and make principal rafters.
12 – 1pm –        Lunch
1 – 2pm –        Students mark out and make purlins and common rafters.
2 – 3pm –        Assemble arbour.
3 – 4pm –        Cladding with waney edge cladding.
4 – 5pm –        Fitting cedar shingles to roof.