The Tamar Joinery Company

01822 840848

Traditional Green Oak Timber Framing

We specialise in the design, construction and erection of traditionally jointed and pegged bespoke timber framed buildings and green oak structures. We usually only work in our local area in the West Country (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset) but we will occassionally travel further afield!

Our timber frames : are made in our workshop and framing yard near Tavistock in Devon using English Oak, Douglas Fir or Larch. Each of our frames is individually designed and absolutely unique. We can make different styles of timber frame, from very contemporary frames with straight cut timber, to traditional medieval style green oak 'cruck' frames. Our timber framers use traditional carpentry techniques and we take pride in producing beautiful, durable, energy efficient buildings using locally sourced renewable materials.

3D CAD/CAM timber frame Design: We can provide a full design and drawing service for your timber framed buiding project and we regularly work with structural engineers who are experienced in traditional framing, but we are also happy to work with your own architect, frame designer and structural engineers.

Glazing Green Oak: Green oak requires the application of specialist glazing techniques and we can offer a glazing service for our own timber frames.

Our Oak Sawmill : We use locally grown English timber which we carefully select, grade and saw on our own sawmill in Devon.

Traditional Timber FramingHome

Please scroll down for more information and for photos of current and previous projects

The small gazebo shown above, with an integral seasoned oak bench, is built by the traditional scribe framing method of marking and cutting timber which allows for highly accurate jointing of hand hewn or crooked timbers. Our timber frames can be made using either straight cut timbers for a more contemporary look, or rustic looking bent or 'wainy' edged timbers.

Traditional Green Oak Heavy Structural Timber Framing

We recognise the emotional rollercoaster ride involved in deciding to build a new home or make drastic alterations to your existing home. We know there there is a huge amount of trust required of the craftsmen that you select to carry out that work. We hope that our work, a small selection of which is shown on this website, should speak for itself and, should you entrust your home to us for alterations, we want you to feel happy with that decision. We would like to be invited to return to carry out future work and we want you to recommend our work to your family and friends. So we place a lot of emphasis on building relationships, and earning trust through the quality of our work. So please give us a call and drop in for a tour of our workshop - we are always happy to chat. Please however be prepared for the 'humble' nature of our work environment (some would call it primitive!) - we started this business approximately 20 years ago, working in a slightly converted cattle shed. We have some wonderful hi-tec modern machinery and highly skilled humans but the workshop itself remains as it was at the start - a slightly converted cattle shed!

Our lead timber framer and frame designer is Nigel Harrison."I have been involved in many unusual carpentry projects over the years. My woodworking career started many years ago when I was taken under the wing of a retired traditional coachbuilder, who was keen to share his knowledge, and who taught me how to build and restore ash internal car body frames in vintage cars. I was involved in the restoration of many vintage and classic cars including Sunbeams, Aston Martins and Lancias, as well as the construction of the 'vintage' car used in the 'Mummy' films, but I decided in the mid 90's to change course towards architectural woodwork. I became interested in building green oak timber framed structures when my imagination was caught by the strength, beauty, and extraordinary durability of English Oak timber framed buildings. I am passionate about preserving traditional carpentry techniques and using them to construct new, durable, energy efficient buildings, using local sustainably produced, renewable materials".

Please scroll down this page for:

- 3D CAD Drawing and Design
- Methods and Materials
- Glazing Green Oak
- Timber Framed Houses and Extensions
- Green Oak garden rooms, conservatories and porches
- Green Oak pergolas and garden Structures
- Timber restoration and conservation

Timber Framed Houses and Extensions

The 3 pictures below show a green oak sling brace house extension during construction. This is a two level extension with the sling braced construction allowing for usable living space in the top level. Frame design: Nigel Harrison

New Build House

Shown below is new build green oak timber frame house constructed locally to us in the Tamar Valley . This is an unusual frame because an unusually large 10in x 10in oak dimension was specified.


Self Contained Annexe / House Extension

A green oak self contained annexe built onto a Dartmoor longhouse shows how infil panels and direct glazing can provide both efficient insulation and a fantastic light and airy building.

Green Oak House Extension

A green oak garden room extension with a vaulted full height roof which encorporates a hipped roof at the house end to allow for the continued use of the existing bedroom windows. An internal view of the extension is shown below. Architectural Design by Greg Lean. Timber Frame Design by Nigel Harrison

Below: A green oak extension with character exposed roof structure.

Above and below are internal and external views of the unfinished vaulted timber frame which is shown during raising on the right. Green oak timber frame and direct glazing by The Tamar Joinery Company.


Home/Garden Office and workshop

Shown above and below is a green oak timber frame used in the restoration and conversion of a stone barn into a garden office/workshop. The bare oak self supporting structural timber frame is shown below.

Timber Frame Design: Nigel Harrison

Dartmoor Granny Annexe

Concept and planning was by Chadburn Architect tel: 01566 777592.

Timber frame design: Nigel Harrison



Below: A green oak timber frame house extension during on site raising

Above: Andy modelling a green oak sling brace!

An interrupted tie beam being helped to slot into place and shown fully pegged below.


Green Oak timber framed bungalow extension. Pictured below is a green oak timber framed extension to a bungalow in Devon. The picture shows the green oak structural frame and, below that, the extension is shown with the green oak frame surrounded by softwood studwork on which insulation and external finish will be fixed. This constrution method allows for the building to have an internally visible load bearing green oak timber frame giving character and for the timber frame to be surrounded by a highly energy efficient 'envelope' of insulation. The method also allows for easy fixing of doors and windows and does not require the more complex glazing system needed if glazing is applied direct to the green oak timber frame.

and the pictures below give a peek at the finished rooms

Timber Frame Designer: Nigel Harrison

All other building works: Neil Townsend, Broadhempston, Nr Newton Abbot, Devon, who can be contacted on 01647 252592.


Shown above is double glazed green oak house extension used to accomodate a swimming pool.

Green Oak Barn extension

Shown above is a green oak timber framed extension as a skeleton frame and, below, a finished view of the side aspect. The green oak frame was manufactured, raised and glazed by ourselves. All other building works were by Jonathan Case Builders of Tavistock.

Green Oak Trusses

Green Oak trusses can add character to buildings and can be made in many different styles. Shown above is a house extension with King Post trusses made from English Green Oak with curved struts. We will make up an individual truss or a full roof as required. (These kitchen units are by Pete White at

Green Oak trusses add instant character to a new extension

Below is a green oak king post truss built for a new timber framed house in West Devon.

And below, the trusses shown in place.

The photo below shows green oak trusses and purlins, combined with well designed lighting adding instant character to a room.

Below is a more contemporary truss using stainless steel rigging which looks great with either oak or Douglas Fir.


Green Oak Timber Framed Barns and self contained annexes

Green Oak Porches and Verandas:

A green oak porch on a side entrance an extension, with seasoned oak external door and door frame with glazed side panel.

A green oak veranda with a glazed roof is shown below during construction

Shown below is a green oak veranda with a glazed roof.


Shown above is a green oak open porch with a double glazed atrium / walkway giving access to the adjoining garage


Current Projects:


Wood fuel Boiler room/ self contained annexe- Below and left is a garage/garden annexe with an integral boiler room for a wood fueled heating system and wood store. This timber frame, built in West Devon, was made from locally grown green oak with the roof structure comprising collared trusses with wind bracing and purlins made from local Douglas Fir.

Timber Frame Design: Nigel Harrison

Green Oak glass roofed pergolas, with stainless steel laser cut braces and and external/garden fireplace and chimney made by us from Corten steel.

This project illustrates a successful meeting of traditional green oak timber framing techniques and materials with a highly contemporary modern design. Photos of the finished structure are shown below including a close up of one of the laser cut stainless steel braces in the green oak timber frame.

Project architectural designer: Greg Lean

Below: One of the 10in x 10in oak posts with laser cut stainless steel braces.

Green Oak conservatories and garden rooms

Double Glazed Green Oak Conservatory/garden room constructed from locally grown green oak and glazed by us using Planitherm high performance toughened low u double glazed units.

This double glazed green oak conservatory / garden room is beautifully light and airy from its three glazed sides but has a fully insulated roof allowing for year round use. Frame Designer: Nigel Harrison

This small green oak garden room above is shown framed and glazed and waiting for the roof covering

And, below, another project: a green oak timber framed conservatory being made in the workshop.


The photo above shows a green oak direct glazed atrium / entrance porch, under construction, and below is a green oak conservatory during construction.

St Just, Cornwall - A green oak garden room frame with 8 turned structural oak posts and a mezzanine floor.


Shown below is the roof structure for the mezzanine floor of the green oak conservatory/garden room with 8 turned green oak structural pillars.

Shown below is one of the hand turned huge structural green English oak columns which we sanded and waxed and polished on the lathe. The resulting post is beautiful and amazingly tactile. It would make an amazing internal or external structural or decorative pillar or post, or the central spine of a spiral staircase.


Shown below is a double glazed garden room conservatory during construction.

And below, a covered glazed veranda extension


These photos show a current project in progress - the construction of a green oak conservatory/garden room. We fitted direct glazed double glazed units to the green oak frame and made the seasoned oak French doors and windows.

Nigel & Paul measuring the green oak frame for glazing.


Shown above is a green oak double glazed lantern made and fitted to a green oak garden room extension

A green oak covered veranda with a room to be built above.

The veranda now has a new door - gothic arch made using seasoned air dried oak with the frame steam bent to shape.

Green Oak Garden Structures

Trago Mills, Newton Abbot, Devon: This green oak pergola roof was made using curved sections of oak to mirror the curves of the colonades and walls.


Above: A garden structure/pergola made to individual specification in locally grown green oak.

Shown below: A green oak timber framed pergola with curved rafters, on display at the 'Gardens Illustrated' show at Coombetrenchard, Devon. A price guide for this pergola would be in the region of £2,600 + VAT, excluding delivery or installation, the cost of which woud depend on site location and access.

Below, the oak pergola is shown with a made to measure removable canvas canopy providing shade or, more likely in Devon, shelter! With the canopy in place, the pergola feels cosy and makes a lovely area for garden dining, barbecuing (the canopy is flame retardant) or hanging a swinging chair or hammock stand.

Below is a photo of a green oak timber framed building designed and built to house a cider apple press at Trago Mills, Newton Abbot, Devon

The traditionally constructed green oak timber framed gazebo shown above, would cost in the region of £5,800 + VAT, excluding delivery or installation, the cost of which would depend on site location and access. The integral seasoned oak seating costs £280 + VAT per linear metre.

Gazebos and Pergolas

Our traditionally constructed, jointed and pegged timber framed Pergolas are a fantastic option for providing a lovely outdoor dining area and a focal point in a garden. Our pergolas are made from locally grown green oak and will provide a strong, durable and beautiful eye catching feature in your garden. These are not cheap mass produced nailed structures but are strongly made by hand by our skilled carpenters using traditional carpentry teqniques. Tapered granite staddlestones can be supplied in a range of sizes to keep the frame off the ground.

green oak gazebo


A traditionally constructed jointed and pegged timber framed gazebo made in English green Oak, with a seasoned burr oak seat, mullioned hand rail and Cedar roof shingles. Shown on display at The Royal Cornwall Show.


The picture above shows the roof strucure of a green oak hipped roof gazebo with pendant.



Above and below: 2 different syles of green oak garden retreat, summer house, studio, barbecue house, play house, teenagers den, fishing lodge, garden lodge, hideaway, gazebo, sauna, boat house.........

Below is a green oak timber framed gazebo shelter that we built at East Devon Golf Club. The roof covering will be installed by others.

Below is a Green oak shelter for a cloam bread oven which is being installed at The National Trust property Cotehele Mill in Cornwall.

Hand turned structural timber pillars and columns

available to order.

Timber Frame Conservation and Restoration


Above is an old decaying timber church cross and the new hand- crafted replica cross which Andy made in seasoned oak.



Above, Andy is shown with hook scarf repaired sections of a church lyche gate made using air dried locally grown oak


Restoration work carried out to the decayed timber sections of the lych gate at Buckland Monachorum Church in Devon. Above: The restored Lych gate with replica gates made in seasoned air dried oak.

3D CAD/CAM Timber Frame Design

We will construct timber frames from your own architects design or we can provide a full design and CAD drawing service for your timber framed building project.

We have specialist timber framing software which allows us to create our own 3D CAD detailed workshop frame drawings for our carpenters to work from and which can be used to instruct a structural engineer. These drawings can also be used to show our customers a 3D image of their building project.


Our VisKon 3D CAD/CAM timber framing software allows us to create design drawings for traditional or modern timber frames and for all elements of a timber building including wall and roof insulation up to 10 layers.

VisKon by Weto AG Technologies

Traditional Timber Framing: Materials and Methods. (How we do it!)

This photo shows the detail of the Lap joint between tie beam and wall plate


Nigel sawmilling locally grown English Oak on our Heartwood sawmill.

above: Harry helping to select timber felled from local managed commercial plantations

Local timber from managed woodlands in the Tamar Valley, Devon, and Cornwall

We are committed to supporting our local forestry industry which in turn will encourage the local managed sustainable production of timber as a source of both renewable fuel and carbon neutral building material. We have our own sawmill and we buy good quality local timber in the round, from managed woodlands in the Tamar Valley, and more widely in Devon & Cornwall, and then sawmill the timber as required in our wood yard. This allows us to control timber quality, select suitable timbers for each project and component within the project, and we can ensure a supply of naturally curved timber for use in curved braces and tie beams. We will also supply sawn timber, oak, douglas fir, larch or chestnut, cut to order. Because we are able to source local timber, and sawmill it ourselves, we are able to compete favourably on cost with imported European timber.


Above and below are sections of green oak frames laid out in the workshop with temporary iron hook pins during construction.

An octagonal central pillar (more unusual than a turned pillar) for a spiral staircase is shown being hand shaped and, below, is shown in place in its 'tower' awaiting roof covering.

A self supporting green oak timber frame can be fixed to an existing building to provide a characterful extension.


Andy hand carving replica stiles for church gate restoration

When making our timber frames, we remain as true as possible to traditional jointed and pegged timber framing methods. The oak pegs can be cut flush but many of our customers prefer some to be left raised as a feature as shown in the view from inside a section of a glazed garden room, shown below.


The photo above shows a naturally curved oak beam used in a porch and below, a jowell post is being finished.



The photo below shows Nigel using an adze to hand shape rafters.

This technique is used when a genuine hand finished

look is required for restoration projects but for most projects, we would

machine cut rafters.




Our telehandler with a 2 man work platform and a crane jib is an invaluable aid to raising timber frames locally. Here, an oak truss is shown being craned into position.


This photo shows a green oak timber store being clad with oak battens



The Carpenters Fellowship organise a gathering every year where traditional timber framers meet to share knowlege and experiences, attend lectures, practical demonstrations and just socialise. This is the Tamar Joinery Team, consisting of Nigel Harrison, Sascha Nitsche, Andy Morton and Tom Harrison taking part in the Perrier (a hand operated medieval siege machine) competition. No wooden soldiers were harmed.

Glazing green oak requires specialist techniques to overcome problems which could be caused by movement of the timber. The demands of building controls as well as a basic need for good energy efficiency means that efficient glazing is an essential part of modern timber framing. We offer a glazing service for our own oak timber frames. As the quality of the timber used and the finish of the frame to be glazed are both critical in ensuring a successful glazing system, we will not glaze timber frames made by others. In the photo on the right, Nigel is shown finishing the external double glazing panels on one of our green oak frames. The glazing system we use is the tried and tested Scandinavian drained and ventilated system. This system glazes directly onto the outer surface of the frame allowing for flexibility if there is movement in the oak as the seal is kept intact. The best quality stainless steel fixings are used and the air dried oak cover boards are machined by ourselves from the highest quality joinery grade timber.



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Glazing Green Oak Timber Frames

Nigel is shown finishing the placement of dry oak cover boards onto the glazing units.


Above: internal view of a double glazed green oak conservatory on Dartmoor.

The Tamar Joinery Company

01822 840848