A ShadeScape® shade structure from Western Timber Frame™ is
a piece of cake.
Slide Circled Arrows for Before and After
You can easily build a beautiful do-it-yourself backyard shade shelter and
go from this….
… to this…
in as little as ONE AFTERNOON!
How can installing a MASSIVE, oversized timber frame structure be a picnic?
There are many reasons, but firstly, there is an essential element that makes a Western Timber Frame™ architectural shade structure:
• More Durable
• More Aesthetically Pleasing
• Faster & so Much Easier to Install
than modern conventional timber frame structures or ancient time-proven architectural timber frame structures.
The essential element is the innovative Western Timber Frame™ patented joint system called The Dovetail Difference®.
The Dovetail Difference®
is a revolutionary State of the Art
patented connection system
that makes all the difference!
First, take a look at how traditional timber frame joints are made. . .
For millenniums of time, woodworkers around the world use mortise and tenon joints to securely join two pieces of wood together. The union of timbers by mortise and tenon joints are superior in strength, time-proven to hold steadfast.
Mortise and tenon connections are still the most common architectural joint utilized in timber framing and in some types of construction.
The mortise is a cavity, hole, pocket, groove, recess or slot carved or cut into a piece of wood which a corresponding part fits in or extends through.
The tenon is a projection, the end of a wooden beam or post that is cut and shaped inverse of the mortise cavity, to fitting in as a hand would slide into a fitted glove.
Conventional Timber Frame Joint Systems
A conventional timber frame mortise and tenon joint is compromised in strength. As seen in the illustration below, the integral core of the solid wood beam is typically cut out in a square “U” shape. Having less mass, the remaining tenons are “out-on-a-limb” or rather branching out like a limb.
Chainsaw “U” joint on a conventional timber frame pergola kit.
After 18 months, this typical mortise and tenon joint is cracking.
The dovetail joint is a mortise and tenon joint that is tapered at an angle, rather than a straight “U” notch. An angled mortise and tenon dovetail will hold stronger than a squared-straight shape “U” notch.
An Engineering Architectural Masterpiece:
The Dovetail Difference®
Innovation is a blending of inspiration and hard work. Hyrum is a natural born innovator. He has been passionate about woodworking since he was just a kid. For him, growing a beard, hard work and creating sawdust is his way of having a good time. Along with his timber-wrights, he is dedicated to the craft of building quality architectural masterpieces reproduced using time-proven ancient craftsmanship.
With all of its diversity, life, shapes, and colors humans innately desire to bond with nature. Touching one of these wooden timbers as it resonates a reassuring sense of harmony, of being at one with the universe. At Western Timber Frame™, we all feel deep gratitude for the durable, renewable, and sustainable way of building, she provides.
As durable as timber frame shelters are, Hyrum recognized that even in the best-cut timber frame joint there was a weakness in the overall design. He knew there had to be a way to make an even better joint – as he had the advantage our progenitors had no access to – modern technology.
Traditional “U” Weakens the Structure
In traditional dovetail timber frame joints, the integrity of the post is weakened when the center of the post is cut away. Using a chainsaw or skill saw the method to cut a timber framer would hack out a “U” shape through the post on both sides, then slide the other post through, lock it in and then bolt it in.
“If a timberwright is good they can cut for a pretty tight seam and it will look great,” says Hyrum, “but after a few months, six months to a year, maybe two years, the timber will sometimes begin to have gaps and separations.”
This is because of the nature of wood. With the heat and cold of interment weather, wood expands and contracts. Over time, those thin posts are vulnerable to gaps and breakage. And plain and simple, it does not look as nice.
The primary factor in determining the strength and long term durability of the mortise and tenon when loaded with tension is the strength and size of the material used. Holding fast to the time-proven ways of timber framing Hyrum conscious mind kept at work seeking for a better solution until he had a well-defined emergence of insight for a new way that would allow the wood to expand and contract. This inventive design is called The Dovetail Difference®
After searching around the globe, he invested in the best high-tech equipment that could handle carving the precise dovetail on the beams and the tails of massive sized timbers. With state-of-the-art machinery, the method of construction for The Dovetail Difference® was realized – a better and stronger joint connection! NO more cutting out the integral core of the post. NO vulnerable tenons without the strength of mass. The formation of the joints are still patterned for long-term durability but upon architectural principles that will outlast the craftsmanship of conventional old-world joinery.
The Dovetail Difference® is engineered to keep the STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY of the beams/posts in tact.
We use The Dovetail Difference® design, a massive mortise and tenon dovetail joint system throughout our timber construction process that creates very strong, rigid joints. On the pressure test featured here the load-bearing The Dovetail Difference® joint didn’t give until over 11,000 lbs.!
Not only did The Dovetail Difference® prove to be stronger it also adds to the beauty of the structure by maintaining a tighter more aesthetically pleasing joint.
The Dovetail Difference® allows the wood to naturally expand and contract in the outdoors, wherein you will not see any gaps as it is behind the dovetail mortise notch. The Dovetail Difference®, is easier to assemble. Even large oversized 20′ beams will just slide in – lock in place – for tighter seams without the unsightly gaps.
* In Europe, traditional dovetail joints are sometimes called a culver-tail, fantail or swallowtail joint.
The second reason for an easy install is
we DO all the HARD WORK for YOU.
Timber frame DIY ShadeScape® pavilion kit in the process of being pre-cut and pre-tested in the pre-assembly room of the shop.
Every single piece is pre-cut, then assembled completely together in our shop, tested & pre-stained before it is ever shipped out.
An Oriental style timber frame pergola kit in the shop, in the process of being pre-cut and pre-tested for an installation.
All this to ensure your installation will be
When it comes to talking about timber frame pergolas, arbors, gazebo and pavilions, and trellis structures, I have to say that my favorite topic is the amazing ease and speed that one of these massive structures can be installed. There is not an easier heavy timber pavilion or gazebo kit to install than the kits from Western Timber Frame™. In many aspects, they are often easier to install than even typical hardware store kits because their sheer size and strength allow for posts to stand upright. This combined with the interlocking joints makes for a straightforward installation.
There are many components that create a faster and easier DIY shade structure. Here are two more features that make these massive timber frame structures a no trouble star.
The Drop-in-Rafter™ Layouts & Post-to-Beam™ Connections
The Drop-in-Rafter™ and Post-to-Beam™ Connection System – two more of Hyrum’s innovative designs – make erecting a timber frame shelter a breeze.
Every engineered feature of a ShadeScape® kit and other timber frame structures are built for easy applications with the end user in mind. ShadeScape® pergolas, pavilions, gazebos, arbors and other timber frame structures are as enjoyable for the do-it-yourself individuals as it is for those who want to have it all done-for-them.
There are two main benefits of the drop-in rafter layout:
#1 Ease of installation.
Because the timber beam that supports the rafters is already marked and slotted, you don’t have to measure anything or try to figure the proper spacing of your rafters.
#2 Prevents Warping & Twisting
The primary benefit of the drop-in rafter layout is that it helps prevent warping and twisting of the rafters year after year.
Below is a pavilion in progress with easy Drop-in-Rafter™ and Post-to-Beam™ Connection Systems.
Each and every kit is unique and custom to each homeowner’s specific needs and specs. These are not cookie-cutter kits.
King post set in place with rafters on a DIY timber frame pavilion kit in the shop being pre-tested for fast and easy installation.
Side top beam of the timber frame DIY ShadeScape® pavilion kit in progress in the Western Timber Frame™ shop.
Top beam rafters are tested and set in place on the top beam of the timber frame DIY pavilion kit in progress in the Western Timber Frame™ shop.
Top beam connects into the King post where you can see The Dovetail Difference® mortise cuts ready to receive the rafters in place on the DIY timber frame pavilion kit inside of the Western Timber Frame™ assembly area.
Here on the top beam is The Dovetail Difference® connection system with the adjoining Drop-in Rafter-Layout™ in place on the DIY timber frame pavilion kit.
The side view of the top center beam of the DIY timber frame pavilion kit with The Dovetail Difference® connection system and three rafters in place on the Drop-in Rafter-Layout™.
Here is a beautiful view DIY timber frame pavilion kit with the notched in Drop-in Rafter-Layout™ already marked and slotted, so there is no need to have to measure anything or try to figure the proper spacing of your rafters.
Bottom of timber frame pavilion posts pre-cut to receive the knife plates for a stronger, cleaner finish without the view of unsightly hardware.
Knee braces and dove-tailed post ends featured with The Dovetail Difference® and one post is pre-drilled for the pre-wired TimberVolt® power post to maximize the outdoor living experience.
View of the Queen post set in place for the roof of the DIY timber frame pavilion kit being pre-tested in the Western Timber Frame™ shop for fast and easy installation.
The DIY timber frame pavilion ShadeScape® kit roof is being squared up.
A DIY timber frame ShadeScape® pergola kit finished in a Rich Cordoba stain getting ready for shipping.
All the measuring, cutting and layout work is done by
Our DIY backyard timber frame shade shelter is as fast and as easy as
elementary child’s play.
A DIY timber frame ShadeScape® pergola kit packaged for shipping.
Even though these are tough, durable, solid timbers, every effort is made to protect the kit through every step, from beginning to completion.
Shipping is Free Across the Contiguous United States
A great semi-truck driver pulling out with a new timber frame ShadeScape® kit to another happy homeowner. One more addition to a more beautiful, family-friendly America!
Combining the Best in Old World Craftsmanship
with New Technologies