Focus on: The Carpenters Fellowship – Rupert Newman

This month we are chatting to Rupert Newman who is on the board of Directors at The Carpenters Fellowship.  The Carpenters Fellowship is a not for profit organisation. Set up in 1998 The Carpenters’ Fellowship was formed with the aim of: promoting communication, training and sharing of knowledge amongst those interested in historic and contemporary timber framed structures.

Rupert runs Westwind Oak in North Somerset and is also the author of ‘Oak-Framed Buildings’ which is a practical book on the technique of timber-frame construction for carpenters, builders and aspiring self-builders, but also a source of inspiration to anyone who appreciates beautiful buildings. You can get a copy of the revised edition from Westwind Oak.

How did you start your career in Timber Framing?

I started working for a village carpenter at the weekends when I was 12. When I was older I got into building roofs, then repairing old roofs. This led on to working with green oak and building new roofs. That was 28 years ago!

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What is the biggest challenge within the Timber Framing world?

Mainly people! Shrinkage too!

What is the most inspiring project you have worked on?

Building a bridge with a 60-foot clear span across a river and the first house I built in the Alps on the side of Lake Annacy.

Where/what is your dream home and why?

My dream home would be in Cornwall by the water. Like the one I built at Mylor Creek.

 

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One word: WOW

 

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Focus on: The Carpenters Fellowship. Interview with Tim Potts

This month on the blog we are chatting to Tim Potts who is the Director of The Carpenters Fellowship.  The Carpenters Fellowship is a not for profit organisation. Set up in 1998 The Carpenters’ Fellowship was formed with the aim of: promoting communication, training and sharing of knowledge amongst those interested in historic and contemporary timber framed structures.

Tim also runs his own Timber Framing company, Oak Frame Carpentry Company which is based in Gloucestershire. Many consider Tim to be a leading force within the industry and with over 30 years in the business, he certainly has gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to share with us.

How did you start your career in Timber Framing?

My first experience was converting the rotting piled timbers from an old elm cattle shed into my first workshop as a teenager. Much later I got a job with Carpenter Oak and Woodland in my 20’s. Back then, no-one I knew had seen a portable mortiser and we worked mainly outdoors, over a deep litter of oak shavings, in the sun and the rain and once or twice in the snow. I have always particularly loved the sound and feel of the hand tools. If it was possible to frame competitively without noisy power tools I still would.

What is the biggest challenge within the Timber Framing world?

In the workshop:

  • Framing competitively without noisy power tools
  • Finding that balance of heavy work and healthy exertion without crippling yourself

In the business:

  • Pushing efficient, sensible ways to incorporate oak framing with modern building techniques at the design stage and bringing the architects and engineers along with you
  • Trying to get paid for the extra design value that you can bring to a project

What is the most inspiring project you have worked on?

I am inspired by the ancient frames I have worked on. I can get connected to past generations of carpenters and admire their skill, taste and audacity of design. I love to see their mistakes too, and the crafty solutions.

 

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A Gloucestershire Court

 

Where/what is your dream home and why?

Home is where the heart is – Preferably with a decent sized workshop

 

swimmingpool

Note: This is not Tim’s swimming pool!