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.
Where/what is your dream home and why?
Home is where the heart is – Preferably with a decent sized workshop