Traditional American timber-framing course – booked!

Toimumise aeg: 18.07–23.07.2022

One-Week Timber Framing Intensive. Over the course of six days we will delve into the traditional art of American timber framing. The timber framing traditions brought to America by European settlers evolved quickly in a new setting. Square rule layout was an American innovation which wasn’t adopted in Europe, but which had distinct advantages over the traditional European scribing techniques. It is based on the idea of a theoretical ideal timber inside of the actual, imperfect timber at hand, and allows for the production of interchangeable parts that don’t require scribing and pre-fitting prior to assembly, thereby saving much time and effort. We will use these techniques to draw and cut a small timber frame using a combination of hand and power tools. Topics covered will include frame design considerations, joinery design, layout on twisted and deformed timber, and working with green (unseasoned) wood.

All places are booked! 

Sign up!

The Dates
The workshop is held on July 18-23, 2022. Full lodging is provided from Sunday July 17 evening to Sunday July 24 morning.

The Group 
The course will be held in English. Space is limited to 8 participants; please register early. 

The Tutor
Raivo Vihman is American-Estonian living in Maine, USA. He spent four years as a journeyman carpenter before founding Haystack Joinery, a design-build studio dedicated to sculptural timber framing and other woodwork, in Maine, USA in 2008. He studied traditional drafting and lofting practices with the French trades guild Les Compagnons du Devoir in Angers, France and continues to use these techniques in his work. He has taught timber framing and related classes at Penland School of Craft (NC), Haystack Mountain School of Craft (ME), Waterfall Arts Center (ME), Viljandi Cultural Academy (Estonia), and Tabonuco (Puerto Rico).

Training site
The course will be held in the Vanaajamaja Center for Traditional Building and Craft. It is located in the small village of Mooste, in southern Estonia. The Center is a renovated old grain dryer surrounded by 16th-century Mooste Manor. The Training Center consists of a broad workshop with enormous two-story heritage protected kiln oven, seminar room with exposition of traditional building materials, a small kitchenette for coffee breaks and a Finish sauna.

Accommodations are at the small private Mooste guesthouse, which is a restored building in the historic manor complex. All meals will be provided with an emphasis on local food. 

950 EUR,
includes everything in-country: tuition, accommodation, all meals, organized field-trips. Full lodging is provided from Sunday July 17 evening to Sunday July 24 morning. Participants are responsible for their own international transport, travel insurance, and extra-curricular costs.

We are expecting the deposit of participation fee (200 eur) to be paid within two weeks after registration to guarantee a spot for the participant. Deposit is not refundable. The rest of the tuition (750 eur) is to be paid one month prior to your arrival. 

The course will be hosted by Vanaajamaja, an Estonian non-profit organization dedicated to establishing training programs, disseminating information, and generally serving as a center of Estonian traditional building and log house renovation. Vanaajaamaja has been hosting workshops and organizing training courses for Estonian carpenters since 1998.

Please find official travel to Estonia status updates here

More information/questions:; +372 56658117


Mooste is a unique village in southeast Estonia with an active international community of crafts people, builders, artists and musicians: housed within the historic setting of the local manor. In this short video Mooste is introduced by Germain Joyet. Germain came to know Vanaajamaja and Mooste through several visits to Estonia. After a Vanaajamaja smoke sauna building workshop in April 2014, Germain decided to buy an old house in Mooste and renovate it for himself.

Koolituse toimumise koht:
Vanaajamaja koolituskeskus