Traditional French Scribing Workshop

Toimumise aeg: 27.05–31.05.2024

UPDATED! Three master timber framers and camrades – Will Gusakov, Miles Jennes and Hank Silver – will join to give a course, share experiences and know how in woodwork, and spread the life style as a carpenter. All three has been building up historical roof structures of the nave of Notre Dame de Paris during the last year and got once in a life time experiences in building carpentry from all over the world during their journey. It will be a historical workshop full of joy and freindship in carpentry!

With three tutors it is possible to extend the group to 12 participants – so there are some more places available! 

We’re inviting you to a five-day Traditional French scribing workshop in Estonia. This program is sure to provide an excellent opportunity to sharpen and expand your carpentry and timber framing abilities in both theory and practice within an international group of carpentry enthusiasts. Participants will learn how to hew timbers, scribe the beams with scribe rule method, cut joints with saws and chisels, make a mortise and tenon, and use a plumb bob in the traditional French way. The building object is purely unique – it’s a tower for small orthodox church. 

The workshop belongs to the main program of International Log Building Conference bringing log house builders and enthusiast all over the world to South Estonia (Räpina). We warmly recommend to expand your stay to take part of pre-conference tours, meet professionals on the conference venue or see the competition for log house builders.

Sign up!

The Dates
The workshop is held on May 27-31, 2024. The days start at 9AM and last until 5MP. Full lodging is provided from Sunday May 26 evening to Saturday June 1 morning.

The Group 
The course will be held in English. Space is limited to 12 participants and is not expandable. The workshop is 100% practical – working robe and ability to handle tools is expected.

The building object (updated!)

A structure of a tower of small country church will be built during the workshop and hopefully we are able to erect the tower on the church site on the last day of the class. 

The Tutors (updated!)

Three master carpenters and camrades will join to give a course, share experiences and know how in woodwork, friendship and life style as a carpenter.

Will Gusakov is a traditional timber framer and fine carpenter form Goosewing Timberworks (Vermont, US) specialized in designing and building custom timber-framed structures, and in restoring and preserving antique buildings. Will was the first international tutor in Vanaajamaja in 2012 when a first Estonian covered bridge was built.

Miles Jennes has been working with wood his whole life and his interest in timber framing was piqued in the early 2000’s. In 2008 he started working for talented timber frame restoration company where he worked until starting his own company Vermont Heavy Timber (Vermont, US)

Hank Silver Ironwood Timberworks (Maine, US) has a broad range of carpentry experience, but traditional carpentry and timber frame joinery is his passion. Hank has worked on a wide variety of timber frame projects, has built and raised timber frames across New England, and is proficient at timber frame design as well. 

All three has been building up historical roof structures of the nave of Notre Dame de Paris during the last year and traveled the world as part of an international crew, taking part in uniquely rewarding projects by the organization Carpenters Without Borders.

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. All tools needed during the course and safety equipment for the participants are made available on the training site. However, if you have your favorite hand tools you are used to, bring them along without a hesitation.

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

1090 EUR,
includes everything in-country: tuition, accommodation, all meals, organized field-trips. Full lodging is provided from Sunday May 26 evening to Saturday June 1 morning. Participants are responsible for their own international transport, travel insurance, and extra-curricular costs.

We are expecting the deposit of participation fee (300 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 (790 eur) is to be paid by April 30th. 

Sign up!

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.

More information:; +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