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Build Your Own Timber Frame Structure!

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Build your own Timber Frame structure using our expert training and step-by-step guidance, without having to travel far away or spend thousands of dollars in tuition.

  • $800.00

    (Alumni of our in-person Purely Post-And-Beam & Design Build classes receive $400 off - email us for your unique discount code)

    Get started now!

We believe this is the most accessible and comprehensive timber framing education you can find on the Internet. Here's Why:

  • We’ve taught the in-person Purely Post-And-Beam course over 250 times since 1974 and we’re excited to finally take advantage of modern-day technology to make timber framing even more accessible to everyone!

  • After completing this course, you will go from potentially knowing nearly nothing about timber framing to becoming confident and competent enough to build your own timber frame structure.

  • This course gives you access to our engineered 24' x 24' timber frame cut sheets, over ten hours of video curriculum, access to our exclusive alumni-only Facebook group, and more for only $800 (about half the cost of our in-person course).

What does this online course include?

  • PDF Cut Sheets for a 24' x 24' Timber Frame

    In this course, we use a 24' x 24’ Timber Frame to teach you all the basic joints you will need to build your own timber frame structure. Creating a custom cut sheet package for a similar structure normally costs $1500, but we’ve included these cut sheets for free!

  • 10+ Hours of Recorded Video Curriculum

    We’ve distilled & captured all of the exact same curriculum that we cover in our 5-day in-person course. These are no simple selfie videos - our video content has been professionally filmed and edited, and we’ve drilled deep into each topic.

  • Private Alumni-Only Facebook Group

    You can't put a price tag on the value of community. Connect with other Purely Post-And-Beam alumni from around the world, as well as some of our Instructors. Share your timber frame project progress, and ask any of your timber framing questions.

  • 10% off Shelter Tool Store

    We carry all the best tools, books, and other timber framing equipment in our online and on-site tool store, and with the purchase of this online course, you will get a lifetime 10% discount at Shelter Tools.

  • Learn At Your Own Pace

    Didn't quite understand something the first time? No problem, watch it as many times as you need to. Something came up at work or home? Take your time, this course isn't going anywhere!

Here's what students are saying about the Online Course:

Tool Sharpening 101 just awesome!

Santiago Ventura

These courses are really great. As I have initiated my learning on posts and beams timber framing I can't express enough how I am really enjoying these cours...

Read More

These courses are really great. As I have initiated my learning on posts and beams timber framing I can't express enough how I am really enjoying these courses, they are simply awesome.

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Great course

Lauren Commons

I'm really enjoying the videos. The production quality is very good, and the course content is excellent.

I'm really enjoying the videos. The production quality is very good, and the course content is excellent.

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This is a true blessing for a family so far away from cam...

Brian Bottles

We can't thank the Shelter Institute enough for making this educational opportunity available to families like ours that are so far away from the campus. The...

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We can't thank the Shelter Institute enough for making this educational opportunity available to families like ours that are so far away from the campus. The details, along every step of the way, are so appreciated. We can't forget to mention the wealth of insight offered in the private group link as well, thank you to each and every one of you who make all of this possible. Sincerely, Mr. & Mrs. Bottles and little Cecelia too!

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Watch Intro Video

Click here to watch a sample lesson from our chapter on Cutting Timbers to Length!

Who is this online course for?

  • Those who would love to attend our in-person Purely Post-And-Beam class, but can't afford the time away from work or home

  • Alumni who would love a refresher after taking our in-person class

  • Students who want a head start before coming to our in-person class

Watch Intro Video

Click here to watch a sample lesson from one of our Joinery chapters!

Can you REALLY learn how to timber frame from an online course?

  • For those who can make it to Maine, our in-person Purely Post-and-Beam class would be the best way to learn timber framing. But we understand that not everyone has the ability to drop everything for a week to come to our campus in Woolwich, Maine to do so. We fully believe this is the next-best thing and that YES, you can truly learn how to timber frame with the help of this online course!

  • We have worked hard to compile every last bit of content from our Purely Post-And-Beam course and put it in an easily digestible, video-by-video, online format. And not only that, but we’ve also tried to anticipate every question that you might ask as a student of our online course, since you don’t have the luxury of asking an instructor during class.

  • Our recommendation is that you first go through the course content from beginning to end before trying your hand at timber framing (rather than watching a singular video and then immediately trying to copy what you just watched). Then, once you acquire some timber framing tools and lumber, continue to use the course as a reference guide, coming back to specific sections to review as you practice your skills and eventually cut and raise your own timber frame structure!

Watch Intro Video

Click here to watch a sample lesson from our chapter on Drafting and Design!


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  • How much does it cost?

    The Shelter Institute Purely-Post-And-Beam Online Course is priced at $800 (compared to $1500 for our in-person Purely Post-And-Beam course). Take a look below at the course curriculum list to get a visual on how much video content is part of this course.

  • How long do I have access to the online course content?

    The course will be hosted online on this specific website, and is accessible with an account you create when you purchase. There are no downloads or large files to deal with, and it is all neatly organized chapter-by-lesson on the website for you to view. Of course, you will need an internet connection to access the content, but it is viewable at your own pace, and as many times as you like. The videos do not expire etc.

  • What if I've already taken the in-person Purely Post-And-Beam class?

    Alumni of both our in-person Purely Post-And-Beam class & our Design Build class receive a 50% discount for this online course! Email us at with the following info, and we'll send you your custom discount code: 1. First/last name 2. Year/month class taken 3. email address

  • Why not just learn this all on YouTube for free?

    We get it, YouTube is a treasure trove of free information. But that comes with a different price: thousands of videos to look through and no guarantee that the person you're watching actually knows what they're doing. Plus, who has the time to watch all those videos to find the one solution you're looking for anyway? We promise there's no fluff in our online course. It's the best bang-for-your-buck online timber framing education you'll find!

  • Will I realistically be able to build a timber frame after taking this course?

    Yes! It's all the same content from our famous five-day, in-person Post-And-Beam course, just consolidated into video format.

  • If I purchase the online course, do I also get any discount on in-person course tuition?

    Yes! After going through the online course, you may decide that you would like to come to our campus in Maine and experience our in-person, hands-on, Purely Post And Beam course. If you have purchased this online course, we offer a $400 discount off tuition of our in-person Purely Post and Beam course. This discount applies only to the in-person Purely Post and Beam course, and not to our in-person Design Build Course.

Watch Intro Video

Click here to watch a sample lesson from our chapter on Tool Sharpening!

Course Curriculum (80+ Lessons)

  • 1

    Introduction to Purely Post & Beam Online Course

    • Thank You For Purchasing This Online Course! [FB Group + Tool Store link]

    • A Big Welcome from Gaius, Blueberry & Pat!

    • 24' x 24' Class Frame Cutsheets

  • 2

    Essential Timberframing Tools

    • Tools for Measurement & Layout

    • Japanese Saws

    • Timber Frame Chisels & Slicks

    • Sharpening Accessories & Stair Gauges

  • 3

    Tool Sharpening 101

    • Setting Up Your Honing Guide

    • Addressing 3 Common Honing Guide Issues

    • 3-Step Process of Sharpening

    • Complete Sharpening Process In Real Time

    • How To Sharpen Your Chisel & Slick Using The Tormek System

  • 4

    Drafting & Design

    • Timber Frame Terminology

    • The Stable Gable

    • Designing the Layout of your Structure

    • Enclosing Your Structure

    • How Do I Secure My Structure to a Foundation?

    • Essential Drafting Tools

    • Drafting Your Structure on Paper Pt. 1

    • Drafting Your Structure on Paper Pt. 2

    • Creating Your Timber List

  • 5

    How to Read Your Cut Sheets

    • Pages 1 - 7

    • Pages 8 - 23

    • Pages 24 - 26

  • 6

    Cutting Your Timbers To Length

    • Timber List Walkthrough

    • Squaring Your Timbers

    • Using Your Japanese Saw

    • Practicing Your Sawing

    • Timber Cutting Demonstration

  • 7

    The Layout Process

    • Read This Before Watching Layout

    • Brief Overview of Layout Process

    • Orienting Your Timber & Marking Dimensions

    • Step-By-Step Layout Process

  • 8

    Cutting & Refining Joinery on a Post

    • Chiseling & Slicking 101

    • Brace Pocket: Cutting Step-by-Step

    • Brace Pocket: Alternative Rough Out Methods

    • Thru Mortise: Rough Out Using a Chain Mortiser

    • Thru Mortise: Explained with a Model

    • Thru Mortise: Slant Cut Chalkboard Demonstration

    • Thru Mortise: Working Through the Slant Cut

    • Thru Mortise: Working Through the Shoulder Cut

    • Joist Pocket: Step-by- Step Cutting & Refining

    • Post Tenon: Step-by-Step Cutting & Refining

  • 9

    Cutting & Refining Joinery on a Beam

    • Thru Tenon: Layout & Scoring

    • Thru Tenon: Cutting & Refining Pt. 1

    • Thru Tenon: Cutting & Refining Pt. 2

    • Thru Tenon: Cutting & Refining Pt. 3

    • Dovetail Mortise: Layout & Scoring

    • Dovetail Mortise: Cutting & Refining

    • Dovetail Mortise: Alternative Rough Out Method with a Circular Saw

  • 10

    Cutting & Refining Joinery on Joists & Braces

    • Box Tenon: Layout & Scoring

    • Box Tenon: Cutting & Refining

    • Dovetail Tenon: Layout & Scoring

    • Dovetail Tenon: Cutting & Refining

    • Braces: Layout & Scoring

    • Braces: Cutting & Refining

  • 11

    Cutting & Refining Joinery on a Rafter

    • Calculating Rafter Lengths

    • Squared Half-Lap: Layout & Scoring

    • Squared Half-Lap: Cutting & Refining

    • Birdsmouth: Layout & Scoring

    • Birdsmouth: Cutting & Refining

  • 12

    Finishing Your Timbers

    • Planing

    • Chamfering

    • Oiling/Waxing

  • 13

    Engineering Theory & Application in Timber Framing

    • Bending Moments Worksheet (Download button is at top right of screen)

    • Introduction to Basic Structural Engineering

    • Recommended Reference Books

    • Live vs. Dead Loads

    • Bending Moments

    • Understanding Shear

    • Understanding Deflection

    • Impact of Joinery on Beam Sizing

    • Pneumatic Press Demo

  • 14

    Timberframe Assembly & House Tour

    • Assembling & Raising the 24' x 24' Class Timber Frame

    • Pat tells a story - Why only one person should be in charge on a job site!

    • Timber Frame House Tour With Blueberry

    • Thanks For Taking the Course! Have Any Feedback? Let Us Know Here:

  • 15

    Bloopers & Behind-The-Scenes

    • Bloopers - Cut From the Course

    • Bloopers - Lots of Togetherness

    • Bloopers - The Noises & Faces of Shelter Institute

    • Behind The Scenes of filming this Purely Post-And-Beam Online Course!

Still have questions about this Online Course, or just want to stay in the loop?

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