Specialty Timberworks designs and builds custom post and beam frames for houses, barns, or other structures such as porches and pavilions. The frames are crafted using mostly traditional mortise and tenon joinery fastened with hardwood pegs exemplifying a true joined “timberframe.” “In some projects,” said owner Chris Barstow, “the use of metal fasteners is more appropriate and would be considered just a ‘post and beam’ frame by the purest.”


    Chris Barstow
    Owner, Specialty Timberworks

    Barstow took an Old World approach to learning his trade — apprenticing, then getting experience as an itinerant joiner, returning to teach, then starting a business.


    He began, in 1992, by taking some workshops with the Fox Maple School of Traditional Building in Brownfield. Following the workshops he apprenticed on various projects, then worked as an itinerant timber framer for timber framing businesses in New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, and Colorado. “By working on numerous projects around the country,” he said, “I learned many approaches to the craft, acquiring many great tricks of the trade from the more experienced craftsmen. Eventually I returned to New England and to the Fox Maple School to work as a course instructor.”



    In 1995 Specialty Timberworks began, with its first contract, building a two-story clean-span octagonal music room in Randolph, N.H. “That remains a favorite all-time project,” Barstow said. “Relying on the help of a tight community of timberframe craftsmen in the New Hampshire and Maine region, I’ve been busy ever since, almost exclusively with custom timberframe projects.”


Specialty Timberworks © 2015