Hi, I'm Jeff Carpenter. Owner and operator of Niobrara Timber and Woodworks. We are located outside of Bassett Nebraska in north central Nebraska.
Niobrara Timber and Woodworks is a part of Carpenter Construction. Carpenter Construction has been in operation in this area for a number of years and has done a lot of nice projects for a lot of people.
The idea for Niobrara Timber and Woodworks came about in 2009 when I was approached by a customer to build a timber framed house. Timber framing was something that I had never done but, I love a challange. As a professional carpenter I was very familiar with light framing also known as stud framing. Timber framing, also known as heavy framing or post and beam framing, is different from light framing in that the beams are, well, heavy. Generally the beams are 8"x8" or more and are joined with wood joinery rather than nails or bolts. This requires more skill and can make a building with the potential to last for centuries.
Timber framing is something that has always intrigued me, I have always admired the craftsmanship that went into the old timber framed buildings. In highschool I was a big Roy Underhill fan and experimented with the tecniques that he taught on the Woodwrights shop. I have also always had a love of antiques and antique tools and building tecniques. So, I'm sure that sooner or later I would have turned my attention to timber framing but as it so happened it was sooner rather than later.
We have not yet built the timber framed house but, that conversation renewed an interest. I will be building a timber framed woodworking shop soon. When I start building I will write a blog, so stay posted -- it will be interesting. With this renewed interest in timber framing I needed timbers. So, I checked into buying and shipping douglas fir timbers but part of the beauty of a timber building is that local materials were traditionally used. So, could I use local timbers for my timber frame? Nebraska is #50 out of 50 states for forested ground it is mostly grass land and farm ground but if you know where to look there is a supply of timber and fortunately we live close to quite a lot of timbered ground. So, I started cutting beams with a chainsaw and that very quickly led to the need for a sawmill.
As for the woodworking. I have built things ever since I can remember. It's sort of just in my blood I guess. I was trained as a muzzle-loading gunsmith right out of highschool and that is woodworking at its finest. The art of joining metal to wood and carving a stock to be geometrically correct and for all of the parts to work together and flow is quite an art. I still build a few rifles occasionally. I have transfered those skills to my finish carpentry work which is as good as anybody's I've seen and I also use those same skills building furniture, or building buildings for that matter. And, I teach those skills to my employees so, every piece is built one at a time and quality is the very finest.
Niobrara Timber and Woodworks