Niobrara Timber and Woodworks

    HI, I'm Jeff Carpenter.  Owner and operator of Niobrara Timber and Woodworks.  We are located in north central Nebraska

     Niobrara Timber and Woodworks is a part of Carpenter Construction.  Carpenter Construction has been in operation for several 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 prospective customer to build a timber framed house.  Timber framing was something that I had never done, but I love a challenge.  As a professional carpenter Of course I was very familiar with light framing.  Timber framing also known as heavy framing or post and beam differs from light framing in that the beams are, well, heavy.  Generally the posts and the beams are 8" x 8" or more and rather than using nails or bolts to hold the structure together wood to wood joinery is used.  This requires more skill than simply cutting boards to length and nailing them together, and can produce a building with the potential to last several lifetimes.

     Timber framing is something that has always intrigued me.  In high school I was a huge Roy Underhill fan and experimented with the tecniques he taught on the Woodwrights shop.  I have always admired the craftsmanship that went into the timber framed buildings of old.  Also, I've always liked history and historic buildings, so I'm sure sooner or later I would have turned my attention to timber framing, as it happened it was sooner than later, as this was one of my first clients after I had ventured out on my own as a contractor.

     We did not build the timber framed house, instead we did a whole house remodel on their existing house.   However, that conversation renewed an interest.  That summer I read everything I could about timber framing, I dug out some of my chisels that I hadn't used in years, and I found a barn raising to go to in Illinois.  The barn raising was a Timber Framers Guild project.  I made a lot of good contacts at that raising, learned a lot, and joined the Timber Framers Guild.  When I get interested in a subject, I learn everything I can about it.  So, one thing led to another, and I wanted to build a shop for myself to do woodworking in.  Also, with my new found knowledge of course I wanted it to be timber framed.  At first I was looking at cottonwood to build the structure from, we have a large supply of it in Nebraska.  So, I started cutting beams from cottonwood with my chainsaw.  It didn't take me long to realize that I really needed a saw mill to make this viable.  So, a friend happened to know where there was a sawmill for sale, one thing led to another and now I am the owner of two saw mills, a forklift, miscellaneous logging equipment, etc. etc. etc.  That's just how it is, when I catch the bug to do something, I just do it.  I've never been one to sit on the fence.