5 mistakes you usually make when sanding wood

1. Choose the wrong sanding tool:

The sanding machine now becomes the absolutely supportive tool for your woodworking. They not only help you save an amount of time but also create the perfect finishing surface. By the way, the wrong sander can ruin all your effort faster than ever. And it’s totally the big mistake that any woodworkers can make, even the pro. So, in case you wondering how to find the appropriate sander, we have some tips:
+ With the large and flat surface, the big size of sander can deal easier than the small one. The belt sander is the great one in this case. Because it works as the powerful performance so your work can be done quicker. Before buying belt sander for your projects, remember to read this best belt sander reviews 2015 to update last information.
+ For sanding the special wood shape such as curves or contours, using the random orbital or orbital sander provides the perfect result than another sanding machine. The easy to use and low speed prevent damaging your wood furniture.

2. Picking incorrect sandpaper:

Beside the sander, sandpaper is the next important point that you have to choose carefully. By understanding about each type of sandpaper and their usage, you’ll pick the suitable one faster. The right sandpaper helps you gain the efficiency without waste much paper.

3. Use the inappropriate grit:


Picking the wrong grit is the most common mistake you usually make while sanding even though this is an essential feature. The high grit gives the deeper abrasive. And for wood sanding, we recommend the 100-120 grit for the enough aggressive instead of too much grit.

4. Apply wrong sanding techniques:

The purpose of sanding removes the mill mark and wood blemish. But if you apply the wrong sanding techniques, the flaws appear more clearly even worst. The best way to get the smooth surface is sand at the wood grain direction and avoid gauges.

5. Forgot safety rules:

The most dangerous thing can harm you is pass the safety rule. Not only with sander but any electric machine can make you hurt in second if careless. Here some simple things that we said again and again anytime using electrical tool:
+ Remove the dust by using cloth or dust collector can save your healthy body and keep the work more efficient.
+ Don’t forget to wear the safety clothes to protect you from damage.
+ Ensure you keep your skin out of the abrasive part.

National forests to go

Allard Lumber Co.
Brattleboro, Vt.
I also have traveled to national forests “all over the United States, from the Carolinas to Alaska,” and have talked with the same people mentioned by Perri Knize. In addition, I write from the perspective of more than thirty years as a professional forester, having worked more than eight years with the Forest Service as a field and researchforester, eighteen years as a professor of forest management (teaching, research, and administration), and five years as a consulting forester. I am currently the deputy assistant secretary of agriculture for natural resources and the environment, with responsibility for overseeing the activities of the Forest Service.
I don’t dispute what Knize has observed, nor what she gleaned from her interviews. I’ve seen and heard much of the same myself. I do, however, dispute her interpretation of what she has seen and heard. She claims mismanagement of the national forests (all 191.4 million acres, I suppose), yet she focuses almost entirely on timber. At most, only 85.2 million acres (about 45 percent) of national-forest area is considered suitable for timber management.
Knize’s article makes Forest Service employees out to be uncaring, timber-crazed Neanderthals pursuing destructive policies. Nothing could be further from the troth. The Forest Service does sell timber, which it is explicitly authorized by law to do. But the law also requires comprehensive, interdisciplinary land-management planning and project-level analysis, including disclosure for public comment, of everything that happens on a national forest.
Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C.

Thank you for the best article on the devastation of our national forests that I have seen in my many years of reading about this issue. It was willing to go the extra mile and call for an end not just to mining old growth in our national forests, or to clear-cutting in our national forests, but to logging in our national forests–period. You have aired a view that even our most ardent local groups here in the Pacific Northwest, where the issue is hottest, have not dared to touch (with the exception of the Native Forest Council, which holds a view similar to Knize’s). And yet Knize comes across not as a hotheaded radical but as a frugal economic conservative.
Ancient Forest Hikes
Salem, Oreg.
Perri Knize replies:
It is true, as Robert Lee asserts, that timber harvesting was a founding purpose of the national forests. Does that mean it must remain a current one? Times have changed since the national forests were first set aside as “forest reserves” a hundred years ago, and we have learned a few things since then about forest management andecosystems. If the “old-fashioned” balanced multiple-use management that Lee endorses worked, we would not have the environmental and political crises we are facing today on the national forests. The pressures on the national forests are far greater and more complex today than they were early in the century, and we have environmental laws to enforce now as well.
Lee suggests that midwestern state-forest management is a model for the national forests; it is not. The timber industry has had forty years to be jump-started by the national forests, and it is time now to shift harvesting to private lands. Buyers of federal timber will do so only when limits are set on the sale of national-forest timber.
Lee is mistaken when he says that demand for timber is rising. Per capita use of wood today is less than half of what it was in 1906, when each American used on the average 526 board feet a year. In 1988, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, per capita consumption was only 235 board feet.
Lee is correct that environmental regulations are a factor in making timber sales below-cost, but that is an indicator that the sales are not worthwhile, not that we don’t need environmental regulation. Also, I never suggested that logging should not continue for purposes such as reducing fuel wood, controlling insect infestation or disease, and creating more diversity in an even-aged forest. Even with the end of commercial logging on the national forests it would make sense to use forestry as a tool to manage a healthy forest ecosystem, and sometimes this does include logging. But logging for this purpose is vastly different from the money-losing commercial enterprise we now have on the national forests.
I did not suggest that timber-dependent communities convert their economic base to tourism, as Lee says. I did suggest that these communities need a diverse economic base, as their heavy dependence on timber makes them vulnerable in what is a wildly cyclical industry. In fact, timber workers in these communities could continue to be employed in the woods–rehabilitating the national forests and working as loggers on private forests as the demand for timber shifts to these lands.
John Beuter is absolutely correct when he says that Forest Service employees are not “uncaring, timbercrazed Neanderthals.” They are a group of dedicated professionals, some of whom have been greatly disturbed by the intense pressures of their jobs to get out a timber cut demanded by Congress and at the same time meet the toughest environmental regulations in the world. They say it can’t be done and something must change. I have nothing but respect for the professionals of the U.S. Forest Service. I think they deserve a break from the tyranny of the timber ethic.

National forests

In building her case for a no-cut policy on our national forests (The Mis-management of the National Forests,” October Atlantic), Perri Knize ignores some historical, technical, and economic facts:
* Most western national forests were set aside from the fast-dwindling public domain to provide a perpetual supply of timber products for a growing nation. By law, sustainable timber production is a prime responsibility of the Forest Service. Far from being “land nobody wanted,” the original forest reserves were strongly opposed and reluctantly accepted by turn-of-the-century timber barons.
* Most eastern national forests started as cut-over land bought from tax-strapped private owners. “Forty years of Forest Service mismanagement” (Knize’s opinion) has nurtured a productive second forest in our WisconsinMichigan border area, which helps support a strong forest industry and recreational forest use.
* Studies by impartial organizations continue to document increasing timber demand and to forecast greater populations and higher per capita use. Knize’s claim to the contrary (her Myth No. 1) shows a biased disregard for the facts.
* Below-cost timber sales (Myth No. 2) are a result of a Catch 22 set of sale-preparation requirements. The best timber would have difficulty making a profit when carrying this overkill burden.

* Knize’s answer to her Myth No. 3 calls for timber-dependent communities to convert to tourist-dependent, low-paying service economies. Communities in this region reject this demeaning attitude; people here want to earn their living producing, from renewable resources, a meaningful product essential to their fellow men.
* A no-cut policy would be one of neglect and waste which would create dangerous fuel conditions similar to those in Yellowstone National Park before the disastrous fires. There is a season for everything in life–including a time for timber harvest and the regeneration of the next forest.
* User fees would be a welcome help to defray what is now totally below-cost forest recreation. However, here in the Lake States, public and most corporate forest lands have traditionally been open to the public. It would be very difficult to make a fee system work after our long history of free use. Knize is making a Trojan-horse proposal; her scheme is no substitute for timber income.
* The best way to save the national forests is to apply an improved and balanced multiple-use management program that maximizes compatible resource uses. This is an unglamorous, old-fashioned approach to the problem, which does not appeal to narrowly focused interest groups. It does, however, focus on the real customers for national-forest resources–all the people of this country who need forest products, wildlife, recreation, scenery, and solitude. With greater maturity, understanding, tolerance, and perseverance, this old-fashioned approach will succeed.
Iron Mountain, Mich.
The statement that national forests “are for the most part thin-soiled … lands that produce low-quality timber” is untrue. I have spent a lot of time on both the Eidorado National Forest in California and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire* Both have thousands of acres of some of the most productive timberland supporting some of the highest-quality timber I have ever seen. I would expect that this is the case on many other national forests as well. Certainly not all national-forest acreage is suitable or appropriate for timber production, but why not manage some of the areas that are? Remember that a considerable acreage in the entire national-forest system has been set aside as wilderness area, where no timber cutting may take place* The national-park system is off-limits to timber cutting as well. The notion that national-forest timber is low-quality woodsold at bargain prices to a greedy lumber industry in cahoots with the U.S. Forest Service is nonsense. Many Forest Service timber sales involve a competitive bidding process that has historically resulted in some high prices for standing timber, often higher than the prices paid for timber off private land and in some cases higher than the existing market for sawn lumber would justify.

Other points mentioned by the author I would question:
1. While some Forest Service timber may be sold below cost, I believe this claim to be exaggerated. Costs depend
on the methods used to allocate them. Items such as roads, boundary surveys, and resource inventories should not be charged against a single timber sale, because some of the benefits of these costs increase the value of other resources or programs as well. For example, alogging road may service many other timber sales, may be used when timber is harvested again from the same area, may provide access for recreation, and may aid in fire-, insect-, and disease-control efforts*
2. The slash burning in recently harvested areas that the author observed from the air was done to prepare for replanting or reseeding. Views of these same areas later (almost never publicized) will show a healthy young forest becoming established.
3. “The invention of the internal-combustion engine” was hardly a cause for decline in the demand for timber, nor is the use of “electricity and fuel oil … for our energy needs*” The logging industry is driven by the demand for wood as a building material and for paper products, not for fuel wood. Furthermore, does the author really think it’s more virtuous to use oil to make electricity or plastic products than to use a renewable resource such as wood?
4. The West Coast logging firms and sawmills that are dependent on Forest Service timber are generally large companies with high capital investments which pay decent wages to a skilled and specialized labor force. To liken them to a “small family mill destined to go the way of the small family farm” is to ignore reality. The people in these timber-dependent communities do not exist in a prosperous economy with multiple options for high-payingemployment. Like it or not, timber and the associated support industries are about the only game in town.

Shop Fox W1676

How large sanding tool improve your work efficiency

In working with stock like wood and metal, the producers become artists to create the beautiful final product from the very original material at first. And sanding is one of these processes. In the past, the workers need to use hand to abrade excessive amount of material. But now, with support from electric sander, the effort and time is decreased very much.

What kind of big sanding machine you can find?

Instead of using a portable sander, the big size of sanding machine enables to solve the large stock of wood and metal. In the range of this sander, there are many size for selecting: 4 x 36 inch, 6 x 48 inch, and more than 10-inch. Most of wide sander are used for industry and commercial. However, the smaller like 4 x 36 and 6 x 48 belt sander are very popular in home and small shop use.

How can they do to improve your work?

The most benefit you can get in your job is the time and sweat. Anyone love to spend less and get more. And a great tool can give you the great result. By using hand or small machine, it may take 2 or 3 days to sanding big projects. But, by working with the big sander, you can save double times and effort.

Some of best brands to pick:

There’re some brands and models you may like to explore:

Shop Fox W1676:

Shop Fox W1676
Shop Fox W1676

The first and best large machine in 6 x 48 belt sander model we highly recommend for your business. The professional design from outside to inside impress even the tricky one. It can also be the ideal storage combination tool for the small space thank to the cabinet additional feature.

Grizzly G9983:

The luxury product comes with expensive cost for more than $4,000. However, you get what you pay. It the best tool if you are finding the sanding for industry using. It gives the best sanding experience you ever had. Of course, this one is just for industry and business only.

Rikon 50-112 Belt Disc Sander:

One more machine we want to provide you some information is the Rikon 50-112. It has combination belt disc sander model and very comfortable for home use. The stationary part provides most accuracy when you sanding and help you work with the special angles with the table tilt.

There is countless model out there that I can’t list all. But these 3 seem like the best to choose through my experience in sanding work. If you got any question or idea for this post, feel free connect with me.

Planning keeps you from looking like a dim bulb

Before you break out the trowel to start planting bulbs, take note of a few basic tips that can help ensure success.

Start by buying the best bulbs you can find, said David Burdick, a self-avowed daffodil fanatic who is working to start his own bulb production farm in western Massachusetts.

“You get what you pay for,” he warned. “If you see a less expensive price, it’s usually because the bulbs are of a lesser size or quality.”

Look for firm, heavy bulbs with no sign of mold, rot or squishy spots. When buying daffodils, choose bulbs with double noses – those with twin points on the tops. (They may give you two flowers a bulb the first year.) Many nurseries classify these larger, top-size bulbs as “bedding-size.”

Smaller, lower-quality bulbs are often classified as “landscape-size” or “naturalizing-size.” They’re smaller, and might not bloom the first year.

More advice from Burdick:

Pay attention to the way bulbs are packaged. When you see bulbs that are sold inside perforated bags filled with moist wood shavings, it’s an indication they can’t be dried out. Get them into the ground as soon as possible.

Get a jump on the growing season by planting bulbs early in the fall. The longer they spend in the ground before winter, the better-established their roots will be. And the bigger their blossoms will be next spring. Early October is prime time for bulb planting.

Don’t spend a lot of time and money on bulb fertilizers when you plant. A good-size bulb has all the nutrients it needs inside it. Just make sure your garden has adequate drainage and loose, friable soil. Fertilizing in the fall can sometimes do more damage than good. Fresh manure burns tender roots, bone meal can attract hungry rodents and excess nitrogen promotes soft growth that may leave plants susceptible to diseases.


Burdick uses nothing but New Jersey green sand when planting his bulbs. It’s an organic treatment that aids in both drainage and water retention while providing trace minerals. He doesn’t feed bulbs until spring, when he sprinkles a granular organic fertilizer (balanced and low in nitrogen) around the newly sprouted plants.

After bulbs have blossomed, leave the foliage alone. Don’t tie it up or snip it to the ground to make the plants look neater. The foliage provides the mechanism for photosynthesis, which is necessary for the plant to restock its bulb with nutrients for the following season. Cutting the foliage back before it dies naturally could result in stunted plants the next year.


Garden tools dig up dilemma

MOUNDS of donated garden tools destined for the survivors of the Papua New Guinea tsunami are growing in ABC foyers across Australia, but the PNG Government and the Australian Government’s aid arm, AusAID, say cash is needed rather than trowels and rakes.

garden tool
Garden tool

The transport of the tools, too, seems to be confused.
The ABC said yesterday PNG’s NSW consul-general, Kila Karo, had agreed to take care of the tools’ transport to the PNG disaster site, but he said the ABC had undertaken to manage the freight.
PNG High Commissioner in Canberra, Renagi Lohia, said although the ABC had not consulted him about the weekend appeal for tools, he appreciated the generosity of Australians.
“It would be better if they had consulted us. What we mainly want is cash that may be converted at home to food and medicines,” he said.
AusAID went so far as to issue a statement to the media on Saturday to make the point clear: “Please encourage your readers/viewers/listeners to make cash donations to the NGO of their choice, rather than donating goods.”
Foreign affairs parliamentary secretary Kathy Sullivan said unsolicited donations of goods were causing problems of storage and distribution.
“The aid agencies need to buy medicine and food, and that’s best sourced locally,” she said.
“It’s just much easier that way.” Network manager of local radio at the ABC, Lisa Sweeney, said the appeal for new tools was Mr Karo’s idea. It had been broadcast on 58 metropolitan and local radio stations during the weekend to tie in with gardening programs. Once the donations at stations around the nation had been assessed, the ABC would consider how to transport the tools to the public broadcaster’s Ultimo headquarters, where Mr Karo would take responsibility for them.
“We’re just responding to an appeal by the PNG consulgeneral,” she said.
However, Mr Karo said he could not arrange transport for the tools to PNG. “They assured me that they would do the transportation,” he said.
“How it gets to Port Moresby is their problem.”
Mr Karo conceded he had not consulted the PNG High Commissioner about the appeal, saying “everyone is doing their own bit”. The ultimate authority was the National Disaster Committee in Port Moresby.
“Whatever we collect, if they don’t need it, we will find a way of disposing of that,” Mr Karo said.


Understand what electric tool you need

In any purpose, even DIY projects or your serious business, with support from right tool, your work can be done as quickly as possible with the final pleasant result. Let’s discover these 5 necessary electric tool that helps you a lot from saving time and effort.

  1. Drill:


The most common tool that always place in tool box of every home improvement from woodworkers, metalworkers and constructors. The drill is used for most of drilling task for all materials: concrete, wood, metal, wall,… and screwing. In range of electric drill, the cordless model becomes favorite tool for versatile running.

2. Table saw: another electric tool that can reduce a lot of your sweat is saw. Instead of using hand saw, the electric saw comes with many type can save double time for your projects. I got a table saw, which has stationary arbor is mounted up a circular saw and runs by high powerful electric motor. It drives fast and efficiently for cutting wood and metal.

3. Sander: Sander is not common but very important tool that support the users to get the very fine surface after working. In generally, people usually get the orbital or random-orbital sander because they’re safe and easy to use than other kind of sanding machine. However, in case you need the very strong and durable product that is capable of clear the tough wood or steel stock, the belt sander is better than ever. As you want to understand deeply about it, read the full belt sander reviews at www.beltsanderhq.com , the best website provides useful knowledge in belt sander and other type of abrasive tool.

4. Lathe:


Lathe is one of the most essential process for shape your furniture, especially cylindrical material. It works like a saw but more advantages. It shapes the materials (most of metal and wood) by holding and rotating in detail of stock like a cutting tool. The lathe also has the stationary and handheld style to choose up to each plan.

5. Router: the fifth electric wood tool specific use for cutting plunge and edge shape like cabinetry in quickly ways. The router has many types for different tasks: fixed base, interchangeable bases, laminate trimmer, plunge base and rotary tool. The very handy and efficient tool to use.


The timber frame

Around the time of the conference I visited Benson’s shop, on a dirt road in the southwest New Hampshire hills, and saw evidence that Benson is interested in using modern technology, up to a point. In the center of the shop stands a ten-foot-long mortising machine, designed and built by one of his employees, Rees Acheson. It cuts slots in the timbers for mortise-and-tenon joints and thus reduces the human labor that has to be devoted to rough cutting and chiseling. The final stages of the work continue to be done as they were centuries ago, with mallet and chisel; the satisfaction of working with one’s hands, with tools, and with wood is much of what motivates people to become timber-framers.

Wood frame
Wood frame

In a white-walled office above Benson’s shop is a computer-equipped studio where staff designers plan most of the twelve to seventeen houses his twenty-four-person company builds each year. One of the company’s latest accomplishments is learning how to design the complicated mortise-and-tenon joints required by roofs with hips and valleys. “We put hundreds of hours into designing a frame for a hip-and-valley roof,” Benson told me. “After we’d done that, we produced a computer program to solve the difficult joinery, and now we can design one in an hour.” With aids like this, his firm also designs houses for other timber-framers.

In Greenwich, Connecticut, I visited a rambling 12,000-square-foot house–the largest house Benson has ever built, and one whose size and budget allowed him to demonstrate the versatility of timber framing. Because of the advances in hip-and-valley joinery, the family room of the Greenwich house has a vaulted ceiling that rises above the adjoining roof slopes. Inside the room the framing is composed of an unusual combination of woods. Most of the posts and beams are northern red oak–oak being a favorite of timber-frame-home buyers because of its rugged, informal character. In a broad opening between the family room and the kitchen the framing is clear, smooth-textured Port Orford cedar. The contrast between the two woods is striking. Whereas oak dries out after installation and develops conspicuous but structurally acceptable surface cracks known as checking, the Port Orford cedar is a West Coast species that arrives dry and remains free of such imperfections; the fine, smooth grain imparts an elegance to its surroundings.

Log Cabin

The Greenwich house employs different types of framing to establish a distinctive character in each of its major rooms. In the living room, oak timbers form two rows of “hammer-beam trusses” that reach down from a vaulted ceiling of clear Port Orford cedar to about nine feet above the oak floor. The intricately carved hammer beams and a massive stone fireplace wall are the room’s focal points–so robust and dominant that any other interior decoration is almost superfluous. By extending from the ceiling into the upper portions of the room, the timbers make a fairly large space–twenty-four by twenty-six feet, rising to twenty-four feet at its peak–feel comfortably proportioned.


Much the same effect is achieved in the master bedroom, through another combination of framing. Oak beams extend across the sloping ceiling above the bed, breaking the expanse of gypsumboard into segments. Along two walls of the bedroom, bridge trusses–a combination of Xs and diagonal timbers like those in covered bridges–prevent the large room, which has a sitting area and a TV set at one end, from seeming to be a single, overly vast volume. I emphasize timber framing’s success in bringing human scale to large, tall interiors because this is one of the major unresolved problems in many of today’s “move-up” houses and even in some retirement houses, such as those I’ve seen in Sun City West, Arizona.


The cost of the house in Greenwich was $138 a square foot. Much of that can be attributed to luxurious features other than the timber framing and to the cost of everything in Connecticut’s premier suburb. The timber-framers I’ve spoken with say that a timber-frame house typically costs the same as a custom-designed stud-frame house of equivalent quality, or five to ten percent more. The price can be kept down by using a simple gable roof, an uncomplicated floor plan, and non-exotic woods–pine, for example–for the timbers.


Anyone contemplating having a timber-frame house built should be aware that such houses are more challenging to design than conventional ones. Stories are told, for instance, about timber-framers who built a house with a laundry room in the core of the home and left no way to run an exhaust line to the exterior without either cutting through a beam or installing a duct that would protrude awkwardly beneath the ceiling. The locations of plumbing, heating, and electrical lines must be planned more rigorously than they would need to be in a stud-frame house, and after a timber-frame house is built it is harder to add new lines to it.


The timber frame and the house itself must be planned in relationship to each other. The intervals from one load-bearing post to another and from one beam to another should be coordinated with room sizes and partition walls. In a well-designed home the posts and beams help to define each area of the house. Since most timber-frame companies are small, with an average of a half-dozen employees, some have their customers work on the design with an independent architect or with the help of a more comprehensive timber-frame firm.


The most sophisticated firms, like Benson’s, may continue for a long time to serve a widely scattered clientele, but as timber-framers become better understood and more numerous, the trend will probably be toward their concentrating on customers within two hundred miles or so of their shops. This should produce improvements in cost efficiency that will benefit timber-framers and home buyers alike. Builders with national ambitions may be encouraged to operate more than one shop, in different parts of the country. Timberpeg, one of the most commercially successful of such companies, annually produces more than two hundred pre-cut timber-frame packages, in shops in both Claremont, New Hampshire, and Fletcher, North Carolina. Timberpeg uses fairly simple joinery, and its production process is relatively highly mechanized. A list of the approximately two hundred timber-frame companies for which the members of the Timber Framers Guild work can be obtained The hope now among timber-framers is that their craft will avoid the fate of dome houses–that of being seen, in Benson’s words, as “just another interesting but out-of-the-mainstream building form.” Astute practitioners realize they will have to become known not only for fashioning rugged beauty but also for practical problem-solving.

building method

Timber framing is an innovative alternative to stud framing

For a while, one of the toughest problems was insulation. The solution most timber-framers eventually settled on was to enclose the frame with “stress-skin panels“–factory-made sandwiches of building and insulating materials. The panel’s first layer, facing the interior of the house, is a half inch or so of gypsum wallboard. The second layer is usually three-and-a-half or five-and-a-half inches of moisture-resistant rigid foam insulation. The third layer is a half inch of exterior sheathing–often oriented-strand board, which is wood chips glued together so that the fibers in each ply run in a different direction, giving the panel strength. The panels can be quickly installed and then covered with whatever looks best–clapboard, brick, stucco, or another material.


By comparison, the insulation system in a conventionally constructed house is not well designed at all. Two-by-fours are nailed into place every sixteen inches, and fiber-glass batts are stuffed into the cavities between them. As anyone who has ever insulated an attic knows, fiber-glass batts are not easy to work with. The Pink Panther in the Owens-Corning TV commercials may be able to put the fiber glass in place with a flick of the wrist, but in real life the batts resist rolling out evenly and neatly. Workers installing the fiber glass may leave occasional gaps. Even the best installations are undercut by the wooden two-by-fours, which conduct cold or heat into the house. Polyurethane stress-skin panels are more expensive than fiber glass for the same amount of insulation, and their manufacture relies on freon, which is blamed for some of the depletion of the earth’s ozone shield. Some timber-framers use panels of expanded polystyrene, which do not require freon, but these are not quite as effective as insulation and are more vulnerable to fire. A search is on for a better alternative to polyurethane. Still, a stress-skin panel forming a continuous barrier is a superior insulator. It is this energy-efficient innovation that has made the ancient craft of timber-framing a desirable alternative to conventional building methods.


TIMBER-FRAMERS have made rapid progress in solving technical problems and expanding the aesthetic range of their houses. One of the foremost figures in both these efforts is Tedd Benson, a tall thirty-nine-year-old who has been building timber frames since 1974 in Alstead Center, New Hampshire. Benson was an anti-war activist and an organizer of “street academies” for poor minority youths during his college and immediately post-college years. He expected to end up a social worker, not a homebuilder. Yet timber framing is an expression of conviction, just as much as his political efforts once were. “Why is a house a hundred fifty years old and not torn down?” Benson asks. “I think buildings last because people love them. They love them because there’s an obvious aura of human presence.” In timber-frame houses the feeling of human presence, of loving care, comes from the handcraftsmanship visible in the posts and beams. Benson, who is regarded as an authority on modern timber framing, collaborated with James Gruber to write Building the Timber Frame House (1980). Last March, Taunton Press published Benson’s second book, The Timber Frame Home, a gracefully written exploration of design.