Timber Frame Apprentice Program

Fall Apprentice Program
October 18th-November 13th, 2021
a residential program

What to expect...


This program is all about Learning While Doing.

Apprentices stay for 4 weeks at a time, and learn timber framing, natural building, carpentry.


Each week is filled with lessons, and opportunities for making pegs, cutting mortises and tenons, moving beams, drilling holes, sharpening chisels, sawing, designing, layout and much more.   


Apprentices learn and practice timber framing from Monday through Friday, with Sat-Sun off.   This time can be spent on personal projects or enjoying the Hawk Circle Campus and surrounding countryside.


The benefits of spending a month at Hawk Circle lies in the opportunity to work on several projects, see your skills grow each week through repetition, and in the experience of living in a community of motivated, excited people.

Participants also get an opportunity to use the tools here in our shop, so they don't have to purchase many tools before getting a chance to try them out.  Personal safety equipment and basic building tools are required, and all apprentices get a list of clothing, gear and tools upon acceptance into the program.


We work with small groups and can take no more than 5 people for this program.      


What's included...

  • Timber Framing Tool Use and Care                     

  • Beam Sawing Techniques                                        

  • Rafter Cutting                                                             

  • Sill Beam Cutting                                                       

  • Plate Beam Cutting                                                  

  • Girt Beam Cutting                                                      

  • Dovetail Mortises                                                       

  • Chisel Sharpening Methods                                   

  • Drilling and Assembling Frames                             

  • Tool Repair and Re-Handling                                

  • Frame Design and Support Structure                   

  • Timber Framing History                                          

  • Natural Clay Building & Insulation                       

  • Business Skills and Pricing                                     

  • Mortise Cutting

  • Tenon Cutting

  • Floor Joist Cutting

  • Knee Brace Cutting

  • Post Beam Cutting

  • Tie Beam Cutting

  • Thru Mortises

  • Hard Wood Peg Carving

  • Safe Beam Moving 

  • Beam Layout & Measuring

  • Tree Identification

  • Work Safety & Gear

  • Carpentry Skills

  • Frame Raising Skills

All wood, tools and materials are provided during the program.  The project worked on is pre-determined for each program by the instructors. 

Housing is included.  Food is not included, however, you have access to our full-equipped community kitchen.

Clothes washing machine onsite.

Time Off:   Participants may arrange for time off with advance notice if projects allow.

Your Instructors...

Ricardo Sierra

Founder of Hawk Circle Wilderness Summer Camps and Hawk Circle Timber Frames

Rick's passion for timber framing began when he discovered the incredible difference living and using these historical and traditional spaces provided over modern buildings.    

He studied and practiced his skills through working with Craig Boynton, from Hinsdale, MA, through the linneage of Jack Sobon, using square rule and the Historical American Joinery aesthetic found throughout the New England and New York area.


His favorite wood to cut is white oak, but he wishes it wasn't so incredibly heavy!

Grant DeNies

Hawk Circle Head Wilderness Skills Instructor

Hawk Circle Timberframes Shop Manager


Grant has been timber framing for several years, working on timber framed woodsheds, small cabins, Eagle House, and all of the timberframed bridges here at Hawk Circle's campus.    

He loves old tools, keeping them sharp and well cared for, and carving fresh wood.

He also loves teaching anyone interested in learning timber framing!

Whether it's carving spoons, making fire without matches or building a beautiful cabin, Grant brings a eye for balance and a sense of appreciation for the gift of the trees.

Program Registration
Fee:  $1,600 (housing included)

If you are interested in this program, please email Ricardo to schedule your interview.  We can only accept 5 students.  If you are accepted into the program, we will give you a link to complete your registration.  Completion includes a $400, non-refundable deposit to save your spot, along with questionnaire form submission.