The Oak Apple Frames Style

Oak Frames with style!

We control the whole process from tree to finished frame, starting by ensuring that all the trees used in our oak frames come from properly managed woodland where the principal aim is to preserve native broadleaf woods for future generations.

oak woodland with bluebells felling an oak

Having a sawmill on the same site as the framing shed gives us unique advantages, enabling us to minimise waste and reduce transport, but above all it gives us the opportunity to select individual trees to suit the job in hand, especially when it comes to finding nice curved beams and braces.

cutting out beams on the sawmill mobile sawmilling

All our oak frames are based on traditional designs using medieval carpentry methods. We believe they have stood the test of time and fully expect our buildings to still be up in 400 years! Their strength comes from the traditional mortise and tenon joints which are cut in the workshop and then assembled on site.

cutting curvy tie beams for our oak frames marking out an oak frame jointing the wind bracing

Where possible (and appropriate) we like to work with the wood, using the natural shape of the timber rather than sawing it all square-edged, so all our oak frames are unique. The natural curve and wane of the oak can be incorporated by sawing the log flat in one plane, while following the grain in the other, thus maximising both the strength and the aesthetic appeal. A couple of examples are shown in the photos below. We feel that this characterises the “Oak–Apple Style” and makes our oak frames that bit more unique. Of course, we can and frequently do worked with straight timber too… It is up to you!

curved tie beams in our oak frames curvy tie beam - the oak-apple style curvey tie beams giving more headroom

Once all the joints have been cut and drilled in the workshop the individual components of the oak frames are packed together and transported to the site. The frame can then be assembled and draw-pegged with hand–crafted oak pegs.

truss assembled on site with oak pegs a truss being positioned on the jowl-post and wall-plate curvy purlin craned into position

We do not have a ‘stock’ or ‘standard’ design since every oak framed building, being hand–made is designed individually to take into account the client’s tastes, needs and budget. This also means that we make life easy for subsequent contractors on the build. For example, if we know what kind of insulation will be used we adjust the position of braces so that the insulation does not need to be cut around them. We build our oak frames so that the subsequent roofing and glazing are as simple as possible. This saves time and therefore money!

curvy tie beams oak frames by Oak-Apple Frames Ltd

Our hope is that every client ends up with the oak–framed building of their dreams. Have a look at the gallery for images from some more of our projects.