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Timber Framers Guild set to build pavilion in Nacogdoches

Timber Framers Guild

The Timber Framers Guild, based in Becket, Massachusetts, will build a park pavilion in Nacogdoches in March as part of an intensive workshop led by four master craftsmen. The Guild represents this age-old construction technique of building structures with joined timbers. Unlike modern carpentry, it does not rely on high-tech power tools to get the job done.

Nacogdoches timber framer Tim Chauvin said this hands-on workshop will attract students and apprentices from all over the country. For some, it’ll be a world away from their day job.

“This is an opportunity for them to come and take a break, and do something they’ve always wanted to do or found really interesting when they saw it on ‘This Old House,’ and they’re completely new, completely green,” Chauvin said, one of the organizers the project. “We welcome those kinds of folks. Don’t feel you have to come in here knowing which end of the chisel is dangerous!”

The park pavilion will be built next to Lake Naconiche. It’s the sixth Guild project in East Texas. Chauvin said participants will get to do all aspects of the build. Evening presentations will cover complex math and construction safety. On the last day, Chauvin compared it to an old-fashioned barn raising as the pavilion goes up by hand. The pavilion’s design is called a Dutch hip in the industry, and Chauvin said it serves as an excellent training tool.

“It has a wide range of technically simple things in it, all the way to the very technically difficult things as far as the joinery goes. So there’s something on this project that will appeal to every skill level,” Chauvin said.

Chauvin credits the Rotary Club of Nacogdoches and Nacogdoches County for being instrumental in getting materials donated and arranging lodging and meals for participants. The build is set for March 20-28. More information is at tfguild.org.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.