Will a timber frame shrink and check?

All green timbers shrink as they dry. This can result in “checks” in the wood–cracks that run along the grain as the fibers in the wood separate. It can also result in small gaps in the joinery.

We do all we can to minimize this effect. We treat our timbers with Land Ark citrus-based sealer and Anchor Seal on the end grain. This causes the wood to dry slowly, and significantly reduces checking and shrinkage. We also join our timbers using a “draw-bore.” This is a slight offset in the peg holes that draws the joinery together. Oak has a slightly higher rate of shrinkage than Douglas Fir, for example, but our methods stand up to shrinking and checking, and our joinery remains impeccable.