Timber Framing

Natural building and carpentry with roundwood

Discover the art of roundwood timber framing. Enjoy learning traditional techniques of this skilled craft with two instructional films and three sets of detailed plans (3D).  The use of roundwood, both in timber framing and general carpentry, has several advantages – enables you to harness the available natural resources in an efficeint manner, it provides stronger more robust structures, and adds a unique aesthetic and rustic charm that cannot be achieved with milled lumber.

Create works of unparalleled natural beauty and durability and start your journey towards roundwood craftsmanship today! 


Watch the trailer for The Berm Shed movie:

This roundwood timber framing movie documents building a shed with low cost, natural materials when you have an abundance of trees. We call this structure "the berm shed" and think you might agree, it's a pretty excellent design! 

In this movie you'll see:

  • Berm Shed 1.0
  • Berm Shed 2.0
  • Berm Shed 3.0
  • How to replace a rotten post
  • Roundwood timber framing joinery
  • Materials
  • Wood eaves
  • Terminal cells
  • Difference between timber frame and post and beam
  • Double gin pole
  • Angle Braces
  • A new gin pole design
  • Electric chainsaws
  • Truss jig
  • Manual jigs and labor
  • Posts
  • Shoulder joints

Inspired by traditional timber framing, the berm shed incorporates a solid and spacious design, ingeniously crafted using logs sourced directly from the land. By drawing on the principles of timber framing, you can construct a sturdy, long-lasting structure that combines beauty, function, and resourcefulness.


The berm shed design invites you to consider a different approach to conventional building methods. You can ditch the expensive trips to the hardware store and the tedious task of maintaining conventional sheds. Instead, you can channel your inner woodsman, transforming your own logs into a unique structure. Working this way allows you to source materials as local as your own backyard and offers a resourceful way to manage overgrown forests - reducing wildfire dager while making room for other endeavors like gardening. Much more than just a storage solution, the berm shed encourages true homesteading and living off the land. Begin an exciting  journey to real wealth and freedom as you learn roundwood timber framing skills today.

Why roundwood timber framing?

Timber framing is a time-honored construction method that uses large wooden beams and posts interlocked with precise joinery. A defining characteristic of timber framing is the use of heavy timber supports, visible within the building, that act as the primary load bearer for the building's weight. This technique aims to eschew nails, screws, and other metal fasteners and instead relies on wooden pegs or joinery cuts to secure the frame. The result is a robust, durable, and aesthetically pleasing structure that harmoniously combines strength and beauty. 


Roundwood timber framing takes this traditional building technique a step further by using logs in their rounded form. This approach respects and celebrates the natural form of the tree, resulting in structures that are incredibly unique and visually striking. Natural building emphasizes the use of locally-sourced, and minimally-processed materials, tying in seamlessly with the philosophy of roundwood timber framing. One of the most critical aspects of timber framing is joinery - the art of connecting pieces of wood. It requires skill, precision, and understanding of the material. This craftsmanship is deeply gratifying and results in durable structures capable of withstanding the tests of time, weather, and use. The marriage of these principles creates a form of construction that is not only structurally sound but also inherently respectful of our natural resources.

More Roundwood Projects:

The Wofati Greenhouse

Exploring roundwood timber framing and natural building techniques further, we built a greenhouse in Montana that also uses zero electricity – not even a fan. And we did it with mostly logs and mud found on the property.

The problem: All greenhouses in a cold climate need heat.  So they consume energy and require human discipline.  At the same time, it is possible that on a sunny day, a greenhouse can get hot enough to kill everything inside.  

The solution: We created a greenhouse that requires no heat, and will never overheat.  Mostly, we use the heat from the summer to heat the structure through the winter.  And if we have a moment of excess heat we will passively store it and save it for later - with no harm to the plants, all with no need for human discipline.

Meet your instructors


Josiah Kobernik

Josiah Kobernik cobbled together a diverse background in commercial agriculture, horticulture, market gardening, livestock husbandry, homesteading, and other general building and fixing skills before landing at Wheaton Labs in 2019. At Wheaton Labs, he took to working with roundwood timber framing, earthen plasters, videography, rocket contraptions, and any other inventions he could get his hands on.

He manages Oak Well Ranch alongside his fellow Wheaton Labs boot and now wife Jennifer Richardson.

Paul Wheaton

Paul Wheaton is a powerful advocate of permaculture. He was dubbed the "Duke of Permaculture" by Geoff Lawton and Sepp Holzer, and the "Bad Boy of Permaculture" by Occupy Monsanto. Paul is the owner of permies.com, coderanch.com, richsoil.com, and Wheaton Labs. He has produced over 600 podcasts, 200 YouTube videos and a dozen feature-length films. He has presented at over 100 events around the US, and has written dozens of articles and books on topics ranging from luxuriant environmentalism to homesteading skills. The events he hosts at his property, Wheaton Labs, have resulted in the development of rocket stove and rocket mass heater technology, massive earthworks featuring extensive hugelkultur, solar dehydrators, lots and lots of roundwood timber frame structures like a truly passive earth-bermed solar greenhouse and a mega-cheap yet luxurious home design called the Wofati, as well as many, many other permaculture innovations.

More Roundwood Projects:

The Log Picnic Tables

Begin a journey of craftsmanship with Roundwood Log Picnic Table plans, available in two distinct designs. The plans will guide you to confidently transform raw natural timber into remarkable outdoor furniture. Choose the design that best complements your outdoor space and create a unique picnic table, beautifully handcrafted from roundwood logs.

The plans feature detailed 3D designs and techniques inspired by the iconic build from the 'Low Tech Laboratory' movie.  Also included is a comprehensive introduction to roundwood joinery, elevating these plans from mere blueprints to a stepping stone toward mastering a traditional craft. Experience the satisfaction of constructing a unique, handcrafted priceless piece that will add charm and character to your outdoor setting for years to come. 

  • Harness Nature's Abundance: Our set of plans will guide you to utilize the rich resources nature generously provides, transforming raw timber into an exquisite piece of outdoor furniture. By safely felling and processing your own trees, you could significantly cut costs while creating a luxurious, bespoke roundwood log picnic table.
  • Embrace the Natural Beauty: The plans utilize roundwood logs, an affordable, natural, and aesthetically pleasing material. This unique choice provides an organic, earthy touch to your picnic table, accentuating its beauty and making each piece unique, as it retains the character of the tree it was sourced from.
  • Expert Guidance and Precision: With the help of our plans, you'll be building your picnic table using detailed 3D designs and references inspired by the builds at Wheaton Labs. These precise and easy-to-follow plans blend traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques, ensuring the creation of a functional, durable, and visually striking picnic table.
  • Unleash Your Craftsmanship: Our plans also provide a comprehensive introduction to the principles of roundwood joinery. By following these plans, you will not only create a functional and beautiful picnic table but also learn and apply valuable joinery techniques useful in your timber framing projects. This knowledge will empower you to take on future woodworking projects with confidence. Discover the joy of crafting with your hands and bring to life a unique piece of furniture that you can take pride in.
  • Simplified Yet Multifunctional: Our second design embraces a simpler conceptual blueprint that uses fewer pieces. Despite its simplicity, this design cleverly assigns multiple functions to each piece, showcasing the smart utilization of materials and maximizing the versatility of your picnic table.
  • Pure Wood: Designed specifically for experienced woodworkers, this plan solely features wood, discarding any metal materials. All joinery is achieved with wood, challenging you to delve deeper into the intricacies of woodworking and explore the boundless possibilities of this natural material.
  • Preserving Wood Naturally: Our plans also guide you on how to naturally preserve wood for outdoor use. Harness the power of natural materials and methods to enhance the durability of your picnic table, ensuring it stands the test of time while maintaining its rustic charm, even in the face of weathering and aging.
  • Homesteader's Dream: The design of this picnic table is tailored perfectly for homesteaders. The multi-purpose nature of this design aligns seamlessly with the homesteading ethos of resourcefulness and self-reliance. This table is not merely a functional piece of furniture but a symbol of sustainability, making it an ideal addition to any homestead setting.

The Berm Shed



In this movie you´ll see:

  • Roundwood timber principles
  • Roundwood joinery
  • Berm Shed V1.0
  • Berm Shed V2.0
  • Berm Shed V3.0


The Wofati Greenhouse



In this movie you´ll see:

  • Wofati Greenhouse design
  • Wofati Greenhouse build
  • Wofati Greenhouse test
  • Roundwood timber framing
  • Roundwood joinery


Roundwood Bundle

2 Movies and  3 Plans


In this bundle you´ll find:

  • The Berm Shed movie
  • Wofati Greenhouse movie
  • Wofati Greenhouse plans
  •  Log Picnic Table 3D plans
  •  Log Picnic Table v2.0 3D plans


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