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Friday afternoon musings – ‘The Jowl Post’

English Tying Joint – the most important joint in timber framing.

Ingenious joint in use since medieval times – Ties together the jowl post, the wallplate and tie beam. Jowl Posts are the main posts in a timber frame that support the wallplate and the truss. The post is “flared” at the top where it intersects with the wallplate and the tie beam. This is so it can be tenoned into the tie beam (“Teazle tenon”) and the wallplate. The jowl post is commonly cut from the base of the tree to make use of the natural grain of the wood. Think of it as a tree turned upside down with it’s wider base in the air.  Jowls can be shaped in curves or gunstocks. The jowl post is tenoned into both the tie beam and the wallplate, and then the tie beam is secretly dovetailed over the wallplate to stop outward thrust of the roof.  No one can see it but we know it’s there, so we can sleep safe at night in the knowledge that our house won’t fall apart!

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