SEDGWICK — Beginning Friday, Aug. 23, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 31, a team of 35 professional timber framers from France, England, Slovenia, Estonia and the United States will gather at the headquarters of Mortise & Tenon Magazine at 14 Porcupine Lane in Sedgwick to build a timber frame outbuilding/blacksmith shop using hand tools and historic methods.
The builders, who specialize in using historic hand-tools methods, are known as Charpentiers sans Frontiers (Carpenters Without Borders). The group is led by French ethnologist François Calame.
Carpenters Without Borders does a similar restoration event each year and this year has chosen the outbuilding/blacksmith shop adjacent to Mortise & Tenon Magazine woodshop, which promotes human-powered, pre-industrial craftsmanship.
John Ellsworth, a local farmer and timber framer, has been logging freshly cut white pine logs for the construction of the building with Jay and Jackson, his pair of veteran Suffolk Punch horses. On Aug. 23, when the Carpenters Without Borders crew arrives, they will hew the logs into timbers using antique axes and proceed to cut the joinery with hand tools. Plans are to raise the building within the week.
Visitors are welcome to come watch the process during three separate showings, on Monday, Aug. 26 (primarily hewing logs), Wednesday, Aug. 28 (joinery and possibly some hewing), and Saturday, Aug. 31 (raising the frame). Hours for visitation are from 2 to 5 p.m.
The site will be closed to visitors outside these hours in order to maintain focus on the immense amount of work to be done.