Constructing With the Many Different Types of Timbers

Posted on: November 30, 2022

Constructing With the Many Different Types of Timbers

Here at Montana Timber Products, we fabricate and pre-finish a broad range of timber-frame materials for our clients.  The appeal of our process is delivering handsome heavy framing materials to you without any onsite staining required.  We custom mill and factory pre-finish all products, so they are ready for installation (after acclimating) at your jobsite.

Timber construction has its own unique glossary of terms and definitions, that many folks have not come across.  For those that have admired a beautifully crafted home with timber components and are interested in better understanding this type of construction we have compiled a list of terms below.

Timber: A squared off length of wood that is used structurally.
Post: The primary vertical timbers.
Beam: The primary horizontal support timbers.
Rafters: Series of timbers that are used to support roofs.
Brace: A diagonal piece of timber used to support beams.
Joist: Horizontal timbers used to support floors and ceilings.
Gable: The triangular upper part of a wall that connects to a pitched roof.
Purlin: A horizontal roof beam that supports rafters and spans the distance between gable ends.
Chord: The bottom horizontal timber in a truss.
Corbel: A bracket that projects from a wall to support a structure above it.
Mortise:  A notch, hole, or cut in a piece of wood into which a tenon is fit to join two timbers together. This is the female part of a joint.
Tenon: The cut end of a timber that fits into a mortise to join two pieces of timber together. This is the male part of a joint.
Collar Tie: A horizontal beam between roof rafters that reduces spreading or sagging of the rafters.
Glulam: Layers of 1 or 1-1/2 inch boards that are glued together to form a beam.
Truss: An assembly of wood members used to create a rigid structure.
King Post: A truss with a center vertical beam with an angled support beam on each side of the vertical beam.
Queen Post: A truss with two vertical beams that each have an outer angled support beam.
Joinery: Two or more timbers that are connected. The combined components of a timber frame.
Rough Sawn: Timber that has not been sanded or textured but is used as originally cut.

All Montana Timber Products timbers are hand-crafted to meet your specific needs.  We’ve got you covered whether you are looking for 4×4 posts, wide-span glulam beams, or fully prefabricated decorative truss packages.   You can view more examples of our timbers in the links below.

AquaFir™ Timbers Catalog – (

ranchwood™ Timbers Catalog – (

To get a quote or more information call 406-215-4961 or fill out the contact form at:




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