Issue Four T.O.C. – Will Lisak’s “Carpentry Without Borders: An Exploration of Traditional Timber Framing in Romania”


Every weekday until the February 1st opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we will be announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here.

Last fall, I was fortunate to spend some time with Charpentiers Sans Frontières in Romania, hand hewing a roof system from local ash and oak. I found that there are some corners of this nation where one can still experience a cultural landscape mostly unaltered from what much of Europe must have looked like for centuries.  Hillsides patchworked with subsistence farming, folks scythe-mowing hay in the high pastures, the knell of the woodcutter’s axe in the woods, the sounds of horses and working animals. I can’t imagine a richer setting to explore the intricacies of scribed and hewn joinery, and I am excited to share this story in Issue Four.

There is something captivating to so many woodworkers about the primary processing of materials with the old tools: taking up the froe, drawknife, fore plane, or hewing hatchet. Many and various are the roots of this fascination - it can come from a preservation or conservation perspective, or from social or environmental ideology. Sometimes it grows from a focus on cultural heritage, and sometimes from an interest in techniques - the development and use of materials and tools. As often as not it's simply a primal connection, a love for the feel of expending human energy.  Many of us just want to richly experience the visceral textures found in the building of our environment, a practice so basic to human culture for millennia. No matter where these inclinations arise, the call is hard to resist.

Will Lisak

You can reserve your copy of Issue Four here.


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