Design & DIY

Build a timber frame faster and cheaper with Timberlinx

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This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

It’s called Timberlinx, and if you’ve got a timber frame to build, it’s your new best friend. So far, I’ve used this connector system as part of the roof frame of my workshop, on a timber verandah, and in a small cabin. At $28 to $60 per connector, it makes timber framing faster, simpler, stronger, and more economical.

Instead of traditional, chisel-cut joinery, Timberlinx allows posts and beams to be joined using nothing more than a jig and a drill with 11/8″ bit. The jig guides the location of two perpendicular holes that make up each joint. Bore a pair of spanning holes where timbers meet at a joint face at any angle and another pair of perpendicular holes for the expanding metal pins that draw the joint together. Slip a metal Timberlinx connecting tube into one of the spanning holes, assemble the timber joint over this connecting tube, then lock the joint together by inserting and tightening two expanding pins, which interlock with holes in the ends of the connecting tube. (It sounds complicated on paper, but it’s simple in practice.) Insert dowels to cover the pins, and the connection looks like a traditional pegged mortise-and-tenon joint. Available at