Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 28

A Timber Frame of Mind
Cairo man enjoys the old way of building things

by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop

Most traditional homes use "stick" frame construction, joining two-by-fours
together with nails. Timber framing uses wooden beams with interlocking cuts
hen you first see the figure coming up from the woods you might called mortise-and-tenon joints - in other words, held together without any
think it looks a bit like Abraham Lincoln may have back in his metal hardware. Early American colonists brought the method to the New
wood-chopping days - tall and lanky with an axe tossed up on World with them, and the technique can still be seen today in many historic
structures.
one shoulder.
The method amazed Stacy in 1990 and still does today.
"It's a cold one," says the stocking-capped woodsman. "Stacy Brockman,"
"I knew once Allen showed me how to timber frame, I was hooked," says
he says, hand outstretched in greeting, his breath hanging in the crisp winter
Stacy. "It's the only way I'd build anything. It's workmanship that will be here
air like a halo.
To the untrained eye, the home where Stacy lives with his wife, Kimberly, hundreds of years from now."
The 51-year-old says he is glad he stopped to visit with Allen on that coyote
and their two children, Isaac and Isabella, seems like a beautiful, yet simple
hunt nearly 30 years ago because his mentor has recently decided to retire
structure.
from the timber-framing business. While Stacy also plans to retire one
From the long covered porch, he opens the door to his famday as a firefighter, the knowledge he's gleaned as Allen's protege is worth
ily's charming, rustic home.
Stacy looks up at the vaulted ceiling and exposed beams
more than gold to him.
above the living room and smiles. "I cut the logs for these walls
"You can study books, but you can't beat the learning from an
the winter of '90 and '91, then started building," he says, notexpert in the field," says Stacy.
Cairo
Stacy recalls a man once asking Allen why they choose to build
ing he moved into the 1,300-square-foot home in rural Randolph
County three years later.
things with this method. Stacy says he and Allen looked at the
What makes the Brockman's home different than most of
man and Allen replied, "This is how they built things before nails
existed! It's the oldest form of construction there is and that's
today's conventional log-looking structures are the massive oak
why we do it this way."
timbers he chose and how they're joined with a centuries-old
He laughs.
method called timber framing, a post-and-beam style of construc"I'm just an old soul and that's why really I enjoy this Oldtion done without the use of nails.
Stacy, a 17-year veteran firefighter with the Moberly Fire Department, says World-way of building," Stacy says. "I like the way things used to be done.
People living off the land, canning food, trapping and hunting. Heck, I didn't
it was a chance meeting in 1990 that got him into the timber frame of mind.
"I was driving down a road coyote hunting one snowy morning when I looked get a cell phone until I was 43 years old, and now, look at me."
He holds up his prized old flip phone and smiles.
over and saw a little bearded man running an old sawmill," says the Macon
With his mentor retiring, Stacy is setting up his own sawmill, working on his
Electric Cooperative member. "I stopped to visit with him and he's been my
home's addition and building coffee and dining tables, headboards and firementor ever since."
That man was Allen Judy, whose business, Heirloom Handcrafted Homes, place mantels to sell - all with the timber-frame method he now has ingrained
made custom-designed timber-frame buildings for those wanting something in his soul.
"If someone dozes trees down and I see potential, I usually stop and ask
different than most ordinary homes.
After noting Stacy's keen interest in woodwork, Allen asked if he had a job. them if I can have it. Of course, I plane half of it for them to keep if they want,
When the 27-year-old said he didn't, Allen said, "Well you can start Monday." but many times, they just let me haul it off," says the industrious man. "I like
Stacy said most of the initial work was cutting logs and sawing them into planing the wood down and seeing the story it has to tell me before I give it
timbers, then smoothing the saw marks with a 1912 one-sided planer. "We'd another purpose in life."
run the log through, flip it over, run it through, flip it over again," recalls Stacy.
You may contact Stacy by calling 660-833-5564 or by mail at 2012 County
"It was a lot of work, but worth it. We'd saw, plane, then start a house. It killed
Road 1980, Cairo, MO 65239.
your back no matter how young you were."
Soon Allen found a source in Ohio that planed all the sides of his logs in one
Above: When Moberly firefighter Stacy Brockman isn't working, he loves putting his woodworking
shot.
"That's when the real fun began because we could just build timber-frame knowledge to work on his home's construction. Stacy uses the Old World methods to build fireplace
mantels, bed frames, tables and more. Here he sits on the nail-free spiral staircase for his cousin's home.
houses," Stacy says, quickly adding, "And have a lot less backaches."

W

28

RURAL MISSOURI | JANUARY 2019



Rural Missouri - January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 4
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 7
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover4
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