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Loghomeology definition


A square, rectangular or round extension at the end of a log or timber that is cut to fit into an accommodating mortise.  There are many different types of tenons...

Stub tenon - a tenon that is shorter than the width of the mortised piece so the tenon does not show or protrude through the mortised timber.

Teasel tenon - a tenon on top of a gunstock post that is typically received by the mortise in the underside of a tie beam. An English tying joint.

Through Tenon - A tenon that passes all the way through the timber (mortise) it joins. It may extend past the mortise and be wedged from the opposite side. (see tusk tenon below)

Top tenon - the tenon on the top of a post.

Thermal Mass

The property of logs in a log home to store and (hold) delay the transfer of heat, as does stone or metal. This feature, along with the natural insulating ability of wood, is what makes log homes exceptionally energy efficient. Thermal Mass allows a log to absorb heat during the hottest part of the day and return it to the house during the cooler night, without transferring it through the wall. A log wall's thermal mass makes it as energy-efficient as a well-insulated stick-built wall.

Through Bolt

Typically a threaded rod running vertically through the log stack to reinforce the wall and add strength and integrity to the wall.

Tie Beam

A structural member anchored to opposite walls to prevent the walls from pushing out from the weight of the second floor or roof.


A large squared or dressed log prepared for fashioning as one member of a structure.


Timber framing is the modern term for the traditional half-timbered construction in which timber provides a visible skeletal frame that supports the entire structure. A frame of large timbers, a braced frame. In days gone by, the open areas between the timbers were filled with Wattle and daub, the forerunner of modern lath and plaster.  See list of timber framers in the USA and Canada.

For some examples of timber frame homes from one of the industry's premiere log and timber home manufacturers, go here.


Lumber that is nominally 5 inches or more in dimension. Timbers may be used as beams, stringers, posts, caps, sills, girders, purlins, etc.


A term that probably dates to medieval times describing a skilled specialist who built structures (homes, barns, shops, etc.) by utilizing expert joinery methods. As the term implies, one who shapes and crafts timbers 'right'!

Tongue and Fork

A joint in which one timber has the shape of a two-prong fork and the other a tongue that fits between the prongs.

Tongue & Groove

A joinery method on the edges of lumber and plywood products such as tongue & groove siding or flooring.  One board is cut leaving a projecting tongue that fits into a corresponding groove in the edge of next member. Tongue and groove is also a popular milled log profile.


A small hinged window positioned above a door.


(Tree nail) refers to an extra-large peg. A lathe turned, tapered hardwood peg (dowel) for securing timber joints.


In structural engineering, the term truss identifies a structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints. Trusses are used because they make very efficient use of the strength of the members. The key to a truss is a triangle. All members must be connected so that only triangles are formed. The ends of the members all connect at a common point (the joint). The members are connected so that only triangles are formed.


Examples courtesy of PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes.
Get their free 'Idea Book' and DVD.

Tusk Joint

A tusk or through tenon, a joint where the tenon goes all the way through the corresponding mortise.  Sometimes a wedge-shaped key (shim) is used to hold the joint together.

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