My name is Jeff Ingalls, owner/operator of Timber Frame LA. I grew up in Los Angeles, so it’s especially unusual that I find myself experienced in the craft of Timber Framing. Mainly because there is no industry here for it, nor is there a market, nor are there any accessible examples, save for a very few. With a degree in Fine Arts I entered the Film industry; painting, building, and finally designing the construction of sets for commercials and TV. This work evolved into design and management for museum exhibit design and fabrication. My search for craft, purpose, sincerity, and accountability led me first to Japanese Joinery and ultimately to the precision, grace, intent, strength, and beauty found inherent in the craft, and sometimes art, of Timber Frame in general.
My work is to provide Los Angeles with local access to quality, traditionally crafted structures that positively impact the urban landscape, both public and private, and contribute to a renewable future. I believe that whatever we create should weave into the fabric of our lives. The structures we grew up in and around are in the background of all our photos, reassuring us that we were safe and protected. Timber frame is a way of life, not a decoration or even a style. It touches all of the worthwhile points of being a human: body, mind, and soul.
What It's All About...
Ironically, Southern California is one of the most appropriate places for timber framed structures. Known for it's innate fire resistance due to its large dimensions and also its seismic resilience, timber frame systems are built for the dynamic SoCal environment.
A second chance...
Many of our projects include salvaged materials. Ideally all our projects would be made from storm or otherwise damaged lumber destined to be chipped up or set aside to rot. Trees were born with two lives to live, one as a living being, the other as an object to be used for our benefit, be it shelter, warmth or other. However, in order to properly respect this gift, a compassionate, sensitive and skilled artisan is needed to coax the inherent beauty out into the world so we can truly enjoy it and honor its contribution.
"Timber- Framed construction is significantly more resistant to fire damage than common stick framing and considerably more resistant to fire damage than construction using unprotected steel support members. Solid wood is very stable at high temperatures and creates its own insulation upon contact with fire...The beauty of Timber Frame joinery under fire load is that, as the outside of a beam chars, it turns mostly to carbon...so the load-bearing portions of the joinery and members remain intact for much longer than in lightweight truss construction." - Ryan Gilbert, Timber Framing; Journal Of The Timber Framers Guild
No Nails, No Screws
The video shows a Chinese pagoda built in the traditional way with no nails and no brackets. Although the style is different, the foundational principals of construction are the same with western style timber frame. The wooden joinery flexes and moves with the quaking ground. This effectively absorbs the energy with would otherwise destroy most buildings. Take the time to view this video, you'll be amazed. You'll also wonder why we aren't building like this in Los Angeles; short answer: Timber Frame LA is building like this.
Drop us a line and let's start discovering the next awesome thing this world needs us to create.