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  • Writer's pictureNorthern Timber Crafters

Designing a Hammer Beam Truss

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Standard Hammer Beam Timber Truss


Our most popular timber truss is a Hammer Beam Timber Truss. Many of our phone calls start with "I love TT-8 in your Trusses gallery. Can you tell me more about this design?". This is a popular design for many reasons including the amount of customization that is available so we've decided to dedicate this next article to our most beloved timber truss!


A Hammer Beam Timber Truss is a specific type of truss characterized by short timber members (referred to as hammer beams and hammer posts) arranged along the bottom of the rafters creating smaller triangle shaped openings. These triangle shaped openings can be singular or multiple and lead up the rafter to a high tie beam. Since there is no bottom chord, this truss is popular for applications that need an open space throughout the center of the structure.


While there might be a specific layout to a traditional Hammer Beam Timber Truss, there is no reason why derivatives of this truss cannot be made to fit your design aesthetic. Below are a series of Hammer Beam Timber Trusses that show the potential flexibility and creativity that can be employed to create the perfect Hammer Beam Timber Truss for your project.


This Hammer Beam Timber Truss is one of our most popular trusses

(TT-8 in our Trusses gallery).


Rendering of a series of the above Hammer Beam Timber Trusses (TT-8).



Delicate Hammer Beam Timber Truss


What if you love the look of the above Hammer Beam Timber Truss but want a more delicate look? The below truss maintains the same style but the smaller timber sizes give the space a lighter and more delicate feel.


Hammer Beam Timber Truss with smaller timbers creates a more delicate feel.


Rendering of a series of the Hammer Beam Timber Truss with smaller timbers.



Sunburst Hammer Beam Timber Truss


The below Hammer Beam Timber Truss is a creative version with eye catching details. The lower tie beam allows a sunburst pattern radiating from the center via multiple directional arched struts. The criss-cross detail between the tie beam and hammer posts creates architectural interest and a dynamic look.

Modified Hammer Beam Timber Truss with Sunburst Struts.


Rendering of a series of the Modified Hammer Beam Timber Truss with Sunburst Struts.



Half Circle Hammer Beam Timber Truss


While Hammer Beam Timber Trusses are usually characterized by the multitude of triangles visible we wanted to present an optional circle shape as well. The below truss has a half circle that provides a graceful sweep throughout the various triangle wedges.

Modified Hammer Beam Timber Truss with a Half Circle Radius.


Rendering of a series of the Modified Hammer Beam Timber Truss with a Half Circle Radius.



Scissor Inspired Hammer Beam Timber Truss


A Scissor Truss is a separate style completely different from a Hammer Beam Timber Truss but that doesn’t mean we can’t take this signature feature and embed it into the center section of a Hammer Beam Timber Truss. This truss also shows a metal tie rod between the hammer beams which is a very common accessory to help increase the structural load capacity of any Hammer Beam Timber Truss.


Modified Hammer Beam Timber Truss with Scissor Struts and a Tie Rod.


Rendering of a series of the Modified Hammer Beam Timber

Truss with Scissor Struts and a Tie Rod.


As the above drawings show, there is tremendous room for design and creativity even inside the niche category of Hammer Beam Timber Trusses. Your home should be custom and your trusses should be too. Let us help design and craft your custom timber feature to make your home extraordinary.


All renderings from this article to compare side-by-side.



Copyright (c) Northern Timber Crafters – All Rights Reserved. 2023.
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