GNB Timber Frame Shop
GNB Crew: Tim, Pat and Ernie
The New 92' GNB Crane
Tim - Pressure washing.
Timber Repair – Epoxy
These are the OTHER office helpers at GNB.
Great Northern Barns, a New Hampshire-based corporation, was organized by brothers Ernie and Jessie LaBombard. Today, Ernie runs GNB while Jessie heads the Vermont based sister company, Vermont Salvage, dealing with architectural salvage with two retail locations in NH and VT.
Although our inventory and workshop have grown over the years, we have tried to stay with a small work crew. This allows us to focus on your project and spend time each day working on the beautiful timbers, which is what we enjoy most.
The GNB crew Tim, Pat and, Ernie have been working together for many years and are experts on all phases of antique heavy timber frame construction. Coupled with our new shop, that was specially designed for efficient processing of large timbers, and new 92’ crane, we are ready for any job.
Our frames range from circa 1780 to 1910, with sizes varying from the 16’ x 20’ South Woodstock to the 42' x 84' Samuel ''Buckwheat'' Page barn. Frames come primarily from the Upper Connecticut River Valley region and have been reconstructed into residences, garages, barns, outbuildings, and commercial buildings.
Everyday we receive emails and calls from people who want to have their barn removed from their property typically because they need to make way for new structures, such as shopping malls, or because they believe their barn has become an insurance liability. If you have a barn that you would like to tell us about, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a barn with potential is identified and meets our specific criteria, it is inspected by one of GNB's experienced crew. If the frame can be preserved, it is photographed and, or videotaped, and carefully measured. Whenever possible, the frame is left standing to enable interested parties to better visualize future plans for the structure.
When the time comes to take the frame down, it is systematically dismantled and labeled; then brought back to the GNB Workshop, where it is properly stored. Once purchased, the frame is taken through our unique timber frame preparation process. To begin with, each timber is thoroughly cleaned with a pressure washer; from there it is dipped in our huge tank of boric acid, a nontoxic, fungicide. It is the same solution you use to wash your eyes. Next the timbers are brought inside the shop where we carefully inspect every inch of surface making sure the beams are cleaned and free of any nails, chips, etc. ensuring that the timbers are aesthetically ready for the inside of your house.
At this time we do any necessary repair work usually using structural epoxy. Thankfully 95% of repairs on a frame do not show on the inside, thus allowing the use of structural epoxy which is a relatively quick and easy method of repair. This type of epoxy is widely used in repair work of the medieval wood structures of Europe. Once the timbers are finished, we move them back out to our 20 acre storage yard. There we stack the timbers on high bunks and cover them with new tin roofing where they await transport.
Throughout the process and especially during the loading and the transport of the frames, we are very careful of the show surfaces. We always keep in mind that the beam surfaces will become the finish on the inside of your structure.
We usually erect the frames ourselves, but people do have the option of raising the frame on their own or with a local contractor. Also, people often contract us to work on a timber frame they found themselves.