By James Baron / The Free Lance-Star
An Army colonel who found relief from post-traumatic stress disorder through an old woodworking craft hopes the same thing that helped him might help others. Roger Lintz says his eventual freedom from PTSD came through working with his hands as a timber framer.
“For me, there’s something peaceful about using a chisel on a piece of wood,” Lintz said, who was medically discharged from the Army in 2014 after 31 years of service. “It takes time, patience, and when you’re done, you’ve got something really beautiful that will outlast you and many generations after you.” After 2½ years of timber framing on his own, Lintz recently opened Old School Timber Framing of Virginia at his Stafford County home, where he holds free Saturday workshops to teach the trade to others. He’s already attracted disabled veterans, first responders, law enforcement officers and others seeking something new. (Read the full article below. It also contains a short video. Notice that all retain eight fingers and two thumbs each… a tribute to their skill and craftsmanship.)
Comment: This is another wonderful front page article from my local newspaper. Retired Colonel Lintz and his Old School Timber Framing of Virginia are less than a mile from the site of my earlier post on the roadside Christmas tree. I’ll be contacting him before long. I may have found a source for some future project materials.
Timber framing has always been close to my heart. I grew up in a 1840s timber frame glebe house on the town green. My brother, the life-long logger one, discovered a few years ago that the house’s framing was all hickory. Our barn was an exquisitely constructed example of timber framing, rather finely finished for a barn. I always wanted to build a timber frame house. That never happened. My youngest brother, however, did build such a house. He cleared his land and milled all his beams and lumber on site. He had a lot of help from his logger and machinist brothers. There wasn’t much his infantryman brother could offer. Besides, I was never around. He also got a lot of advice and coaching from several nearby timber framer neighbors. When I first visited his place, I ran my hands over the joinery in erotic rapture. My brothers, all of them, understood.
That veteran deserves to be commended for what he’s doing. I’m thankful he’s helping to keep alive the art of woodworking, which is no doubt gratifying for all involved. A married couple (he was a pilot and Navy vet) who were long-term downtown apartment tenants of mine 30 years ago, and who eventually became friends, built a post and beam house themselves, WAY out in the country. They moved from one extreme to the other! The house is aging beautifully, not only due to their skill but also their exquisite taste. She’s still a flight attendant and world-class shopper, and bought gorgeous door set hardware in France that is to-die-for. The posts and beams and tile flooring are developing an attractive patina of age. Her father was a WWII Army vet and she grew up in Orleans — and the house looks like it could’ve been transported from there. While I can appreciate Mid-Century Modern style that’s been revived and is so popular these days, IMO nothing beats the charm of a post and beam house, filled with antiques and radiating warmth, beauty and comfort.
The simple beauty of creation. Such things are utterly timeless.
What a great piece! Working with wood is profoundly healing, in my experience,
and I try to do a little of it each day (along with gardening and sharpening). Simple (not easy!) things are the best things..
How many people in America know someone who makes something you can touch for a living or even a hobby. Not many but salute to this fine gentleman. Looks like he’ll be adding more than a few folks.
Bless the builders and handicraftfolk.
I would include all the creators in that blessing, the writers, the poets, the artists and even the discoverers.
Thanks for this story TTG, truly heartwarming and much appreciated.
Some of those native hardwoods must be getting hard to source and expensive to purchase so all the best to OSTFV with gifts and donations.
If is only one thing you learn working with these timbers, ‘measure twice -cut once’. All the best.. Rob W
Here is something analogous that I read about, but in the field of agriculture.
And here is Comfort Farms website itself.