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Natural Building – Timber Frame Construction #2

January 19, 2020 - January 24, 2020


Learn the art of square rule timber framing with the Rancho Mastatal team in this 6 day intensive workshop. During the workshop we will be building a small cabin – a perfect starter project.  Through classroom and practical sessions participants will gain skills to build a structure utilizing the square rule method of timber framing which results in mortise and tenon joinery secured by handmade wooden pegs instead of nails . On site students can learn from and get inspired by a multitude of naturally built structures that have been constructed at the Ranch and in the small rural community of Mastatal during the last 15 years including 11 separate timber frame structures.  Students will stay at the Ranch’s amazing facilities and in addition to learning about timber framing will be exposed to a host of other sustainable living projects including a methane digester, composting toilets, permaculture designed gardens and orchards, fermented food products and much more.  It promises to a fun-filled, productive and instructional course for everyone involved. This course will be taught in English.



Alaskan Chainsaw Mill

Nic Donati
Nic Donati, Rancho Mastatal’s Director of Natural Building and Appropriate Technology, first came to the Ranch in 2007 and fell in love with the community and lifestyle he experienced there.  Always good with his hands and wanting to get stuck in meant he was able to develop a wide range of skills both at the Ranch and other farms around the world.  The lure of the Ranch both as a community and working environment have continually drawn him back and he now considers the Ranch community and Mastatal his home.  

He enjoys many aspects about living at the Ranch including communal living, proximity to wild and natural habitats, running around on the football field, solving diverse problems, and wielding tools from chisels to chainsaws to trowels.  He really loves and appreciates the freedom afforded to him to express and practice his ideas, develop new skills and hone existing ones, but above all else he believes in the ideology of the Ranch.

He believes that to engage, educate and nurture a desire in people to change the way we live and take more responsibility for every aspect of our lives from food production, to healthcare, to energy production and everything else in between is the only way things are going to change.

Raising a Timber Frame

course start and ARRIVAl dates

The class begins at 9 a.m. on January 19, 2020.  The night before the class begins, January 18, 2020, is included in the cost of the class.  

course end and departure dates

The last day of the class is January 24, 2020.  The night of January 24, 2020 is included in the cost of the class.  



Includes all food, lodging and instruction.  

Your registration, a confirmation from us that there is space in the class and a $250 non-refundable deposit will secure your spot in the course.  You can make your deposit with PayPal below or go to our Payment page for more information and options.  

We have partial scholarships available for this class.  Please inquire at [email protected] and/or fill out an application here


This class will be taught in English.  



All food and lodging is included in the cost of  the course.   Students will stay in the Ranch bunkhouse with options for private upgrades.  We provide high quality mattresses, linens and blankets.  Please see our Accommodations page for more information.  


Please see our  Payments page for more information about how to pay.  


Please see our cancellation policy here.


Please see our Directions page for detailed information on how to get to Rancho Mastatal.  


To enroll in the class, please fill out our Online Registration Form.  


For more information about this class and Rancho Mastatal please contact us at [email protected] and/or call the Ranch at 2200-0920. 


January 19, 2020
January 24, 2020
Event Category:


Rancho Mastatal
Costa Rica
506 2200-0920
View Venue Website

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