Post (structural)

A post is a main vertical or leaning support in a structure similar to a column or pillar but the term post generally refers to a timber but may be metal or stone.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] A stud in wooden or metal building construction is similar but lighter duty than a post and a strut may be similar to a stud or act as a brace. In the U.K. a strut may be very similar to a post but not carry a beam.[8] In wood construction posts normally land on a sill, but in rare types of buildings the post may continue through to the foundation called an interrupted sill or into the ground called earthfast, post in ground, or posthole construction. A post is also a fundamental element in a fence. The terms "jack" and "cripple" are used with shortened studs and rafters but not posts, except in the specialized vocabulary of shoring.

Timber framing

Timber framing is a general term for building with wooden posts and beams. The term post is the namesake of other general names for timber framing such as post-and-beam, post-and-girt construction and more specific types of timber framing such as Post and lintel, post-frame, post in ground, and ridge-post construction. In roof construction such as king post, queen post, crown post framing. A round post is often called a pole or mast depending on its diameter thus pole building framing, or a mast church.

Post and strut names in traditional timber framing

  • Wall – A general term for a post in a wall.
  • Principal – A primary support. Principal is a general term meaning a "major" member often distinguished from "common" or "minor" members.[9]
  • Angle – A historical name for a corner post.
  • Intermediate – A post in an exterior wall not at a corner.
  • Chimney – An intermediate post receiving its name from being near a chimney.
  • Interior – A general term for posts not in an exterior wall.
  • Arcade – A post located between an aisle and nave.[10]
  • Aisle – same as arcade post.[11]
  • Corner – Any post at the corner of a building.
  • Story – A post only one story tall as in "storeyed construction"[12] also known as platform framing.
  • Prick – 1) Same as story post, a one-story post for extra support at a particular location; 2) In a roof truss a side post.[13]
  • Ridge – A post extending from the ground or foundation to the ridge beam.
  • Samson – similar to a prick post or puncheon.
  • Puncheon: 1) A short, stout post may be identical to a prick post; 2) Puncheon may also mean a split log or heavy slab of timber with the face smoothed, used for flooring or construction.
  • Dragon – (rare) A corner post supporting a dragon beam in jetty framing.
  • Gunstock, jowled, flared, teasel (rare) – A flared post, larger at the top than the bottom, most commonly found in the side walls but could be any location. Rarely a post may have an "integral bracket"[14] which is a mid-post flair to carry a lower timber. The portion of a flared post extending upward at the top is called the upstand[15] and one of the top tenons is called a teazle (teasel) tenon.
  • Jetty – A post supporting a jetty
  • Door –: A post framing a doorway.
  • Blade – A specific name for the post-like timber in cruck framing.
  • Cruck stud – The upright stud or post forming a wall, mounted on a cruck blade and held by a cruck spur.
  • Pile, piling – A post driven or set into the ground such as in earthfast, post in ground, or "posthole construction".[16]
  • Stave – 1) Small, narrow pieces of wood used in a variety of ways;[17] 2) Upright planks carrying a wall.;[18] 3) Posts carrying a wall.[19]

Post and strut names in roof framing

  • King – 1) (U.S.) A single, central post in a roof truss in tension between the rafters (top chords) and a tie beam (bottom chord), or 2) (U.S.) A short of the tie beam only supporting the rafters via struts. 3) (U.K.) A king post specifically carries a ridge beam otherwise is called a king strut. "King post" was formerly used to describe a crown post in the U. K., but no longer.[20]
  • King pendant: A central, upright timber in a truss projecting below the lowest beam, "normally used with scissor beams".[21]
  • Queen – 1) A pair of vertical posts in a roof system that are part of a truss, with a straining beam between and in tension holding up a tie beam or; 2) Two posts in a roof system not acting as a truss in the engineering sense and here in compression.[22] Also called a queen strut.
  • Queen strut: 1)(U.K.) A queen post which does not carry a plate.;[23] 2)(U.S.) A queen post not part of a truss in the engineering sense and in compression (a more modern definition than 2)in Queen Post above).[24]
  • Lateral Queen – a pair of braced posts between a tie beam and collar beam.
  • Prince – A strut associated with a king post truss.
  • princess – A strut associated with a queen strut but shorter.[25]
  • Crown – A post on a tie beam or collar beam carrying a crown plate.[26]
  • Crown strut: A piece similar to a crown post but not carrying a plate.[27]
  • Ashlar – or ashlar piece: Short post from a tie beam to a rafter near a masonry wall.[28]
  • Purlin – A post supporting a purlin plate, may be plumb or leaning (canted).
  • Hammer – An upright in a hammer beam truss supported on the hammer beam in a hammerbeam roof.[29]
  • Ridge – A historic type of post and lintel framing, the ridge post carrying a supporting ridge beam. See Ständerhaus#Firstständerhaus

See also


  1. Boucher p.351
  2. Oxford English Dictionary "A stout piece of timber, or other solid material,..."
  3. Merriam-Webster "A piece (as of timber or metal)..."
  4. Sturgis "...whether of timber, metal, or stone;..." p. 195
  5. Gwilt p.1243 ""An upright piece of timber set in the earth. Any piece of timber whose office is to support or sustain..."
  6. Russell p. 212-213
  7. "...every bressummer shall have such other storey posts, iron columns, stanchions, or piers of brick or stone, or corbels, as may be sufficient to carry the superstructure." The London building acts 1894 to 1905 p. 71.
  8. Harris
  9. Boucher p. 357
  10. Alcock p. G1
  11. Alcock p. G1
  12. Alcock p. F15
  13. Sturgis p. 195
  14. Alcock p. F3
  15. Alcock p. G20
  16. Alcock F33
  17. Oxford English Dictionary
  18. Alcock F33
  19. Oxford English Dictionary
  20. Harris
  21. Alcock p. G13
  22. Sturgis p. 195-196
  23. Alcock p. G14
  24. "Timber Framing for Beginners: VI. Glossary of Terms" Timber Framing Vol. 68 June 2003. 12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. Alcock p. G18
  26. Alcock p. G5
  27. Alcock p. G5
  28. Alcock p. G1
  29. Alcock p. G8


  • Alcock, N. W.. Recording timber-framed buildings: an illustrated glossary. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1989.
  • Boucher, Ward, ed., Dictionary of Building Preservation John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: 1996, NY
  • Gwilt, Joseph. An Encyclopaedia of Architecture: Historical, Theoretical and Practical, 1867. Reprint. NY: Crown Publishers, Inc, 1982. Print.
  • Harris, Richard. Discovering timber-framed buildings. 2d ed. Aylesbury: Shire Publications, 1979.
  • Sobon, Jack A.. Historic American timber joinery: a graphic guide. Becket, Mass.: Published by the Timber Framers Guild, 2002.
  • Sturgis, Russell, Sturgis' Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture and Building: an unabridged reprint of the 1901-2 edition. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 1989.
  • Russell, Terence M.. The Encyclopaedic Dictionary in the Eighteenth Century: Architecture, Arts, and Crafts. 1734. Reprint. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 1997. Print.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.