The Roofing Square

The Roofing Square

The Course

Learning how to use a roofing square is a fundamental skill in carpentry. This course will help demystify this essential carpenter’s tool.

You’ll practice how to line out and cut softwood timber rafters for lean-to, gable and hipped roofs following a late 19th/20th century method where you use the square to calculate the lengths and bevels, without needing rafter tables, ready reckoners, or electronic devices. Imperial measurements are used during the day, but metric conversion is explained.

The Tutor

Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak & Iron is the MSc Timber Building Conservation Programme Leader at the Weald & Downland Living Museum. He teaches a range of historic carpentry courses at the Museum. He has developed a keen analytical eye and a scholar’s passion for following and interpreting the evidence along with a natural skill in teaching.

Participant Information

The course will be limited to 12 participants. Practical clothing and a pair of safety boots are required. Stills photography and note taking is encouraged. Video photography is not permitted. All necessary tools will be provided, but participants can bring along any tools and reference books if they wish. We will work on a model roof, in the Museum’s Downland Gridshell building.

Fee & Refreshments

£135 per person for full participation in the workshop, to include teas, coffees and a light lunch. Please let the Museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

Book course

Useful Websites


Tue 21 May 2024






Timber Framed Buildings