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Timber Frames

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I have an architect/client who wants to use a "Timber Frame" connection on his house. It's his own house. The house is located in the sierras and has a 40 psf snow load.

He wants to use mortise and tendon type joints which I'm unfamiliar with except when watching new yankee workshop when channel surfing. Where can one learn more about what's involved with these in STRUCTURES (not furniture)? I'm wondering if it even flies in california anyway. It's zone 3 seismic if that matters.

TIA

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-gm