Settlement Post & Beam

Discover the art of timber framing with Kayle Sickler, co-founder of Settlement Post & Beam in Sylvania, Pennsylvania. Learn about bespoke designs, sustainability, and the creative journey in this insightful interview.

Settlement Post & Beam

Edition Four Feature
We Interviewed: Kayle Sickler 
Location: Sylvania, Pennsylvania, USA 
Photo Credits: ©Donnie Rosie & ©Kayle Sickler 

What is it that you do and how do you do it? 

At its core, Settlement Post & Beam is a service business that works with clients to build heavy timber structures with traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Each house is bespoke, so it’s fit to the specific client’s needs. 

My parents started Settlement Post & Beam in 1996. My dad, Greg, had started working for a large timber frame company in the mid-1980s, but they eventually traded in the craftspeople in their joinery shop for a Hundegger CNC machine. He decided it would be a good time to strike out on his own, so he and my mother, Connie, started Settlement Post & Beam on a little piece of family farmland down the road from where they both grew up. They never had aspirations to build a timber frame company that was going to compete with industry leaders. It was always just a way for them to work with their hands and share our product with people who appreciated it. 

They started out in a 30 ft by 50 ft pole barn that had no insulation or heating, and just the bare essential tools necessary to carve mortise and tenon joinery. My dad cut his teeth in the timber framing trade with a two-inch timber framing chisel, a mallet, an arbour drill, hand planes and a few circular saws. Even the most elaborate frames could be made with just those tools. Nowadays, we’ve upgraded to some more specialised and industry-specific tools for certain tasks, but the majority of our work in the shop is still done with what is a very limited toolbox, to say the least. 

How did you get involved in the timber framing craft?