Getting Giant Timbers into an Airport (PDX)

Metal Detectors and Airport Passes

The Timberline Lodge Store has been a staple at the Portland (PDX) Airport for many years, but recently they’ve built the second incantation of their iconic brand.

The new store is in Concourse C, and Arrow Timber Framing was again hired to handle the post and beam on the second store.

timberline airport pdx

The original store featured boxed-heart (timbers cut from the center of the log) post and beam that had been kiln-dried. This was at the request of the architects, however, we do not recommend kiln-drying as it is essentially a surface dry on larger exposed beams. (Read more here)

When the opportunity arose to rebuild the store in another area of the Airport, Arrow Timber elected to use free-of-heart exposed beams (cut from the side of a log). Also, they were not kiln-dried but instead installed “green”.

Without a long-term drying process, it is best to use free-of-heart timbers and traditional joinery.

After installing the hybrid timber store, Bert came back when he was about to take a flight and checked into the progress of the timbers to inspect how they’ve behaved since installation.

So far, they’ve done very well, with no major twisting, shrinkage or large checks. Although we did expect that the beams would do very well, it’s always good to see it and confirm in person.

If you have an opportunity to see this store while you’re in the PDX Airport, go to Concourse C and check it out!

During the construction there was quite a few hoops to jump through. In particular, these giant beams had to be brought through security and fit through metal detectors. This was quite the feat to accomplish.

Using timber carts, you can see the team bringing these massive pieces of wood through the Airport terminals. Although it was difficulty, it was also a fun and interesting project to undertake. The following video will show the process.

Learn about the Historic Timberline Lodge


“If you have not been there, book a night or go skiing there. You will leave with a lasting impression of a magnificent timber atmosphere – even if the Western Lodge style isn’t what you would personally choose for the place you want to call home.” – Bert Sarkkinen

As one of the premier ski locations in the Pacific Northwest, the Timberline Lodge is an excellent example of historical heavy beam construction. However, this beautiful lodge has an interesting back-story to it. Would it pass engineering today?..

Learn about Timberline Lodge here

Timber Frame Articles
Getting Giant Timbers into an Airport (PDX)
Timber Framing
Getting Giant Timbers into an Airport (PDX)
Articles on Timber Framing
Log homes use round, interlocked logs, timber and post and beam use rectangular beams, with a difference in joinery tactics between the two.
Bert Sarkkinen
Arrow Timber
Arrow Timber