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About Trillium Dell Timberworks

Our History

Trillium Dell Timberworks began as Old Blue Construction in 1996. Founder Rick Collins became interested in timber framing after observing the processing and waste of local timber. After reflecting on its prior use, both in local agriculture and the economy, he conceived a way to recapture the loss. Driven by dedication and passion for the craft, Rick has transformed Trillium Dell into one of the largest full service timber frame shops in the Midwest.

Trillium Dell specializes in new timber framed buildings, historic restoration, fine carpentry (doors, windows, trim, furniture, etc), and architectural timber elements. Most of our frames are built with locally sourced timber, and designed with traditional methods specific to the area. Timbers are sawn, planed, and all joints hand cut and pre-fit in Trillium's shop, and then transported and errected on site. We often work as a general contractor- or consultant- for clients, integrating traditional and modern systems in an economical and efficient way.

We offer clients in-house design and engineering services for their custom timber frame projects– utilizing Dietrich’s, a specialized timber frame CAD software that provides the best and most complete frame renderings available. Our customer service is second to none, it’s our goal to provide you with the most complete and knowledgeable solution to your project needs.

In addition to crafting new timber frames, Trillium Dell performs historic renovation, restoration, and replication on many notable buildings including churches, barns, cabins, public buildings and commercial structures. The historic restoration side of Trillium Dell Timberworks continues to flourish as both private and public clients seek to preserve or reuse timber frame structures, and require services for other aspects of historic carpentry including window and door restoration and architectural trim work.

The historic carpentry in these structures informs our strategy of building and restoration, as does our goal of sourcing local building materials whenever possible. Read more about Trillium Dell’s commitment to the green building movement here. Meet the Trillium Dell team here.

Our Facilities

Trillium Dell Timberworks has the most complete and versatile full service timber frame shop in the Midwest. Our facilities include the main office and furniture shop; a 3200 square foot timber framed building that houses our office, loft apartment, and furniture/cabinetry making equipment. The 4000 square foot Beamery serves as the main production shop, the bulk of the layout and cutting of frames occurs here, as well as storage for our considerable inventory of lumber. Components such as knee braces are cut on our massive Rex Tenoner, which runs on a diesel generator. Our Woodmizer LT50 band saw is housed in a 800 square foot timber frame shed and increases our versatility and efficiency in cutting frames and is perfect for onsite milling of local logs and custom sawing for our clients.

We have an outdoor fit up yard that contains a jib crane with a 32’ diameter, ideal for log cabin restoration and replication. Also located at Trillium Dell in an 1800 square foot building is the only and largest state of the art 4 sided planer/molder in the Midwest, a Weinig Profimat 45. With the Weinig Profimat 45 we can not only plane material up to 10” x 18”, but introduce profiles to the timbers as well. Trillium Dell offers four sided planing services, custom tongue and groove flooring up to 6” thick, as well as custom mill work. The Weinig Profimat 45 also runs on a massive 120KW diesel generator. Additional layout and cutting occurs in our 4000 SF Pondside building, we also store our frames waiting for shipment and keep our equipment in this building. Trillium Dell has a complete lineup of all terrain forklifts and man lifts which we take to site and keep in this building. Having a lot of our own site equipment saves our clients time and money on all of our projects. Most of our metal work is done in our 1600 square foot machine shop. At Trillium Dell we fabricate all of our metal bracketry, knife plates, and other metal hardware needed for many timber frame projects. Our machine shop includes a threading machine, forge and anvils, shop press, plasma cutter and multiple welders and drill presses. Trillium Dell also has two kilns, a solar kiln and a dehumidification kiln.

Standing tribute to our belief in building restoration, timber preservation, and adaptive reuse, is a repurposed barn dating from 1857. Measuring 42’ x 48’, the barn was originally built in Astoria, Illinois. After a tornado removed the roof the owners planned to burn the remaining frame. Trillium Dell dismantled the frame and brought it home to our site. It was repaired and then re-erected during a 2004 community raising event. The original rafters lost in the tornado, were replaced with 26' Douglas fir rafters. Consisting mainly of hewn white oak, now this barn also contains a mixture of locally sourced walnut, hackberry, red oak, and ash replacement pieces. Salvaging much of the original stone foundation, the barn was raised on a newly layed foundation where it serves as the company brewery, St. Bridget’s Pub, event center, and home to the various livestock and small farming operations carried out by Trillium Dell Farm. Besides timber framing Trillium Dell is dedicated the idea of producing locally grown food.

The Trillium Dell House includes a repurposed frame as well. The main section of the Collins Family Home is a 2 story 24 x 40 hewn timber frame from the 1840’s. In 1999, Rick loaded it on a semi and brought it to the property from Maquon. Seven years later, we added a new two story 26 x 36 addition which includes 18 local species of hardwoods, live timber elements, round and scribed logs, a beautiful multifaceted turret, and clay plasters. All of the frame components, flooring, built in furniture, and roof sheathing were locally harvested, and milled here at Trillium Dell.

What is a trillium, anyway?

A forest flower that blooms every spring, trillium is a genus of about 40-50 species of perennial flowering plants native to North America. Our local bloom is of the dark red variety. Sometimes called "Wake Robin" because they appear about the same time as Robins return from their winter migration, trillium have three petals, sepals and green leaves.

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