Hemlock is a great, economical wood for country homes and barns. It is pale in color and naturally richens over time. It looks great rough sawn. Hemlock is very strong, has a long grain and is a renewable resource. It is resistant to rotting and it is also much less expensive than douglas fir for timber frame homes. However, it does have one character flaw: certain stands of hemlock can have a defect called shake. Shake is a delamination between the timber's growth rings. We order our hemlock shake-free; however, shake will often show up after a timber frame has been up for a year or so. Shake in our frames is generally not a structural problem, but it can make a post & beam frame look rustic.
Timber is a natural product so natural variations in grain, color, checking, are to be expected. Knots of various sizes are also to be expected, even though some of the samples show below appear to be clear.