Customer Testimonials

“We now have an extraordinary barn on our Maine property. We had envisioned this for many years. When finally it was time to begin we started to locate the best person for the project. By luck, while visiting a local farm store, we learned about Rusty. We met him and quickly realized he was the person we were looking for. Everything fell into place and the process began. Rusty developed building plans from our general ideas and we moved forward. A Barn raising party last summer, weekly progress reports via email and phone, seeing headway on our visits, and now seeing an awesome structure and space have been a fantastic experience. Rusty is patient, thorough, responsive and an exceptionally skilled craftsman. All of our questions and concerns were addressed and communication was clear and efficient. Our barn is a work of art and impresses even our most discriminating visitors. More importantly it impresses us each time we see it and step inside. The timberframe structure is solid aesthetically pleasing and far exceeded our expectations. We could not be more satisfied and plan to work with Rusty in the future.”

Claire and Dan, Hartford, ME Barn

“I first met Rusty while working on a volunteer project to rebuild a failing cabin for the New Hampshire Outing Club. I was extremely impressed with his skill and craftsmanship, laid back professionalism and ability to guide a group of first timers through cutting and hand erecting the cabin. So when it was time for my own project there was only one phone call I had to make.

The Goal of my project was to be the owner/builder of the home and to do as much of the work as possible. Working with Rusty made this dream possible. He traveled to my home to discuss many of the details like floor plans, wood species, and finishes. Rusty gave me many options to choose from, always making sure that this was going to be exactly what I wanted. When I didn’t know what would work best or look right he was very educational and informative as to what option would work best, even if it wasn’t the option that made his job easier. When all the plans were finalized we got to work. When the frame met the foundation and first floor that I had constructed from his drawings the two pieces came together without a hitch. After a day ad a half of frame raising with Rusty and his crew my dream had come true. I had my own beautiful timber frame that will last for generations to come.

I can’t thank Rusty and his very skilled crew enough for this experience. Rusty is very passionate about his work and makes sure he will produce nothing but the best. Because of the personal level that Rusty works on I can truly say I built my house with a small group of passionate friends. Thanks to all who made a beautiful home come together.”

Ethan, Madison, NH Residence

“I am excited to show my barn off. Folks stop by just to ‘look inside’, they are so impressed. Rusty folded my requests into his design and added beautiful artistic touches that make this timber frame stand out. He was attentive, committed and efficient, even when I made last minute changes. This barn is the storefront for my Community Supported Farm and Rusty really captured what I want my customers to feel when they come inside; a sense of strength, nature, and craft. Rusty’s love for timber framing shines through his work and I am pleased to welcome my members into this space.”

Keena, Little Ridge Farm CSA

We looked forward to our work sessions with Rusty. He always greeted us with a big sincere smile. Rusty possesses a warm easy-going personality which belies his earnest desire to please and hard-working ability to efficiently move the client forward in the creative process. He recognized we were total novices and exercised the patience of a saint, while guiding us efficiently through the complex nuances of the design process. During our meetings he exhibited his skill as both listener and communicator. A plus was his talent to extrapolate from our one dimensional drawings, to interpret our ideas with a distinctive flair that gave life to our vision. He also presented us with options that encouraged us to break out of the mold and move beyond more common vernacular. I’d say, we each placed our confidence in one another and as a consequence, I have a home that is unique, interesting, well proportioned and tasteful. First time visitors enter the central living space and gaze up. They appear to be filled with a sense of awe and the many compliments I’ve received are a testament to Rusty’s artistic flair. He helped us manifest our vision into a reality. My own enjoyment and wonder are an ongoing source of pleasure which far surpasses my initial expectations. Rusty is possessed with the gift and talent to coax the best out of the client’s concept and he pays careful attention to detail and quality. We couldn’t be more happy with the outcome.

Louisa, Brunswick, ME Timber Frame Residence

traditional timber frame barn

Rusty and crew did a fantastic job on our Hupper Island barn project. Rusty was easy to work with during the design process, exhibiting a high degree of patience through many iterations of the design and offering some really creative ideas for the structure, most notably the clerestory. He clearly communicated the time line and payment arrangements and delivered on everything he promised with the crew working non stop through tough and unusual conditions to meet the deadline. The logistics of our project were particularly difficult but the team was very flexible when scheduling barge trips to get equipment & materials on and off the island. They camped on the job site and worked long hours to complete the beautiful structure. The crew worked well together and had an obvious passion for the craft. They really took pride in the finished product as evidenced by the tight joinery, clean lines, and clean and locally sourced wood. There was zero on-site waste with the work site as clean as when they arrived. Almost everyone that has seen it now wants one! If only we can enclose it in glass to show off the beautiful joinery.

Manal & Mike, Hupper Island Timber Frame Barn

timber frame garden arbor in Denmark, ME

Dear Rusty,

We sincerely appreciate having ‘discovered your works’ and instantly desired to add one to our home.  We are most pleased with the result.

To say the least, it has beautifully filled a void in our property and drawn words of admiration from our visitors and neighbors.

The most rewarding part of our business experience was your concern and ‘above and beyond’ attention to detail in the construction and installation of the arbor.

Thank you for sharing with us, what we consider, not just a structure but an ‘object of art’!  We are sure that your works will continue to be appreciated as they are exposed throughout New England and beyond.

Thank you!


Charles & Margaret, Denmark, ME Garden Arbor

Rusty Partridge of Black Dog Timberworks demonstrates his ability to select beautiful, strong, live edge wood from local Maine forests and to apply timber framing techniques to create beautiful and strong furniture.  When assembling the mortise and tenon joints and pegging them together, you can feel the pegs pulling the draw bored holes together, further strengthening the joints.  The joinery is precisely crafted and the legs resist movement in all directions, even before pegging, resulting in really strong furniture built to last.  All the measurement are precise, all parts are level, the chamfers protect the edges, and everything was finished smooth to show off the grain.  His furniture shows character and respect for the forests from which it ‘grows’.

Residential Client, Hudson Valley, NY

We spoke with several different timber framers as we planned our new home two years ago. As we frustratingly await the sale of our present home in order to proceed, Rusty has maintained communication and interest. Meanwhile, we chose Rusty to provide the timber frame for a small cabin we recently built on our woodlot. He is experienced, knowledgeable, confident, and communicates in an easy going, forthright manner, putting our needs first. The frame was erected quickly and professionally, and the workmanship is of flawless quality. In fact, it is beautiful! We look forward to working with him again.


B & L Stickney; Andover, ME

Timber Frame Crew

We are so thrilled about the timber frame you built for our new home, and can’t wait for the rest of the house to be built so we can live among those beautiful posts and beams.  A friend who saw pictures of the timber frame before it was closed in dubbed it “The Cathedral by the Lake”- and we think that is very apt.  Although the structure overhead is awe-inspiring, there’s also a sense of peace and quiet that the massive timbers bring.

We love the skill and craftsmanship you put into the project, and perhaps even more so, your creativity and artistry.  It also means a lot to us that you showed so much enthusiasm for what others might see as a small project, but is everything to us.  It was important to us that you could work so well with both our designer and general contractor and we loved seeing you brainstorm together and bounce ideas off each other.  That really made the process fun for us!

Sara; Liberty, ME