• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Hammer-beam (Gothic Arch) A member of one description of roof truss, called hammer-beam truss, which is so framed as not to have a tiebeam at the top of the wall. Each principal has two hammer-beams, which occupy the situation, and to some extent serve the purpose, of a tiebeam.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hammer-beam A short beam attached to the foot of a principal rafter in a roof, in place of a tie-beam. Hammer-beams are used in pairs, and project from the wall, extending less than half way across the apartment. The hammer-beam is generally supported by a rib resting upon a corbel below, and in its turn forms the support of another rib which constitutes, with that springing from the opposite hammer-beam, an arch. Although occupying the place of a tie in the roofing, it does not act as a tie; it is essentially a lever, as is shown in the figure. Here the inner end of the hammer-beam, A, receives the weight of the upper part of the roof, which is balanced by the pressure of the princinal at its outer end.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Hammer-beam a horizontal piece of timber in place of a tie-beam at or near the feet of a pair of rafters
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hamor; Ger. hammer, Ice. hamarr.


In literature:

The hammer consists of a roughly squared beam, 4 meters in length, and of 0.25 m. section.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 430, March 29, 1884" by Various
Hammer-beam truss 195 292.
"Carpentry for Boys" by J. S. Zerbe
The roof is an open timber structure of the hammer-beam type, typical of fourteenth-century work.
"Westminster" by Sir Walter Besant
They paused a moment to enable us to examine the bark, the hammer, and the beam which served them for a table.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
And other carpenters had just begun nailing boards on to the outside of the up-and-down beams, and there was a great noise of hammering.
"The Doers" by William John Hopkins
Then little lithe figures crawled out along the beams of the trestle, and there was a ringing of hammers.
"The Greater Power" by Harold Bindloss
The library, designed by Mr. Abrahams, is 96 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 63 feet high; it has a hammer-beam roof.
"Old and New London" by Walter Thornbury
But the old style of king-post, queen-post, or hammer-beam roof was prevalent.
"Chats on Old Furniture" by Arthur Hayden
The roof is beyond all magnificent, with "an innumerable company of Angels" along its vista of double hammer-beams.
"Highways and Byways in Cambridge and Ely" by Edward Conybeare

In news:

Volunteers have been invited to help raise the beams and hammer in the trunnels (oak pegs), using simple hand tools, the way they used to.