I figured that the new shop should have a fine door that speaks to what goes on inside. Sometime around 1992, I acquired some walnut from an old woodworker in Pleasant Grove, UT. The walnut had grown in his yard, and he’d had it sawn into 12-quarter planks. Well it’s 2008, and that walnut was still waiting for a project so it has found its new purpose. It’s been a rewarding project. I haven’t applied woodworking skills at this level of fussiness for quite some time.
I like to make a connection to the wood I am working. That connection is always special when the wood has both a story from the inside and from the outside. Wood, of course, is a contankerous medium. It always has a story to tell from the inside, and sometimes it expresses itself at the worst possible moment … almost always when you ask it to do something it didn’t want to do! But on the other hand the wood may also have a story from the outside. And that’s the case here. I wish I could remember Stan’s last name, but after 16 years, it does escape me. He was a member of my barbershop chorus, and about 80 at the time. He’d reached the point that he realized his stash of walnut was probably not going to be used by him. He was pleased to pass it on to me (and accept whatever cash was involved at the time). But more than the cash, he was happy to see that precious walnut go to a fellow who would appreciate it. Some of it went into bench top for an organ bench at the ML Bigelow organ shop where I was working as a craftsman at the time. Stan — the musician — was excited to hear about that. I have a feeling he’d also be mighty happy to see his walnut in this woodshop door.
Here’s the door after the first coat of finish:
To complete the exterior, we just need the overhead and entry door. I’m working on the entry door today, and the overhead door will be installed Wednesday. I’m really pleased with the way the building integrates with the site. When we’re done it will definitely look “original”.
The permit was issued, and last week, the site was excavated and footings where poured. The coordination between excavator, footings contractor, and foundation contractor has been great. We have made quick progress at the start! Currently the foundation forms and steel are set. We anticipate pouring the foundation walls tomorrow.
I had once dreamed of building a timber-framed woodshop, but time and locale prevent it. Design for a residential class framed shop are complete, and plans have been submitted for building permit approval. Yes, this will be my largest building project to date! Features:
- 30X28 work space
- 14X28 storage space
- Lots of south window light
- Exterior complements existing house
- Radiant floor heat
- dust collection system
- 11′ ceiling height
- Usable attic space above
In September, I posted here observations about a barn in Menlo, and the thoughts it spurred in me. Mostly it reminded me that my woodworking and construction projects of a lifetime have been on a small scale and it got me to thinking that I need to jump out and do some larger projects. As the thought progressed, somehow I moved into thinking about timber frame construction as a mode for the the project. Timber frame construction is traditional post and beam construction in which all joints are crafted of wood and joined with hardwood pegs. As the thought progressed, I realized that the project would follow this path:
- Buy a portable saw mill
- Buy some logs
- Make some lumber
- Build the frame
- Erect the building
The Wind River Timberframes Shop
Quite non-traditional and very exciting.
Yesterday I attended the Log and Timber Framing Expo in Sandy, UT. I came away with some valuable contacts and information. Represented at the show were two small firms from the region:
Chuck Brainerd and Dale Covington (Barn Owl) and Alan Bernholtz (Wind River) generously shared their thoughts and enthusiasms for the art of the timberframe. Chuck has built an impressive home for himself in Utah from a barn he salvaged in the midwest. Alan has completed many masterful homes, and his new workshop is a beauty in itself. I can’t expect to build anything of that scale, but it is an inspiration.