Friday, June 12, 2009

The Workshop

     My shop is actually just a corner of my living room partitioned off by the pile of timbers. It is a very comfortable place to work, especially with the big doors open. There is enough room on the main floor of the firehouse to test fit all of the bents- in fact I will probably end up assembling most of the house, excluding the roof, right here. I could even do the siding and some of the interior work here, and then skid the whole thing out on a trailer when I find a spot to put it.
     While the timbers were drying this winter, I built myself a set of oak saw-horses. I use similar ones at the shop where I work and didn't think that it would be a big deal to make a set- two days work at most. The owner of the company gave me a good straight 5"x7" stick for the tops and a few of the most gnarly, twisted, sorry looking timbers I have ever seen for the legs and braces. This really didn't matter since none of these pieces needed to be any longer than about two feet. 
After a few hours with the planer they looked a whole lot better. The design is basically the same as the ones I use at work. I will post the drawings- feel free to copy them.
     About half way though cutting the saw-horses, I realized that this set needed nearly half the number of pieces contained in the entire cabin. To make it worse, the oak was incredibly hard to cut after curing for so many years. It is actually much more work to cut the joinery on small pieces like this than it is on a 16 footer because they don't have enough weight to hold themselves down. Everything needs to be clamped. So much for a quick job. I finally finished them after a couple of months of sporadic work. The result was worth it though. It is really nice to have a sturdy surface to work on.

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