Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Catching up with 2010

Before a whole year goes by, I thought I'd take another stab at keeping up with this blog of thoughts and news about my building life. Since the last update, I've continued working with the Barnraisers and learning more about traditional timberframing joinery as well as how to integrate those ideas into more modern construction techniques. The big news for me is that I will become a student again in a few weeks; I'll be working towards a bachelor degree in Architectural Engineering Technology at the University of Hartford (CT). I'm excited for number of reasons, not least of which is a break from lugging beams around for a while. I still plan on keeping my chisels sharp- even though I will have a full load of classes each semester- I'm planning on some smaller projects as well as keeping up with the Barnraisers.

One interesting extracurricular project I made this early summer was a bed for some friends of ours. My friend Izzy had a vision for a king size bed frame that involved old timbers as well as plumbing fittings and painted pickets from old staircases. The result was pretty cool:

We went to this great place in NE CT called Rudy's. Rudy has a couple of warehouses full of old house parts. Staircases, complete frames, thousands of doors organized by age (all the way back to the 1700s), hinges, old tools- so basically a paradise for old home junkies. The frame was made of some old red oak joists from the frame I used for the Outpost, a couple of new old connectors that still showed the scribe marks and modern pipe fittings which I adapted to accept the old staircase spindles.

One of the main frames the Barnraisers cut this summer was part of a hybrid house in Higganum CT (where Superman, i.e. Christopher Reeves grew up incidentally). We built a great room that frames the central portion of the house and rose to three stories in the back where the lot sloped down to a lake.

Bents pegged and stacked and ready to raise-

That's enough to walk on right?

The three stories in the back-

Finished frame from the street-

Craning in the connectors-

Lakeside view-

Bobby Kirkus, always razor sharp-

Our intrepid and genial crane operator, Clovis. This man can adjust a 1200 lb. bent in the air by a millimeter: a maestro of his craft.