Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall update!

Well this should be short, but an update is long overdue. Blog posts have slowed this fall, but just because actual work at the shed has been rolling. It has been forever since I have posted, so I figured that I would let you all know we are still here! The boys are preparing for the first hunting season with the shed as a hunting cabin and they could not be happier. A few casual hunts have occured at Flintshire since bow season is upon us, but the boys are hosting the shed's grand opening with an intimate hunt mid-November. I am sure we will post plenty of blog posts before then to catch you up to speed. Since Andy's doors were installed in the last post, a lot of progress has been made. I'll leave the details for a future post, but just to intice you to keep a eye on the blog I will let you know some outside improvements have been made as well as some interior decorating. (note the old Ducks Unlimited goose print in picture) A lot of wives have generously donated their husbands outdoorsy artwork for the shed, which has made the cabin very nice. I personally was pumped to clear out the random deer pictures from the basement.  The most recent decisions have surrounded the bunks, which should be ready to go this week in anticipation of the men's slumber party in November. The blacksmith shed has also been the site for a lovely family photo shoot since obviously it is Andy's favorite place. Thanks to our friend Barbara for the above picture and putting up with our shenanigans during the shoot. Happy hunting and we will update everyone soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Zen 9

"The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs."

-Hunter S. Thompson

Door Hardware for the Barn Doors

A lot of thought went into the door hardware for the barn doors.  Most of the surrounding barns have a hodge-podge medely of handles, latches, and locks - more of a vernacular approach than that of a conhesive hardware schedule.  After much thought, it seemed that making wooden door handles would prove to be a simple and inexpensive solution.  I also did some internet research on different types of wooden door latches to accompany the yet to be built wooden handles.  The "tippecanoe" door latch caught my eye and I thought that it would work well in our application with a few small modifications.  I did purchase a cheap cane bolt for the one door that would remain "fixed" during everyday use.  This door also contains the strike for the door latch that is mounted on the other (the operable) door.  A person can operate the latch from both inside the run-in area or from the outside   What follows are pictures of the door hardware manufacturing process and install:

Block of heart pine with design laid out.

Rough cuts.

Beveled edges.

Finer shaping.

Parts and pieces in the sanding phase.

A coat of Sikens.

Handles and latch installed!

Side view of operable door.

Inside picture of the door latch.  The plan is to install an astegral to cover the gap between doors once they finish drying out.

Doors at a distance.

Installing the Barn Doors

I'm pleased to say that we recently got the barn doors hung for the run-in area at the Blacksmith Shed.  This was a big step in the overall scope of the project for several reasons.  We now have all the doors installed on the building and these doors are also a fairly prominent feature of the building's main facade.  The doors are still pretty green (built from rough sawn yellow pine) and as such were difficult for just one person to horse around.  Fortunately, Davey, Byrd, Adam, and Catherine were all available to lend a hand for the install.  What follows are some pictures of us hanging the doors.  Still more finish work to come on the doors but I'm excited that they are up!

Door holding duty.

We had salvaged some hinges and restored them... unfortunately they don't exactly pair with the existing pintles left on the shed.  We could have got new pintles, new hinges, or got somebody to mill brass bushings to make up for the slop in the hinge/pintle discrepancy - instead we decided to live with crooked hinges for the time being.  Doors still function fine for what its worth.

Lots of pondering.

The dogs were very helpful throughout this whole process.

Doors hung.

Inside view from the run-in area.

Temporary door latch - piece of bluestone.

Looking good!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Barn Doors!

I apologize for not getting these up sooner but the Barn Doors have indeed been built and installed!  I was able track down some rough sawn yellow pine from a local sawmill ( and built the doors one Saturday with some help from brother David.  We decided to go with yellow pine as our like/kind door building material because the existing siding on the Blacksmith Shed is yellow pine and so, being that we had no evidence to persuade us otherwise, we went with that as acceptable logic. 

I would highly recommend to anyone that is interested in rough sawn material or any other cool rough millwork projects to look up the guys over at Ferguson - Kyle runs a nice operation over there. 

I am going to post the barn door project in several parts because there are so many pictures.  This first post deals with the construction of the actual doors.

In the beginning, there was a drawing...  We didn't have any archival evidence of what the original doors looked like so I looked to other barns on the farm for design ideas.  Most barn doors just have the classic z-bracing.  We really wanted to let as much light into the run-in area as possible so I incorporated some salvaged windows into the design and this is what we came up with.

Here, the rough sawn material is at the shop ready for millwork and assembly.  Again, big thanks to the guys at Ferguson Custom Sawmill.

Here, I have ship-lapped all the boards that will become the verticals on the doors.  This will help conceal gaps as the boards dry and shrink.

Door boards all cut to length.

Had a tough time on this decision.  I really wanted to use clench nails but ended up using these exterior lags.  The kicker was that these were readily accessible and I thought that they might be faster than my other options (I was trying to get the doors built in one Saturday).  I'll have no worries about guests confusing the period of construction on the doors anyhow.  I painted them black for a more finished appearance.

Cardboard template for my screw pattern in the door battens.

Doors built without holes cut for window inserts.

Loading the doors up in my truck to take the Blacksmith Shed.  The window is not yet installed but rather just set there for time being.

Assembled doors on location!

Chimney Cap Install

We recently installed a stainless steel chimney cap on the chimney at the Blacksmith Shed.  We would have preferred to have a custom copper conestoga-style cap made but it was cost prohibitive.  We painted this one back prior to installation.  The install provided nice views given all the greenery present this time of year; much different that when we started the project 5 or so months ago.

Top of the cap.

View looking up.

Should do the trick for keeping critters and out and controling sparks.

Awesome view...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Zen 8

"When we approach life with an open and dedicated mind and heart, what do we experience?

We learn that we are striving for the same things - love, honesty, and justice. 
We find these are actions, not wishes or longings.  Freedom and joy are not care-free.
Escape from the burdens of life isn't freedom.  Freedom is full of care for everything. 
That means we must be a part of what all people want for themselves and for humanity.

The doors of the heart will then be thrown open to wind from every direction."

-A note from artist Jon J Muth of the picture book adaptation, Blowin' in the Wind