Even though I have not posted anything on my blog it does not mean that I have not been busy. There have been many changes in my life since the last time I posted to this blog.
My wife and I used to own a Bed & Breakfast. It was known as the Crystal Palace Victorian B&B and was located in Bristol, Vermont. Over the years we had stayed at many B&Bs and it had always been a dream to own one. In 2003 circumstances in our life allowed us to make that move and after an internet search and a very quick closing we became the owners of the B&B. We ran it with many positive comments for 10 years but then due to a developing health condition we needed to start thinking in 2013 about letting it go.
After marketing it for about 18 months with 2 potential buyers, the perfect couple, local business owners, presented a serious offer and had the financial backing necessary to complete the purchase.
The B&B was 4500 square feet above grade with a full basement and that was my workshop. Granted it was broken up due to walls, support beams, furnace and other objects related to owning a huge Victorian but still it was a wonder space. It was heated in the winter and could be comfortable in the summer since it was below grade and somewhat cooler due to the surrounding ground.
As a result of the sale we moved in to a 720 square foot temporary residence. Temporary because from the beginning we knew that we would be moving somewhere else but needed the time to find it. My 2nd oldest son had built a 12×24 shed on the property that was supposed to be used to house lawn mowers, etc but in order to be able to continue to wood work I turned it in to a shop, sort of. I realize a lot of people work out of a small foot print but for anybody who has done that is is a challenge. It was not heated so building in the winter was out of the question.
To make matters more interesting our daughter decided to marry the young man that I wrote about in my last post from 2013. Needless to say I could not have been more thrilled as he is a wonderful person and we get along phenomenally. They set their wedding date for Sept 27th 2014 and it was planned to require a lot of participation from family members in terms of setting up and tearing down all of the structures. My son in law works with a local nursery owner, Rockydale, and he offered for them to have their wedding on his wonderfully landscaped property. It was a first time ever for that location. The weather was gorgeous and everything went off without a hitch. My sister, Cherie and her husband Baker played a huge role in the success of the event.
We started on Thursday Sept 25th setting up, worked through until only hours before the ceremony and then came back on Sunday to start tearing down. The sale of the B&B at that point had progressed to the point where we could set closing date. The requested closing date was before our daughter’s wedding but we put it off until Sept. 29th. Needless to say we had a week of very hectic activity.
Fast forward, we spent a bunch of time looking for the ideal house for us to settle down in for the rest of our life. Some of the aspects that we took in to account for the ideal house was: a garage, a quilt room, a woodworking shop, a first floor bedroom and at least 1 extra bedroom. For the town that we lived in, Bristol, it is an older bedroom community and all of the houses that we found on sale did not meet many of those requirements and therefore did not end up on the short list. What seemed interesting was that of all of the houses on the short list 4 of them were log cabins. We did not think that log cabins was a construction style that we wanted to be in but at the end of the day we found a wonderful log cabin on 10.5 acres of land that met all of our requirements.
We closed on May 8th, painted and moved in on May 9th and 10th. A bonus that was at the new house that we also did not think we wanted was a pool. We have a 5 year old grandson and for those of you reading this who have children at that age will understand that a pool is like a magnet to steel, they are hard to separate.
The space that is to become my shop needed some work. I have purchased and installed cabinets. The walls already were plywood and insulated along with the floor. It only had one window and was on the north side of the structure so was dark. Again my 2nd oldest installed 4 new windows and a door. He also hung 2 inch blue board from the rafters and I am going to have insulation blown in the space between the metal roof and the blue board. The last things I need to do are install lights and outlets and a heater for the winter months. I am leaning towards a Rinnai propane heater.
I purchase a garage in a box from ShelterLogic. It is 12x20x8. I am going to use that to store the rough cut lumber I own. I have 600 bf of Pennsylvania cherry, 1000 bf of butternut, 1500 bf of hictory and 900 bf of Vermont cherry along with black cherry that was cut down and sawn from the previous property and other odds and ends.
As far as projects I have been busy with a honey do list for the new house. I have made several small library like tables. My latest project is what I consider to be a giant library like table. It is 78 inches long, 28 inches long and 15 inches deep / wide. Some of what makes it special for me is that I had a single board, sinker cypress, that I used for the top. Since the board is wider then my planer, a Dewalt DW735 I needed to surface the board using a hand plane. For many people that probably seems anything but unusual but this was a first for me. I have several Lee Valley planes, a bevel up jack plane that I used to flatten the board. What is interesting about the board is that it was through cut, flitch cut. As a result in the center of this 12 foot board is a long oval cathedral. I was able to center that in the table top.
I have had people who have seen the table so far call it the Frankenstein table. The legs are 8/4 white maple. The bottom shelf is going to be made our of some figured pine. Before this I am not sure as I would have used those 2 terms together and I do not know where I got these boards but they certainly are interesting. The skirts / aprons (whatever you want to call them) are cherry and the top is Sinker Cypress.
If you have never worked with Sinker Cypress it is an interesting material and story. The story can be found at this link: http://www.virginheartsinkercypress.com/. Cap’n Alex sent me a number of boards that I have been using for about 4 years now. It is like butternut in terms of hardness. If you look at the pictures on the website there appears to be some really pretty wood. I did not get any of that. What I got tends to be a little duller in terms of color and character.
I am closing with the fact that I am going to attach a few pictures of our new house.
This is one of my end grain cutting boards TAnother end grain cutting board Log cabin from the garage Garage from the log cabin. The work shop is on the far right.