Making Durable Goods that get passed along and last a lifetime.
Julien can’t let go of this youth. He sailed this sweet knockabout as a teenager from the great South Bay Long Island to the Bahamas. Social distancing enabled Julien to get on it.
Julien has decided to build a cold molded version. It will be a trailered boat that will not be effected by the wet dry cycles. This is a diversion from the norm, being a female half mold in which the visible outer strakes will be laid in first. Julien will invert the stations for the port side.
When sandy blew thru the Hudson Valley in 2012 a few 100 year oaks parted way with the earth. Julien and I had to mill them up for timber in our new addition. We called in Johnny who worked them down the hillside with his bob cat. Then he transported them to an Amish neighbor who milled them for us. Next we mortised and tenoned the frame. In this movie you see the gable end wall going up. ( 30 feet long 18 ft high) We assembled the wall down on saw horses and then let the sill plate down to skids. We dragged the whole wall within two feet of position. Then we stood it up with a come a long from the existing bathroom ridge.
What we learned: The Amish do amazing mill work. Any person who uses the kitschy word sustainability must study the Amish.
We learned that old tree’s absorbed minerals from the earth and deposit it in there checks to prevent disease. We had gorgeous green cooper deposits in the wood.
We learned old Toyota pick up trucks make for good demolition.
We learned mortise and tenon joinery is a pleasure in green oak.
I am really getting into it now. My winter visit to Colonial Williamsburg has given me much inspiration. I knew it would. I have ordered some traditional hand tools from Lee Valley. A german Ax and froe for splitting small and large tree limbs. A drawknife, brace and bit with Auger, and soon a shave horse. I am not a detailed technical person. I don’t measure real well and I shoot from the gut. Not so easy when your making dovetail joints and furniture that is supposed to be square. Now that I have discovered simple hand tools and rough green wood, I am back. This kind of woodwork fits my soul. When I froe a piece of wood it really goes where its gonna go. I feel the wood is dictating the piece. I am just going with the grain, basically. Not the same with all the machine tools I have been using. There is a delight in the hand hewn doweled stools, benches and tables I have been making. There are always marks of the tools I am using and all my little petty mistakes. It’s so much easier letting them show.
This is the kind of stuff I have been making. Simple Durable and what I call Inheritable. As it gets old it gets better!
An old oak table that has been kicked around & soaked by Hurricane Sandy found it’s way to our shop. Here Julien is steam bending a piece if 1/8 ” oak wood. He uses the Earlex steam machine ( $75 bucks) a plastic plumbing pipe, a clamp and some rags.
My new Durablegoodsny.com website will be up soon. This this blog I am selling inheritable craftsmanship and objects. My inspiration for this collection comes from century’s before when people made much of their furniture out of necessity and thrift. Even though it is basic joinery – it will hopefully last a lifetime and will be inheritable. My inspiration also comes from the French and Italian magazines that I read. In these home magazines you find imperfect homes with many hand crafted pieces of furniture. lots of tables and stools with wonky legs and plenty of patina. My hope is to sell some of this stuff so that I can keep learning more and more basic joinery .
I have been jazzing everything up in my life with manila line for years. Partly because I own a boat and always have it around and partly because its cheap and make’s a great make do material. If and when I get around to finding the PROPER ( boring) replacement I do not feel bad, nor have I lost much money or time. When In my twenty’s, on my first boat, I would make marvelous items out of old line and manila. I used Hervey Garrett Smith’s book The Marlinspike Sailor. Much better then Ashleys book of knots.(way to complicated for my tropic drenched brain)
Some ways of removing lead paint actually increase the risk of exposure. Lead paint that is chipping or peeling needs to be removed or covered. Painted surfaces that rub on one another, such as windows and doors require attention to stop the friction that can cause dust. If your house is old you may most definitely have lead paint.
We do both in-house and off-site paint stripping. In the case of lead paint removal, it is advisable to remove the wood and strip the lead paint off-site to minimize lead dust in your home. If we strip on site, (usually moldings and items that cannot be removed), we will work in one area at a time. All furniture must be removed in that room. We enclose the space with plastic and tape the flaps shut. Forced air should be turned off in the area and vents covered. We first remove the lead paint with liquid paint remover, wet sanding and or heat stripping. We then use sanding techniques after all the lead paint has been removed. Our sanding machines hook up to a fine dust collection vacuum. We also do a daily clean up that consists of vacuuming all surfaces and we dispose of the lead paint according to state regulations.
It is wise to inform any renters or people living in the building that work is being done that may contain lead. Proper washing of hands is advisable after passing through the area and children should be kept free of the work space. A thorough cleaning of the area is advised after all remodeling and finish has been completed. In the case of doors, windows, and foyers, the amount of on site stripping is usually minimal. For large areas of lead paint, it is wise to look into encapsulating the surface with a special paint and or seeking Abatement Services that are preformed by New York state certified & licensed professionals.