Greasy hands, always.
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‘Unmodeling’ Old Buildings

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horse_garage_interior_IMG_9093

After two years of enduring our search for an old building in Covington, our real estate agent showed us something a bit different. It was a large and beautiful unit in an old commercial building. There was a storefront on the bottom. Living space up above. But here’s what was different than every other place we’d seen:

The entire building had been gutted and redone with new everything – mechanicals, plaster, flooring, windows. It even had off-street parking. All we had to do was pick the paint colors. The price was a bit higher than we wanted to pay. But to that the agent said:

“By the time you fix up a place in your price range, you’ll have spent way more than this place costs.”

She was absolutely right. I knew it the moment she said it. But still we said, no thanks.

For me, fixing up an old building is about uncovering the original intent of the builder, removing as much of the modern “improvements” as possible and gently restoring the place back to its original appearance.

During the restoration of the storefront area at 837 Willard Street, we’ve removed thousands of feet of wiring, lots of plumbing and significant amounts of silly ductwork. From the building’s floor, I think we’ve pulled up almost 3” of old floor. The plaster walls had been layer caked in plywood, wainscotting, then stud walls, drywall and then ridiculous moulding.

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Justin is the muscle in our demolition efforts. He removed this section of wall with his bare hands.

On Saturday we turned our attention to the garage out back, which will become my machine room. It’s a circa 1905 cinderblock structure that was listed on the city’s fire insurance maps as a stable. So we call it the “horse garage.”

Most of the advice from my friends and neighbors has been along the lines of, “Tear it down and build what you want. It will look better and be cheaper.”

They’re probably right. But that thought won’t enter my head. Once you tear down an old building, it’s gone forever. You can’t bring it back. If a structure can be saved, I think it should be saved.

I may someday regret this attitude. And that day may come this week.

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Megan hauls out an early layer crap from the horse garage. She is wicked with a recip saw.

Megan Fitzpatrick, Justin Leib and Brendan Gaffney all pitched Saturday in for a full day of demolition, which filled a 20-yard roll-away dumpster. (I’ll probably have to fill it twice more as I remove the modern gabled roof this week.)

As in the main structure, the stable was layers and layers of crap on the walls and ceilings. The most interesting find from the day was evidence that the stable had been used as a small apartment or house, probably in the 1960s. One of the stable doors had been altered to have a window surrounded by plaster. The other stable door had been converted into an entryway door. And a good deal of abandoned plumbing pointed out where a bathroom and kitchen had been.

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In addition to gutting the horse garage, we also removed some modern drywall in the main structure. Here Brendan uses some of his training from the College of the Redwoods (now the Krenov School) to vacuum away what we hope is some blow-in insulation.

Despite all the dust, bugs and debris, we did have one good omen on Saturday: We didn’t find any glitter.

And now to the roof.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com


Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized









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brico
4 hours ago
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Reduce reuse recycle
Brooklyn, NY
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If it’s a QFBR, they should send it to @periodcraftsmen.

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If it’s a QFBR, they should send it to @periodcraftsmen.

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brico
4 hours ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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Dutchess County, New YorkCypress-clad cabin built by Bauhaus...

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Dutchess County, New York

Cypress-clad cabin built by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer in 1949 for his friend, artist Sidney Wolfson. Constructed to incorporate Wolfson’s Spartan Mansion trailer as the kitchen wing. 

Submitted by Matt Mitchell

More photos: olesondresen.com

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brico
4 hours ago
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Sick
Brooklyn, NY
fxer
6 days ago
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Bend, Oregon
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Sharing Top Pot Donuts With Nazis

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White nationalists generally don’t want to look like characters out of American History X anymore. Fashion choices at the convention ranged from Ruby Ridge to Mad Men, but most of the people there looked like you might run into them on Capitol Hill or in the U-District. That said, there is a type. According to my observations, the standard Seattle Nazi is a white male under 30 who either works in the tech industry or is going to school to work in the tech industry. “You’re also a coder? Do you mind if I send you something I’ve been working on?” I heard that more than once.

It is nice to read an account of the secret lives of white nationalists that isn’t totally fucking credulous.

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brico
8 days ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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caliphorniaqueen: nameiscorey: chrisdigay: micdotcom: Watch:...

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caliphorniaqueen:

nameiscorey:

chrisdigay:

micdotcom:

Watch: President Jimmy Carter tells Oprah America is no longer a democracy, it’s an oligarchy — and he’s not wrong.

Oprah always picks the best stories to share

PREACH!

Remember when Pres. Carter was pressured into giving up his peanut farm by republicans because it was looked at as a conflict of interest with him being the president and all but still having his own business. They even investigated him for half a year to see if there were any questionable financials within his peanut growing operation. compare that to what we’re currently dealing with…crazy.

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skittone
18 days ago
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Poor peanut farm. :(
brico
16 days ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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How to Cut Wide Tenons

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Wide-Tenons-1

FIG. 1. WIDE TENONS WHICH ARE AWKWARD TO SAW It would be difficult to keep the saw to the line over so wide a rail. The planing method outlined here is generally followed in the trade.


This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume III” published by Lost Art Press. 

A reader has been making a piece of work which has involved the use of a tenoned rail some 12 ins. wide, and tells us that he has had difficulty in sawing the tenons. Whilst it is possible to saw the tenons, we should not advise it. It would take too long, and it would be difficult to keep the saw true across so wide a tenon. We give here the simplest method.

We show a wide rail in Fig. 1, the cutting of the double tenons of which is a typical example of the process to be followed. A similar case of even wider tenons is that of, say, a table top with clamped ends, the last named being mortised for tenons cut at the ends of the top.

Mark out the joint in the usual way, squaring in the shoulders and marking the tenons with the mortise gauge. The chisel is used for marking the shoulders, and a shallow sloping groove is cut on the waste side as at X, Fig. 2. This forms a convenient channel in which the saw can run when cutting the shoulders, the next operation. The tenon saw can be used for this. Saw down to a fraction short of the gauge line, and be careful to keep the saw square.

Wide-Tenons-2

FIG. 2. CHOPPING WASTE AFTER SAWING SHOULDERS. This can be done only when the grain is straight.

Assuming that the grain is reasonably straight, chop away the cheeks with a chisel as at B, Fig. 2. Do not attempt to remove all the waste in a single cut, but start the chisel about halfway down, and finally take it to within about 1/8 in. of the line. Of course, the grain must be watched. If it tends to run downwards the chisel cannot be used so close to the line. If it runs upwards, it can be taken almost on to it. A fairly wide chisel is desirable for this work.

Wide-Tenons-3

FIG. 3. PRELIMINARY USE OF THE REBATE PLANE. The shoulder acts as a fence for the plane.

Now take the rebate plane and work across the grain, the side of the plane pressed against the shoulder as in Fig. 3. If you have the metal type of rebate plane you can set the depth gauge so that the plane ceases to cut when the tenon is reduced nearly to the gauge line. Be sure that the cutter does not project on the shoulder side as this will damage the latter. At the near side the grain is sure to splinter a bit, but this does not matter. It cannot splinter on the shoulder side as it has already been cut with the saw.

Wide-Tenons-4

FIG. 4. FINAL REDUCTION WITH JACK PLANE. Work the plane inwards from each end.

To finish off use the jack or any other bench plane as in Fig. 4. Carried out in this way the reduction of the wood is quite rapid, certainly quicker than when the saw is used throughout, and it enables the tenon to be trimmed to within fine limits. The remainder of the work, that of cutting the separate tenons and the haunches, is as in normal tenoning.

Meghan Bates


Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker









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brico
17 days ago
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This is smart. I've tried to get all the way there with the chisel and it's hard to be precise across the whole face of the tenon.
Brooklyn, NY
brico
17 days ago
Also, peep that wooden jack plane. I have a wooden rabbet plane exactly like the one shown and love it.
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