Skip to main content

Reconstruction of a Historic Mule Barn

I caution against communication because once language exists only to convey information, it is dying.

Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town, 1979



Harney/Lastoka Barn, Milking Parlor


I am always amazed at how my mind will subconsciously adjust my hand, my wrist, my elbow, my shoulder and the angle of attack and velocity of the hammer that I am swinging so I can redirect a nail that bends and drive it home. My eye sees the problem, my mind corrects my body so success can be achieved. It is such a little thing, and yet, so wonderfully elegant that our minds can direct the here and now.


Harney/Lastoka Mule Barn, Milking Parlor and Milk House


The part of the building to the left is what is left of a mule barn that was associated with the Rex #1 coal mine that operated at this site from 1898 to 1917. We built new rafters for the barn and installed engineered trusses for the milking parlor and this week will put up the trusses on the milk house.


The mule barn would be behind the building to the right in this photo. Today there is a chicken coop that houses over 100 chickens right next to where the shaft house was!

I haven't found out when the Harneys bought the place, the Lastokas were the last to own the site and probably built the milking parlor and the milk house. Will and I are restoring the building to its previous run down character, the roof is to protect the building until Boulder County makes a decision on a future use for the site.



The casualty of working at carpentry-a broken thumbnail and a nasty cut. The music must go on!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Make a Traditional Froe Mallet

What holds the Holy of the Holies, what did Brahma become? Wood. Why will aspen always tremble? For the nails driven into the cross. What makes the color of wood? The soil it tastes. Cradle, fiddle, coffin, bed: wood is a column of earth made ambitious by light, and made of beauty by the rain.

Kim R. Stafford, Having Everything Right, 1986.

Rive, verb, to split
Shake, noun, a split in a piece wood. (Heart shake, ring shake)
Shake, verb, (Middle English), to split.

I know I should have been in the studio working on my back log of guitars, but the day was so nice and warm with a tall blue canopy, I couldn't stay inside. I decided that I needed to make a proper froe mallet. This style of mallet is traditional to northeastern California, primarily Tehama (where I'm from), Butte, Shasta and Plumas counties where making shingles by hand from sugar pines was an industry. I don't know if it was used in any other region along the Pacific Rim, other parts of the United States or even o…

Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar, Revised

Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979


So, you want to build a guitar.

Since the original post, Basic Hand Tool Kit for Guitar Making, click here to see it, is the most popular post on this blog, I thought I would revisit it and adjust it to what I am using now to make a classical guitar.

The first thing I recommend doing is to buy or borrow copies of the following books:

Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
Making Master Guitars, by Roy Courtnall
The Guitar Maker's Workshop, by Rik Middleton

These are required reading before you begin making a guitar.

Also required reading are these books by Roy Underhill:

The Woodwright's Shop
The Woodwright's Companion
The Woodwright's Workbench
The Woodwright's Apprentice


Why these books by Mr. Underhill? You will learn valuable wood working techniques if you make any of his projects. The dovetail joints used to join a drawer together are far mor…

The Guitar Maker's Backsaw for Cutting Fret Slots

The overall correct process of placing frets in a guitar fingerboard ("fretting"), is far less straight forward than most people believe. A perfect job, for perfect playability, requires some careful preparation.

Anthony Lintner, guitar maker



Twenty five years ago, I bought my first fretting saw from Luthiers Mercantile. It was made in Germany and had a straight handle on it, basically it was a gent's saw.

First thing I did to the saw was to take off the straight handle and make a nice handle for it from some wonderful Claro walnut that came from a Cottonwood Creek bottom wild grown walnut. I used it to cut fret slots in dulcimer and classical guitar fret boards. The saw served me well for several years until I made the mistake of cutting some brass with it.

Well, I never did get around to sharpening the thing.

The blade is .015 of an inch thick with the teeth set at .022-.023 of an inch. I think it has 22 teeth per inch. It is a great saw and I was very sad to see that…