Skip to main content

My Latest Project: Restoring an 1898 Mining Cabin

Gold is where you find it, silver comes in ledges.

An old Western mining saying.


My latest project is to preserve and restore the cabin on the Rocky Mountain Mammoth mine.



The original cabin, built in 1898 is to the right of the photo, the porch is attached to it. The "L" in the background was added on in the early 1930's.

The Rocky Mountain Mammoth Mine was worked in the late 1890's during a mining boom in Colorado, it was never a large producer and the ore that came out was of a low grade. Around 1905 the mining boom petered out and the mine was silent until the 1930's when gold prices were standardized in the Great Depression. The mine was worked for a couple of years during the Depression and then no more work was done. The cabin became a summer residence for the owners of the mine. The shaft house is still standing, it will get some preservation work done on it next year.



The building is very simply constructed: sill plate was placed on dry laid stone foundation. 2x4's were used as floor joists and plank floor was put over that. The walls are simply a board on board construction, there are only eight studs in the entire building. The rafters are mostly 2x6's covered with skip sheathing and tin roofing. At some later point in it's life, the owners decided to put concrete skirting around the base of the base with the idea that the building needed a real fake foundation. While this was well intentioned, the keep moisture against the bottom of the exterior boards and sill plates, on one corner of the building all of the sill plate has rotted away.



The view from the job site.



In order to assess the damage, I had to pull off the first layer of boards, this photo shows one way to mark boards so you know how to put them back in the proper place!




I and my colleague are going to have to lift the wall of the building with screw jacks and then dug out the original foundation so we can drop and remove the original sill plates and install new ones. This is going to be a fun job.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Off the Bench and For Sale: Miguel Rodriguez Style Guitar

This guitar has a Western Red Cedar top, Claro walnut back and sides, Royal ebony fretboard, Indian rosewood bridge and a 650mm string length.

This guitar has a beautiful voice and is loud! I was amazed at how loud it is as soon as I got the strings on and tuned to concert pitch. It is easy to play and I am blown away by the musical nuances that can be created with this guitar.

Please click on Guitars Currently Available or Studio Model to read more about this wonderful guitar!



1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Classical Guitar, Redwood/Indian Rosewood, For Sale

The partnership of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado was one of the most successful in guitar making history.

Roy Courtnall, Making Master Guitars, 1993

Please note that this guitar is currently for sale at Savage Classical Guitar. Please click here to see this guitar!

I made this guitar several years ago, but because of custom orders, I had to set it aside. I put strings on it two weeks ago and it is a most magnificent sounding guitar! It has good, clear separation string to string, wonderful sustain with evenness and balance throughout with a very lyrical voice. I originally made this guitar for myself, but someone with a good strong technique and a good understanding of musical interpretation should own this guitar and play it on a regular basis.



This guitar is a fairly close copy of a guitar made by Hernandez y Aguado in 1961. The body length is 480mm, most of the HyA guitars had a body length of 490mm; string length is 650mm, many were 655mm and longer; other than that I trie…

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…