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Showing posts from August, 2013

Sensitivity in Historic Preservation

There was a time in our past when one could walk down any street and be surrounded by harmonious buildings.

Jonathan Hale, The Old Way of Seeing, 1994

Rotted window sill on theNederland Mining Museum, Nederland, Colorado

Sensitive is an adjective that get's used a lot in the world of historic preservation. When I first started out doing historic preservation carpentry I would ask those carpenters who used the adjective what its definition was to them. I heard "just take care of the building", "don't make it look new, keep it crooked", and "use the proper techniques". Pretty vague definitions. Then I saw these "experts" work on old buildings, most were as "sensitive" as a bull is in a china shop. I didn't see carpenters at work on these jobs, I saw hacks from a construction site using 16d coated sinkers instead of beautifully tapered square nails; the use of pneumatic trim guns on historic trim; and many times structural featu…

My Cool New Fancy Hammered Brass Glue Pot!

Glue is, briefly, the gelatinous extract of bones, hides, and horns of animals and fish.

George Ellis, Modern Practical Joinery, 1902



The gluepot that I ordered from MusiCaravan arrived today! Wahoo!



What a sweet looking pot! Can't wait to make some glue in it!




I also bought The Gluepot Warmer so I can keep the glue warm for an extended period of time, such as when I glue the tentellones to the top and sides of a guitar.

Both items are well made and the brochure that comes with the pot says that the pot will last several life times if it is well cared for! I believe that statement.



A shot of Julia's guitar when I was gluing on the kerfing for the back. The tentellones for the top and sides I glue in one-by-one with just my fingers, imagine that in this day and age!

Do check out MusiCaravan's site and also take a look at Toolemera Press website and the PDF version of the little book, Doing the Gluing, a nice treatise on using hide glue.

Rocky Mountain Mammoth Mine, Boulder County, Colorado--Restoration Work on the Cabin, Part 2

Domestic buildings are of two principal sorts: folk houses and styled houses. Folk houses are those designed without a conscious attempt to mimic current fashion. Many are built by their occupants or by non-professional builders, and all are relatively simple houses meant to provide basic shelter, with little concern for presenting a stylish face to the world.

Virginia and Lee McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses, 1984


On Friday afternoon, August 2, 2013, I was able to go home that night knowing that I could bar the door and windows on the addition of the cabin at the Rocky Mountain Mammoth Mine site. Brian and I met the goal I had set, that all the structural and siding repair work was to be done by the end of day, August 2. The sill timbers are in place, the floor is down and repaired, the shear and siding is back up and repaired and the "back door" is fixed and swinging on its hinges. Boy, was that a good feeling. All that is left to do on this addition is to fix …