Saturday, November 28, 2009

Salvaged workshop doors

Last year sometime, we picked up these doors at Second Use in Seattle. They were salvaged from Garfield High School - one of the older High Schools in Seattle that recently underwent a massive renovation.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Now, I wouldn't want to put these doors just anywhere as they're not the most attractive doors in the world, but they're perfect for separating our wood workshop and studio space. I'm contemplating taking the center panel out of the doors and replacing them with glass so that there is some visibility between the two spaces. Perhaps I'll get around to that eventually. In the coming months, I'll begin dry walling the wall to the left and right of the doors to finish the room separation project.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bringing the projects back indoors

After a very productive season of outdoor projects, it's time to bring the projects back indoors. Having the right indoor space to work on projects is important to us. Last year I started the sizable project of dividing our 24x30 garage into two separate work areas: the wood workshop and a studio space.

The wood workshop portion of the project is moving along quite nicely. Last year I completed a design on paper that includes the basic layout of the equipment. Our layout consists of two zones; one for ripping and sizing lumber and the other for finishing and shaping. Last year, I completed a wood rack for wood storage and storage shelving, which are major components of the design.

Dust is a huge problem in the workshop and we discovered this the hard way. Within no time, everything was coated with lots of micro fine dust. To help alleviate this, I installed a dust collector that I purchased from Harbor Freight in a shed that's attached to the garage. I also installed an air filter to help cleanse the air and remove micro-fine dust particles which are particularly harmful to your health. Together, the two collectors have greatly reduced the problem. In addition, we installed a Reznor furnace to heat the space.

This winter, I'll be focusing on building a multi-purpose workbench that will be adjustable height, and will function as an in/out table feed surface. For this project, I've acquired a hard-maple counter top (think butcher block) from the local Second Use reusable building material store.

We've got big plans for the wood workshop this year. We'll be building a new mantle surround for our living room, refinishing recycled fir clap board for building box beams, and building kitchen cabinet faces. Should be a very productive year.

The studio portion of the workshop project is slowly starting to come together. This is a much more finished area that's to be designed as a multi-purpose fine-arts studio space. It is divided from the wood workshop by a wall I erected last year. I'm only just beginning to gather my thoughts on this space -- but know that it's a very versatile space with few built-in components. The studio is located in what was the front of the garage, so removing the 16 foot garage door and installing a wall is a big part of the project. Our long term vision is to add on an additional 8x16 space to the front of the space, and finish it with wall-to-wall windows, but that may not happen in the immediate future.

Together, these two separate spaces will allow for a lot of creative freedom. Stay tuned for more info on the projects coming through our own little micro Kelmscott Manor.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Front Fence

Sometime during the month of October we mostly finished the craftsman style fence along the front of our property. This fence has been in the plans for awhile, and we actually nailed the panels together for the project last winter. Since then, the panels had been sitting in the wood shop taking up valuable space so we decided it was time to put it all together.

The fence is complimentary to the fence we built last year that runs alongside our property line. We decided to go with a vertical panel arranged in a wide-skinny-skinny fashion to compliment the siding on our house. We went with a shorter four feet front fence since we wanted it to add structural value, but not be overbearing. In other words, we're trying to avoid the compound effect.

So why the fence? In our area, it is normal to let your dogs run wild. Most of the dogs end up in our yard (since we don't have a large dog to chase them off) and leave behind not-so-nice prizes. So, we decided to build a privacy fence to keep out the dogs, and to add some architectural appeal to the front of our property. As you can see from the pictures, the front of our property is lined with two grand evergreen trees which hide the house and it's detail from the street. The fence adds some needed architectural detail, and exudes our craftsman home theme.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

The fence features an opening for a walk through gate, and a gate across the driveway. I have yet to build them, but hopefully I'll have time to get to that project this winter. Eventually, the plan is to build a brick sidewalk that runs across the front yard and connects the front door with the walk-through gate. Will be a nice addition when it's all done.

We left the posts tall, and are trying to determine if we want to add a horizontal trellis across the front, or other structural details. I have all winter to stare out the window and contemplate the direction to take this project.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home