M&T Shop Building: Frame Complete!


Yesterday we completed the frame. Matt suspended the ridge into place while Luke, John, and Isaac began assembling the round cedar rafters from one gable end. Luke said the first pair of rafters is the hardest, especially when they have diagonal braces and a collar tie to be installed along with them. After that gable end was secured, though, the rest popped into place without issue. As they worked through down the ridge, the manual lift help stabilize it and hold it at the optimum height (decreasing as they went along). This careful and methodical process was really impressive to watch. The whole process took several hours of careful adjustments and minor paring of the tails that were a hair too wide for their pockets.

By midafternoon the last gable was installed. We drove pegs into all the joinery and then the crew made tiny adjustments before heading out while Mike and I began preparations for the evening’s feast. At 6:00, the crew returned for the ceremonial tacking of the evergreen bough onto the ridge. Thus began the feasting.

We had a lovely candlelit dinner inside the frame, watching an incredible sunset over our pond. The frame was illuminated pink and purple from the awesome display. As the sun faded for the day, we sat down for a lasagna dinner and had a wonderful evening of fellowship with them and their partners. The night involved Dave Brubeck, children reciting Shakespeare, and many laughs around the table. As everyone packed up to drive home for the night, I felt like pinching myself. I am so grateful for this crew (my new friends) and the frame that they’ve restored for us. Luke, Matt, Isaac, and John are not only exceptional craftsmen but they are incredible people to spend time with. Mike and I are left inspired by the experience.

Today, Luke, Isaac, Matt, and I will be nailing the old sheathing onto the roof and laying tar paper. At that point, their job is all done and they will head back to Vermont. Mike and I will take it from there.

- Joshua