We’re Going to Need a Bigger Shop


We just spent two weeks sorting and hauling a mountain of gorgeous lumber. Mike and I were painstakingly relocating the lifetime lumber collection of Thomas Hinchcliffe (a recently-deceased local furniture maker and antique dealer) to my property. Thomas had a number of large outbuildings, all of which he filled with antique furniture and special lumber over the years so it took a long time to sort through it all. (Refer to this earlier blog post for the crazy story about how I came into this collection.)

We organized the material I purchased in three categories: long and wide lumber on a low-bed trailer, small boards and furniture parts in my van, and a collection of beautiful 18th-/19th-century doors, which also took several van trips.

The first time we filled the trailer, I began to realize that I might have just bought enough lumber for all the furniture I will build in my lifetime. On top of that, there are enough Windsor chair parts (legs, strecthers, spindles, seats, backs, etc.) to make 20 or so complete chairs. And the 75 gorgeous antique doors… what in the world am I going to do with that many doors? Honestly, I don’t know. (It was an all-or-nothing proposition.) I will use all the doors that I can in my construction projects over the coming years and, after that, I will begin selling the rest to good homes.

It took Mike and I three full days just to move the wood the mile down the road to my property and another three to stack it neatly for winter. It was a lot of hauling and now we are whooped. After all that work, though, the boards and chair parts are now securely covered in a temporary structure. This kind of tarp building is common in the local boatbuilding community for winter storage – we are amused to think of it as “New England 21st-century vernacular tarp architecture.” The antique door collection is stashed away in a storage unit.

We were already planning on adding a wood shed addition to the shop but, thanks to this wonderful provision, the addition will happen this spring. We’re hoping to solve two things with wood shed addition: 1. Provide secure and easily-accessible lumber storage 2. Block the blasting direct sunlight on the south side of the shop so that it relies more on ambient light like the north side. More construction details to come.

For now, I just keep thinking that I can’t believe this happened to me.

-Joshua