1.16.2012

Of Air Mattresses and Table Tops

I have now been in San Francisco for ten days.  The weather has been beautiful, the people great, and the food amazing.  I've moved from Mark's couch to an airbed on the floor of Hattery's conference room.  I'm up a little before six every day, awakened by the crew working on the new space underneath me.  A big pot of coffee, a granola bar, an apple, and I'm down to the basement, where a pile of reclaimed ceiling joists await transformation conference tables and desks. 

A lot has happened it the time I've been here: I've de-nailed 75 boards; my boss bought a full suite of wood shop tools from some folks down the street; I've planed one side of all the boards; with the help of an old friend from Alabama who just moved to the Bay Area, Chris Currie, we ripped the edges off all the boards to square them; and we started laminating the joists into table tops.  In between all this, I've been working away on the designs for the bases of the work tables, watching a little playoff football, and checking out some amazing food.  

Despite progress, there is still a long way to go.  I'm grateful for Chris's help, and the support of the folks at Hattery, and looking forward to getting on with it . . . .

The raw joists.  Old growth fir, they are from a building that is around sixty years old, meaning the trees these boards came from possibly began growing around the Civil War.  An privilege to work with such storied stuff. 
Pulling a lot of iron out of the boards.   
Close-up. 


De-nailed.
A fella down the street was selling a wood shop, conveniently enough, already mounted on cabinets with casters.  Couldn't have been easier!
A little heavenly light filtering down the freight elevator as I hog boards through the planer. 
Planed!
We've generated over a hundred gallons of sawdust so far.
The fearless and fearsome Chris Currie.
Ripping the edges off the boards. 
Ready for the first glue-up. 
Half a table top, sittin' pretty.
All that safety equipment makes one look kind of like an animal -- big ears, snout, tiny eyes.
A panorama of the shop.

4 comments:

  1. Looking good, William!

    Always a treat to read up on the blog, living my design/build urges vicariously through you! Actually, am assisting in this first year sustainable design course that was recently integrated into the basic building construction and material course, with the new addition of a small element of building... after years of lobbying, the school workshop manager finally succeeded in convincing the department that the students need to gain better understanding of the building process and what goes into the building envelope, and presto - the class of 80 or so students are being divided into smaller groups working on different aspects of a small wood building.. hopefully I can sneak in on this and get my fix - missing the shop! Did you ever think? :P

    Anyways, just realized you might be interested in www.beamcamp.com, where I worked last summer as a project coordinator - trying to keep kids with power tools in check while building insane architectural experiments and supervising a wood workshop. If nothing else, you would probably know of people for whom such an experience would be entrancing (ideal for folks still in school - as the pay is, well, let's just call it passable, and the other staff is fairly young)

    Oh, and say hi to Chris!

    /Penny

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