I hope to never smell 100-year-old beer again. It’s nasty enough to turn you into a wine drinker.
This week we cranked up work on the new Lost Art Press building – trying to remove every layer of material that wasn’t original to the building.
We filled a dumpster with 30 cubic yards of debris – a bar built about 1995, an entire layer of studs and drywall that was attached to the original plaster and flooring. I’m going to have dreams about flooring. There was just so much of it: tile, cement board, a 1/4” subfloor, another layer of tile and then another subfloor. We kept going until we got to the layer above the joists.
We found doors and original windows beneath all the modernization – plus the stovepipe for the heating system, which will be perfect for a wood-burning stove.
Raney Nelson of Daed Toolworks sorted out the electrical – he removed the 1930s wiring and all the outlets tacked to the plaster. Megan Fitzpatrick of Popular Woodworking Magazine likes to destroy things. She’s quite good at it. She took down the stud walls and laid waste to the purple tile floor.
Woodworker Justin Leib and John (the other half of Lost Art Press) drove down from Indianapolis to wreck the CDX plywood bar with sledgehammers. Toolmaker Andrew Lunn helped on every phase of the project.
As we pulled the bar from its moorings and removed the flooring behind the bar, the nastiest beer smell filled the room. I love beer and I love wood. But when you soak wood with beer for a 100-year period, the result will make you gag. So don’t try it.
And when the space was clear, we put it to use. Photographer Narayan Nayar (he did “Virtuoso” and the photos that open the chapters of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”) helped the destruction and then stuck around to help with some photography for “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
With any luck, the space will be habitable enough to show on March 11-12, 2016. That’s when the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event is coming to Braxton Brewing Co., which is right down the street from us. We’ll have a booth at the brewery, but we’ll also open up our storefront and have some sort of event. Details to follow as we get closer to March.
— Christopher Schwarz