Replacing the main beam of the Horse Garage has been hanging over my head for more than a month now. Every time I go in there I feel like Damocles and wonder if I will become buried in my work.
Last month, Brendan Gaffney, Megan Fitzpatrick and I jacked up the garage’s joists to relieve pressure on the rotted beam. Today was the day to replace the punky thing.
Lucky for me, woodworker Jeremy Hanson was in town, and I hired him to help. Jeremy is a cabinet maker, carpenter, tattoo artist and art teacher from Seattle, Wash., who is traveling around the country with his charming family in a Toyota Tacoma that is outfitted with a camper. They stopped by the open house yesterday, and Jeremy volunteered to lend a hand.
It took us about four hours of dirty work, but at about 2 p.m. we lowered the joists back on the new beam. All the pieces returned to their proper places without complaint.
Now comes the rush to button the place up before winter comes. I have a roofing company prepared to add a membrane roof. And I am starting to build the new doors tomorrow.
The doors will be lightweight pine, joined with mortise-and-tenon joints and painted for protection. After all the wacky repairs we’ve been making to the Horse Garage, doors will be a cakewalk.
Then I will be out of money – again. After I complete a couple furniture commissions I should have enough money to add electricity to the building. (And, if I’m fortunate, enough money for a mini-split as well.)
There is still a long way to go, but the Horse Garage might be in business before the end of 2017.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com