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Sunday, June 14, 2009

We've Been Framed



There is a strange and beautiful tradition here in Vermont. If you were to mill a pile of logs into heavy timbers, cut them into components of a structure of some kind, and let the word out that you're going to put it all together on a particular day -- a bunch of good people show up to help you do it. That's what happened here yesterday. The photo above shows about a third of those who came by. We're standing in front of the nearly finished product, which at that moment was lashed together with straps and come-alongs awaiting adjustment and timber pegs. On top from left to right are Neill, Gabe, Adam, and Nathan -- Adam, Gabe and Neill did all the cutting on and off over the past couple of months in the barn. On the ground is Jared who did the stone work, myself, and neighbors Claude, Chad and Andy.


Putting up a heavy frame by hand is an oddly satisfying sport. This is the second time we've done this here. The first time was for the barn you see in the right background in the picture above. Nine or ten pairs of hands guiding a few hundred pounds of hardwood into a place with tolerances of less than a sixteenth of an inch. It can be tricky. It can also be a real finger pincher.


The devil and the payoff is in the details. Every part in these pictures was figured, cut, and shaped over the course of weeks. They slid together with an Ikea-like grace with only a few diplomatically applied hammer blows.

And, as with all good things. The proof is in the pudding. What is it?
We'll build an arbor frame over top and encourage a bunch of leafy stuff (not the technical horticultural term) to grow over it. In effect, this is a very elaborate shady spot in the backyard built with goodwill and good people. There is no better place to sit in three states.

8 Comments:

Blogger JLeonid said...

It looks beautiful, and the leafy stuff isn't even on yet. Also neat to read the background of how it was assembled. Kind of puts that two-story log home I built as a kid (with Lincoln Logs) in perspective.
By the way, recently finished reading "Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier." It's been awhile since I picked up a book for younger readers. It was a pleasure. Great book!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's beautiful! And your neighbors are HOT.

8:16 PM  
Blogger tpf said...

Man... That doesn't suck. Nice clean lines.

Horticulturally, what do you plant in Maine for that kind of arbor?

How much was the bar bill? (excluding you, of course.)

1:37 AM  
Blogger tpf said...

oops... I meant vermont!!!!!

1:41 AM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

The bar bill was quite modest. Not in the picture are everyone's families keeping us all on our very best behavior. You know something's not right when the 200# carpenter skins his knuckles with a come along and declares, "oh, darn it!" Right. Just like at work.

As for what kind of salad we'll grow on this thing. My wife is in charge of that and thinks, wisteria, honeysuckle, such as that. Grapes would be nice, but apparently they can take forever to get established and do anything.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

The bar bill was quite modest. Not in the picture are everyone's families keeping us all on our very best behavior. You know something's not right when the 200# carpenter skins his knuckles with a come along and declares, "oh, darn it!" Right. Just like at work.

As for what kind of salad we'll grow on this thing. My wife is in charge of that and thinks, wisteria, honeysuckle, such as that. Grapes would be nice, but apparently they can take forever to get established and do anything.

8:48 AM  
OpenID tesswpfd17 said...

I actually laughed aloud at darn it. It is funny because I work next to a 70 year old woman that curses like a sailor in the warehouse here.

9:47 AM  
Blogger editor said...

Perhaps you should grow black locust on it...

So, Tom, you can build that beautiful structure, surely you can get the WWDTM crew to come up here and do a show? Burlington good, Montpelier even better.

Paul

3:05 PM  

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