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?