I went to my first barn raising Saturday. A house is being erected upon the old footprint of a house and marina that burned several years ago. Our small volunteer fire department proudly boasts that we have yet to lose a foundation! You can see the result of our work below (twisted metal beams and all).
I had planned to go to the barn raising for 3 one hour segments throughout the day. I knew that I would be staying for the entire thing about 5 minutes into it. I really had a great time.
The company that built the frame is The Barn Raisers. Brendan Matthews has been making post and beam houses on his own for 15 years. This was his 62nd structure. His first was across the street from this venue. Many of the people here on this day were there 15 years ago, including my wife and her brothers.
There were 40-50 people from the Haddam Neck community actively helping at any given time with many more watching from the sidelines.
Before (the metal structure in the foreground will be a shop for the marina, the post and beam house will be on the foundation behind.)
Here we go...
The first wall is up. Everything was flawless.
I am in the center
With the sweatshirt off, I am now leading the charge
I didn't know what to expect. I assumed that we would just help move beams when needed. By the end of the day there were groups of previously inexperienced barn raisers working autonomously. I loved this picture above because it shows just how fast we were moving. One professional (Brendan is in the tye die) directing 20 that aren't.
We started at 8am and finished before 4.
Scarf joint on the left, dovetails on the right
Brendan showing the plans off while Sheldon, my oldest son, gets a lesson on mortising.
The party began immediately after the raising was complete.
And officially ended 24 hours later with a tractor race. (Brendan's first structure is the barn in the background on the right.) And they're off...
...Most of them
If you are here for moulding planes and want to know where to begin with this blog I will recommend that you start at the beginning, Dec 2010.