Wood Shop Makeover Part 2

Autumn has been knocking on the door. The midwest summer heat has been trying to linger, and with it the incredible thunderstorms, but there is a sudden coolness to each morning that is certainly welcome. This is my favorite time of year. But with autumn there also comes a certain awareness that soon the weather will completely turn and our opportunity to get things done outside with diminish.

We have a lot of projects happening right now at the Ealy mini farm. Weekends and evenings are certainly full. Progress is slowly being made, and its exciting to see things taking shape. We have a neighbor who tells me that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will our homestead.

The wood shop is slowly coming along. But I’ll tell you, its been one of those projects that keeps getting bigger. The more I pull back the layers of this building the more I find that requires attention. Sometimes maybe its better to just leave things alone. In the end, I’ll likely be replacing everything but the roof.

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Perhaps you’ll remember the bird nest I found hiding in the walls? Well there are three small hinged doors/windows on the back of the shop, one of which the birds had nested in. I decided these needed to go in order to keep other critters from coming in. Part of the shop has been covered with vinyl siding, but not back here. Everything has been bare to the extremities. It made the most sense to just remove the old lap siding (there is no substrate) and replace with OSB, properly seal it from weather and then put new siding on.

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But, like I said earlier, once I started peeling back the existing wood I discovered that much of the skeleton of this old building was rotten, including the bottom wall sill and several of the old studs.

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And something had clawed its way in (or out) where the old propane line was connected to the furnace.

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My goal was to salvage as much of the original wood as possible, but to make it structurally sound and water (as well as critter!) proof so that the shop remains standing for a long time. Once the OSB is up, the next step will be to wrap it with tarpaper. I’m also going to put down an aluminum mesh over the foundation to deter rodents from chewing through the wood. Then I’ll add a basic gutter system to move the water away from the building and figure out what kind of siding to put up. I’m not a big fan of vinyl siding. I think it looks tacky and it doesn’t do a good job of protecting the wood beneath it.

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So what to do with all the old wood? Much of the yellow pine siding I cut out was in decent shape. I salvaged several piles of it for later projects. Its got such need character to it. Just think of the stories caught up in that old, ancient grain.This wood is older than I am and it deserves a new home.

So now I’m at a pivotal point where I can’t decide if I want to start pulling down the other walls now, or if I want to wait until after winter. I’d like to refinish the inside of the shop and insulate, but obviously that can’t be done until the outside is addressed. That means new windows and probably a new door. I suppose we’ll see what October brings.

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