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A good design space is a necessity in a wood shop.  It is at the drafting table projects begin to take shape.  It is here an idea first begins to become reality in material form.  A lot of errors can be corrected in this phase and a lot of frustration and material saved as well.  As Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.”  

Also a necessity, a deer head…got to have a deer head.



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It’s enjoyable to take a break from the shop from time to time and hike around the woods.  We are lucky to have lots of woodland to roam to clear our minds and decompress.  More often than not, it is during these times the best ideas come to mind.  It would do us all some good to slow down, get out in nature, and be still.


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There is a lot of potential in the ole wood rack at Lincoln Knobs.  We have reclaimed this oak, poplar, and chestnut from a 100+ year old farmhouse.  Project one…build a base cabinet with butcher block top extension for the vintage cast iron Crane sink.  

Building Update

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We are finished with construction of the new shop at Lincoln Knobs Woodworking.  My wife and I are proud of the fact we drove every nail, sawed every board, ran every wire, and know this building inch by inch.  Our electrical inspection took place two weeks ago and went off without a  hitch; two days later we had power!  We finished running the wood stove flu a couple days after that.  I must say, cutting a 10″ hole in a brand new metal roof is a little unnerving.  It went well and the next day was put to the test with an inch of rain and strong winds…no failure!

It is my intent to share some of the details of the construction, materials used, and philosophy behind some of our decisions over the next few weeks.  These posts may be hit or miss but I plan to post every other day for a while.  

Also, the next project consists of us building our log home about 100 yards behind this shop using trees from our own property.  Again, my wife and I will be doing all of the work.  I hope to document this process much more fully than I did the shop building process.  If you have ever been interested in log construction, stay tuned!!

Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises”

I ran across a website earlier today doing some research on the great woodworker Joseph Moxon.  Moxon has garnered renewed fame as of late due to Chris Schwarz’s work with the Moxon Vise and associated publications.  If you haven’t been subjected to the Moxon craze do a quick Google search and you’ll be pleased; it is really good stuff and the vise is supremely useful for hand-cut joinery.  

In the 17th century, Moxon penned and published a work titled, Mechanick Exercises: or the Doctrine of Handy-Works.  This work is now public domain, has been duplicated by the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), and posted online.  You can download a full, free PDF of the entire publication.  It is great reading from a legendary woodworker.

Just click the below photo of the title sheet to be magically transported to the site, you’ll find the full download link in the left-hand pane from there.


Lincoln Knobs Roof

An update and few photos of the roof framing.

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Putting up the ceiling joists.  We used 2×8 joists 24″ OC.  Rather than shelling out and having delivered 20′ long boards I scabbed 2-10′ boards together with a 3′ piece.  Since these won’t support much vertical force, this works fine.

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All joists are up, braced with 2-2x4s running lengthwise, and ready for rafters.  I chose stick-built roof framing over pre-fab joists because I wanted to do everything by hand; and I have a thing for geometry (engineer in me again) and wanted to figure the lengths of everything.

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Underway!  First set of rafters and first half of the ridge beam is set.  

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Halfway there.  So far everything has laid in place nicely.

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Nailing in the rafters to the ceiling joists and top plate.

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I did a 12″ overhang on all four sides.  This’ll give a nice dimensional look and better protection.  Notice we have also sprayed the floor with weatherproofing. 

Also, roofing purlins are on and ready for the metal roof.

Done for the day.  

Pro tip: There are a ton of online calculators to determine rafter length.  Also, on the side of a framing square are rafter tables.  But, you can also figure this in your head or on paper with the Pythagorean theorem (A squared + B squared = C squared).  Keep in mine your additional overhang when figuring rafter lengths. 


The Great Frame Up

Here are a few photos of the wall and roof framing.  My wife and I did all of this in a weekend and it turned out great.  We used local Poplar from the local sawmill for the walls and resorted to the local lumberyard for the roof framing (SPF).  

You’ll notice a few design differences in the wall, compared to standard framing,  due to this being a board and batten sided building.  The most noticeable is the spacing on the vertical members and the addition of horizontal members which will serve as nailers/supports for the BnB.   We also used a few 4×4 posts in lieu of 2x4s in the walls just for extra structural  integrity.  Where we had a 6×6 in the foundation we placed a 4×4 in the wall above it in order to help transfer the weight more evenly.  This is my engineering side coming out.  

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Long walls framed up and ready to stand.  These are 24 foot walls and the two of us lifted them into place fairly easily in 12 foot sections.  

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Back wall raised and nailed down.  As MaryAnn (my wife) held the wall vertical, I verified the wall was on the chalk line then nailed the bottom plate down.  Once the bottom plate was secure we checked plumb and nailed in the temporary diagonal bracing to hold it in place.  You can see the window opening framed here.  

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Second half of the back wall nailed in plumb and square.  The large framed opening is for a five foot wide doorway.   

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Sawing and framing the end walls.  There are no openings in these two walls so it is a straight forward frame up.  The gable ends also have less force on them than the long walls.  We still chose to place a 4×4 in the center over the 6×6 used in the foundation.

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Pneumatic nailers make life much easier.

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However, like man’s best friend, a trusty hammer can never fully be replaced.


The sun has set on this day of wall framing and raising.  It is a satisfying accomplishment to come this far in such a handwork project.  

Pro tip:  Before attempting to raise a wall, toenail a couple of 8d or 10d nails through the bottom plate into the floor.  This will aid in holding the bottom of the wall in place, at the chalk line, and the nails will pull out as you raise the wall.  

Bonus tip:  Here is a drawing I did in AutoCAD (of our back wall) to illustrate the basic wall framing members.  I hope this helps. 

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