Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Porch raising and apprenticeships

North woods cabin
 A friend from church invited me to join him and a few others at his north woods cabin to build a new porch.  This immediately interested me, as I had long heard about barn raising, and still had fond memories of helping to build our family cabin some 40 years ago.  I also love time in the woods.

The cabin site was located far enough into the woods that there was no electricity, running water or even cell phone service. We did however benefit from the use of a generator and power tools.  

Work crew
We had a crew of seven guys with an age span of 50 years.  Our dietary interests ranged from sour gummy worms and Mountain Dew to strong black coffee and Apple Streusel.  The previous building experience of our crew was also wide ranging.

Porch addition
It was fun to see how much we were able to accomplish just within a couple of days.  However our accomplishment pales in comparison to the old cabin/barn raising of years ago, when no power tools were involved.  On of the guys in our group told the history of a neighboring cabin that was built years ago out of logs, by a group of five men just within a matter of a few days, all by hand.  

Shimmed up corner
I marveled to think of much of the fine craftsmanship was involved in building years ago, even without the aid of power tools.  By having a school system that does't allow for apprenticeships we've lost, and continue to lose, considerable knowledge of craftsmanship. As I discovered, working alongside others is a great way to learn!

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