We are a month into the project and finally a likeness of the Shop is beginning to emerge.  Kevin Starnes of Starnes Company and his crew have spent the past two weeks framing the building.
The weather has continued to be hot with temperatures in the high 90's and high humidity, but not as hot as the preceding weeks of 100-degree days. 

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The main floor is supported by 2 sets of 3 LVL beams.
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Completed floor sub-system. The Shop will be divided into 2 rooms: a 20' x 24' main Shop room & an 8' x 14' wareroom.
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The exterior walls are 9' tall with an interior vaulted ceiling height of 19' at the Shop's main ridge. The 4 roof dormers are integral to the lighting as they act as skylights providing light from above.
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Kevin (left) discusses the framing of the exterior side walls with framing foreman Hilario (center).
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Ceiling joists are added to the wareroom.
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The full-daylight basement is a 600 square foot space with 8' ceilings that opens out onto a level landing overlooking the Commons.
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We continue to be supported by local companies. Three complete sets of scaffolds were supplied by Atlas Scaffold Inc of Augusta.
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Lots of lumber in the air... Holy smoke, the roof is in the clouds! With a 12-12 pitched roof the Shop is going to be impressive.
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This is the view from the natural springs at the upper end of the Commons. Oh, have I not mentioned that we have a spring? One second while I get you a tankard so you have a taste!
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Rafters progressing to form the foundation of the roof. The smaller roof of the wareroom adds a nice architectural detail to the overall roofline.
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View from the service road as you enter the Park.
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Priceless! This is the view from the back left window of the Shop. I knew we would have an excellent view of the Commons!
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View from the Barn and livery from Shop's right-side rear window.
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View headed up Lake Avenue from outside the park.
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I am so glad that we decided to bite the bullet and build the Shop on a full basement rather than a crawl space. As you can see, we will have a nice plaza outside the basement door and an additional venue for a relativity minimal additional cost.
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There she is!
Kevin and his team have done a fantastic job of getting the framing underway and completing the base structure.  I will admit that we had a few design changes on the fly and some adjustments that caused rework, but all were handled well by Kevin and his top-notch team.  

God help the framer that has to undergo the scrutiny and exacting eye of a cabinetmaker.  Fortunately, Kevin's attention to detail and and focus on quality passed muster in my book.

As is the case every week, local companies stepped forward to help out our construction efforts with a meaningful donation or discount.  Through the generosity of companies like these this project is well on its way to completion.  You can click on many of the logos and link directly to their websites.
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The help provided by by Atlas Scaffold, Inc. made the framing process easier and safer.
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Maner Builders Supply Co., supplier of framing and foundation materials.
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Pratt-Dudley Builders Supply Co., supplier of framing materials.
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Addams Supply, provider of framing materials.
Over the two next weeks we will push forward with waterproofing the basement walls, backfilling the foundation and getting the roof on.  

Chris
 
It is a tradition that members of the US Navy Chiefs from Fort Gordon hold an annual work day at the Park.  This year, their 8th anniversary,  we hosted around 75 Chiefs.  The amount of work that this highly coordinated group can achieve in 4 hours is phenomenal!   This year the Chiefs cleared brush, cut up firewood, cleaned up around the Shop and laid tile in the Kitchen.
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Brush clearing along the back side of the Park.
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Clearing brush down by the pond.
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The trimmed banks of the pond are now airy and clear.
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Who knew there was a split rail fence in the overgrowth!
Several of the Chiefs brought their tile laying talents to the Kitchen floor and what an upgrade!
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Terracotta, trowels, teamwork and trouble!
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The floor looks just great!
The Navy Chiefs are a tremendous asset to our community and the Park.  We appreciate their longstanding commitment and contributions.
 
With grading complete, the past 2 weeks have been filled with lots of concrete and steel.  As a woodworker, I have not been so drawn to the dirt and concrete part of past construction projects as much as the framing and finishing work.  However, I descended from block masons on my mother's side (a cooper and blacksmith as well, more on that later) and as such I found myself naturally drawn to this work over the past 2 weeks. 

Dixieland Walls of Grovetown, GA was hired to handle the footings and slab.  Brett Cathey and his team from Dixieland Wall layed out the footings, dug them, installed the rebar, and poured them.  In the midst of the work performed by Dixieland, Borden Pest Contol came in to provide termite treatment.   
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Laying out the footings.
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Excavating the footings.
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Installing the reinforcing rebar.
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Footings set up and ready for inspection.
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Bordens Pest Control stepped in to treat the footings.
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With a little assistance from Mabus Brothers Concrete and Ashmore Concrete Contractors (Pump Truck), the guys from Dixieland Walls poured the footings.
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Completed Footing.

D & J Construction and Design of Greenville, SC was brought in to install the block wall.  Their first task was to lay two courses of block to serve as the base for the poured slab.

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Footing with 2 courses of block.
 Dixieland Walls returned to back-fill the slab area, dig the piers for the basement posts,  install the vapor barrier and reinforcing wire and pour the slab.
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Slab ready for inspection.
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The morning of the slab pour, Shop design engineer, Wayne Moore stopped by the site to check on our progress. Wayne (left) is pictured talking with Park member and Shop benefactor, Don Zippler (right).
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In order to pour the slab, a pump truck was needed to convey the concrete up the hill.
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Arm of the pump truck reaching up the hill to the pour site.
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Slab being poured.
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Slab being finished with a trowelling machine.
Now that the slab is complete, the team from D & J Construction and Design started constructing the block walls.
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Walls of the basement storage room are started.
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The front wall is constructed with piers for the floor system and the front porch.
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The block masons close in on finishing the basement walls.
One of the great pleasures of getting involved with the Living History Park in North Augusta has been getting a feel for the people and businesses of this great community!  In pulling this this blog post together, I was amazed at the number of local businesses that provided generous discounts or outright donations of their materials or services for this phase of our construction project.

Your generosity is impressive and greatly appreciated, especially in light of the current economic times.  Listed below are the suppliers.  You can click on many of their pictures and link directly to their websites. 
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Macuch Steel, supplier of rebar.
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Borden Pest Control, supplier of termite treatment.
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Mabus Brothers Concrete, supplier of concrete.
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Ashmore Concrete Contractors, supplier of pump trucks.
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Augusta Concrete Block Company, supplier of concrete block, cement, sand, and block ladder.
Well, next week we move on to the WOOD - after all, we are a Cabinetmaker's Shop!  The floor system will be going in, the walls going up, and the roof going on!

We are still in need of donations to complete the Shop, so if you feel so inclined to make a donation, send me an email at Chris@NewWindsorShop.org

Chris
 
On the morning of August 2, 2011, we broke ground on the New Windsor Cabinet Shop at the Living History Park!  Park members & volunteers, Paul Muckenfuss of Augusta, with John Douglas and Mike Gibson of North Augusta, worked to clear the land in preparation of excavating the basement.  Paul took the first shovel full of dirt off the site at 7:34 AM.  Work progressed throughout the 100+ degree day with the felling of 5 trees, trimming off the limbs, and cutting up the remainder for firewood.   We were joined by several youth volunteers (Lindsey, Rebe, Heather, Kim, & Dan) who stacked the firewood and cleared  the tree limbs from the site.
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Paul Muckenfuss taking the first bucket of dirt to commence the construction phase of the Shop.
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Mike Gibson (foreground) and John Douglas (background) trim limbs.
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Tree limbs piled up in preparation for mulching.
As mentioned in prior posts, the City of North Augusta is a supportive partner in the daily operations of the Park.  They have supported this new development effort by providing members of the Parks & Recreations Department to mulch the tree limbs and provided a dumpster from the Department of Sanitation Services to haul off the tree stumps. 
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Members of the North Augusta Parks & Recreation Department mulch the tree limbs from Lake Avenue.
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Paul loads a tree stump into the dumpster provided by the North Augusta Department of Sanitation Services.
Once the site was cleared, we were ready to start work excavating the foundation.  This ended up being a much larger task than I had envisioned.  Paul made good progress working for 2-days digging with the backhoe and removing dirt with the bucket.   On Saturday and Sunday, Tom Lawhead & Greg Burt came in to complete the job.  With Tom operating the backhoe and Greg running a Bobcat, the two were able to work in concert to carve out the remaining earth.  It was fascinating to watch these 3 professionals operate these machines like they were extensions of their bodies.  
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Paul digging with the backhoe.
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Greg Burt was able to move a mountain of dirt with the Bobcat.
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Tom Lawhead takes his turn digging what ends up to be a deep hole in the slope of the upper hill.
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Tom & Greg worked as an efficient tag-team to dig up the dirt and move it out.
By the end of Day 6, the excavation was complete and we were ready to start work on the footings.  The soil at grade level is dense hard clay with no signs of any water.  This was a relief, as the park is littered with natural springs that could have thrown a real wrench in the foundation plans had we found water. 

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Excavation complete on Sunday afternoon. next week, we move onto the foundation.
A special thanks goes out to Johnny Beam and Beam's Contracting for loaning us the use of his backhoe during this past week.
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Its been a long hard, hot, workweek and we are well on our way.   I am looking forward to completing the footings, slab, and block walls next week.

Chris