TFG Blog

Day 1, Sunrise Mill, September 28, 2019

Day one, participants assembling on Saturday morning for the orientation meeting out in front of the main lodge at Camp Hope in Schwenksville, PA.


Our dining hall and food preparation facility at Camp Hope for breakfast and dinner.


In this picture, Seth Kelley, after demonstrating the use of the boring machine, is quickly demonstrating on scrap block the process for cleaning up the bottom of the mortise.


Here Mike Wenger of North Billerica, MA, is starting the crosscut of a 9x11 white oak sill with a pull saw. 


Paige Heron of Twisp, WA, doing the same thing as Brian Clark of Carp, Ontario, looks on.


Benjamin Sutfin of Pittsburgh, PA, and Dave Maynard of Ghent, NY, discuss the finer points of either cutting techniques or the run-pass option in today's college football spread offenses.


A moment of quiet contemplation for Ginny Gifford of Stockton, NJ.  This is much more likely to happen during a hand tool workshop....


Joe DeCarlo and Rick Coryell end-cutting a sill using a two-person crosscut saw. We are using white oak for the sills, sleepers, posts, ties, plates and braces and hemlock for the rafters. Most of the instructors work predominantly in northeast softwoods and very few of the volunteers have experience with white oak, so we are all learning more about the challenges that working with this dense hardwood presents--and some of the advantages it brings to paring with a chisel or smoothing with a spokeshave.


At the end of the day, Ella Aderman, the historic site supervisor of Pennypacker Mills where we are fabricating the timber frame  (essentially our client for this workshop), shared with us that exactly 242 years ago on this day, roughly at the time we knocked off for day, General George Washington of the new American Army, which was encamped on this site, shared with the troops that the American General Gates had soundly defeated British General Burgoyne and his troops in Saratoga, NY, on September 19th (which he had only just learned). General Washington and his troops celebrated the victory with rum which Washington shared with his troops. Readers might remember the Guild's 2016 workshop in Schuylerville (formerly Saratoga) where we built the visitor's center on the field that General Burgoyne surrendered his army to General Gates later that year on October 17, 1777. The significance of this victory is that it convinced the French to enter the war on the American side, critical to the eventual success of the Revolution.

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Posted Sep 30, 2019 2:37 PM PST. Edited on Oct 24, 2019 2:50

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