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Orientation, Organization, Layout, and Fabrication: Day One at Lake Roesiger

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By Mack Magee

On the first "official" day of the Lake Roesiger Community Building Project in Snohomish County, Washington, Workshop Manager Lon Tyler addressed the volunteers after breakfast. Lon explained that we are actually cutting three frames: the Lake Roesiger Park pavilion, the Whitehorse Park pavilion, and a small presentation stage for Kayak Point. 

The plan is to raise the Lake Roesiger pavilion and the Kayak Point stage this week, and to run a community raising next year to raise the Whitehorse Park pavilion. The Lake Roesiger pavilion and stage will be laid out using square rule and the Whitehorse pavilion will use scribe rule to offer the volunteers an alternative educational opportunity. 

Lon also introduced our sponsors, represented here by Tom Hartzell, Senior Park Planner for Snohomish County Parks & Recreation (right), and Sam Low, Snohomish County Council member for the Parks & Recreation Committee (in the suit).  

Next up, Rene Allen, an awesome instructor who wrote the Workshop Method Statement and outlined the safety plan for this workshop, spoke to the volunteers on our safety preparations and our requirements for the safe process of timber fabrication and raising (below). 


The volunteers and instructors then moved to the fabrication area in the Livestock Pavilion where they received their safety vests, broke into three groups, and started layout and timber preparation.

Here, instructors Jim DeSantis and Chris Kates introduce the volunteers to the scribe layout process for the Whitehorse Park pavilion which will be raised likely in May 2020. Left, below, the group listens closely to Jim and Chris. Right, below, Jim (left) speaks to volunteers while Chris observes (right, in profile). 


Scott McClure and Rene, who are running the Lake Roesiger pavilion, work on layout in the following photos. (Andy Rice is working with Rene - does she look like a cat ready to pounce or what?)


Here are the members of their group working on the braces and ties. 





Jean McKern










Joe Darby










Todd Christensen










Patrick Mayfield









Connor Wilson









Cameron Tull






And, by the afternoon, the crew was fabricating the tie scarf joints - Craig Hampton wielding the tools (below):


These were the results for the work of our mixed crew of novices and experienced hands - not bad, eh? 


Meanwhile, the stage crew was also in layout mode after the timbers were planed and sanded. The timbers were leftover yellow cedar from another of the county's park structures, which planed up both beautifully and aromatically. The handheld 12" planers contributed the aural feel of a shop in motion from the start of the workday. 

Here's Will Denton cleaning up the timbers after the planing operation:

Here, instructor Bill Sturm guides volunteer Will Smallwood in the layout process and snapping centerlines for square rule:

Client contact Tom Hartzell also pitched in during layout! (Will Denton in the background.)

A couple of other novices performing layout work under Bill, WIll, and Phil Kneisley's watchful eyes are Bob Heyden (left) and Jay Guettler (right). (Note: Bob is Mack's brother-in-law and Jay is TFG staff member Cassandra Davies' dad, giving our workshop a whiff of a family affair.)


Here's veteran volunteer Roger Etzell taking a well-deserved break from the planing to speak with Tom as he lays out the timbers Roger helped plane. 

There are always conversations among participants, whether between instructors like Jim and Chris...

Or experienced timber framers, in this case Mike Westgard (left) and Isaac McCoy-Sulentic (right)...

Or even between relative newcomers to timber framing such as Andrew Nejman and Raoul Burchette.

Of course, experienced timber framers often join in to assist the novices - Julie Hildebrand of Gibson Timber Frames helps Cassandra and Megan with cutting operations (left). And sometimes it's the instructor, in this case Jim DeSantis, helping the erstwhile timber framer in the sequence of cutting (right).


By the end of the day at this station, good progress was being made in fabrication - in this instance, it's the posts of the Whitehorse (scribe fit) park frame. In these photos, most were cutting the timbers they helped to lay out: Matt Zimbalist (yes, THAT Zimbalist), Dick, and Julie.








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This blog article has been viewed 204 times.
Posted May 23, 2019 11:04 AM PST. Edited on May 23, 2019 11:08

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