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Saturday, January 23, 2021
  • The Sketchbook. A builder’s journal: #7 Boiled
    In December, the boiler was installed at my current build: a wall-hung, direct-vent propane boiler that supplies the hot water for both in-floor radiant heat and domestic use. It’s always a pleasure to see good work being done, and ...
  • The Sketchbook. A builder’s journal: #6 Lickety Split
    In some ways mini split heat pumps remind me of my Aunt Martha. They’re both pretty great, but an awareness of certain aspects helps the relationship. With my Aunt Martha it was cheek pinching. You needed to prepare and ...
  • The Sketchbook. A builder’s journal: #5 Line Up
    Good work is often invisible. Elements you want to highlight, such as a front door, bullseye medallions incorporated in window trim, or a farmhouse apron sink, shine on purpose. Things that next catch your eye are irregularities. That crooked ...
  • The Sketchbook. A builder’s journal: #4 New Year’s Day
    New Year’s day is a big deal in Japan. In the mid ’90s a timber framer relayed a story he attributed to a group of visiting Japanese timber framers. They told him that on New Year’s Day they would clean and sharpen their tools. They were ...
  • The Sketchbook. A builder’s journal: #3 Lists
    Santa and I have at least two things in common. Love of cookies and of lists. Most of my days start with making a list. I could save the trouble of making a daily list by having carved in stone, “Work on house.” Facing that each day would ...
  • In 1980 I was in my second year of college, majoring in geology. Realizing I had no desire to be a geologist I started to think hard on what I did want to do. I noticed an ad in the local paper for a new show. It was called “This Old House” ...
  • I run cold. My hands are especially problematic. They can ache with cold in the grocery store on an 80-degree July day. I used to say I didn’t like winter, but that’s not true. Winter is beautiful. Clear night skies, snow sparkling ...
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