The adventures of a not-so-young married couple moving from the urban sprawl of central New Jersey to a rugged mountain slope in New Hampshire. Land secured; our house now exists in our imaginations and on paper. Check in regularly as that is soon to change.
Friday, December 4, 2015
How to Furnish a Barn
Nobody ever complained that
their barn was too big or their tractor too powerful.—Trish
Side of barn. Front has two more overhead doors.
(All photos by author except where noted.)
“What are you going to raise?” was the first question
people asked upon learning we were building a barn on the New Hampshire home
site. Given Doug’s long professional association with dogs and cats, they were
expecting an aspirational leap to sheep, goats, alpaca, or at least some breed
of exotic chicken. Sorry to disappoint, but sawhorses and bench dogs are as
close as we will come to animals in the barn.
Doug organizing a workbench.
Horses at work.
Let’s start with the horses. We have four right now,
designed and built by Doug, after a little research courtesy of YouTube videos. Nine
pieces of 2 x 4s plus a 1 x 3 brace (nearly 26 feet of board) along with 50
screws make each horse very strong. With a pair of these versatile trestles Doug
proceeded to cut lumber for two workbenches using the sawhorses to support
plywood or 2 x 6s for legs. The sawhorses conveniently do double duty as a coffee
table, coatrack, or pedestal to hold a something small for painting.
The bench dogs have not yet taken up residence in the
barn. When they do, there will be at least a pair of the clamp-like devices that
will work with 18 holes in the workbench ¾ inch wide, evenly spaced; 12 in a parallel
set and 6 perpendicular. They will be used to hold wood, working in tandem with
router, drill, or hammer.
None of the barn critters need walking or feeding; some
clean-up, however, is required.
Chickadee nest box ready
Other furnishing for a well-appointed barn: table saw
(I used it to build a bluebird nest box), miter saw (quick and handy for short
cuts), drill press (bird house entrances), router (advanced wood working
projects), vice (hey, everybody has one or to or they aren’t human), and circular
saw, just for starters. And, of course, the full complement of shelves
organized into departments that echo hardware store aisles—paint, electrical,
automotive, plumbing, cleaning, lumber, gardening, and hand tools, hand tools, hand
I can see myself getting into these power tools. For
starters, I will be applying my beginner skills with the table saw and miter saw
to building a bench.
I am looking forward to my own new power tool, on its way for my birthday—a heavy
duty sewing machine. It may not be able to handle wood but it is supposed to be
able to rip through, wool, fleece, and denim, all necessary to keep warm in a
barn on a mountainside.
P.S. First snow on the mountain; two inches yesterday.