Today was our last day in the shop, and we spent most of it adding flourishes to our wall plates and rafters. Since they were too long for Tara (our designated bandsaw baller) to cut on her own, I played a supporting role in the effort. First, we did a Vulcan mind-meld, and then, we got to work. I held the end of the timbers perfectly level while Tara guided them through the bandsaw. Moving as one, we shaped curves in each frame member to match the style of our knee braces.
With the final details of our frame completed, Peter helped us load them into the back of the trailer (loaned to us by my brother-in-law Paul) and truck (loaned to us by my Dad). Thank you Paul! Thank you Dad!
Our classmates Rob and Dave finished their frame early in the day, and Rick, working on his own, finished his just a bit after us. With our projects completed, and a few hours of class time left, all that remained to do was clean up shop. One last time, we all worked together, stowing tools and sweeping up mountains of sawdust. By the time our final task was done, we were beat. The past nine days have been intense!
Before parting ways, we made plans to regroup a few hours later at a nearby bar for a celebratory drink. So, after one last swim in the lake and some camp-cleanup, we met up at the nearby Gunflint Tavern. There, Rick was kind enough to treat us all to a round of beers, and we whiled away a few hours on the rooftop bar chatting about our timber framing plans.
Tomorrow morning we all set off, dispersing from Grand Marais with trucks and trailers stuffed to the gills with timbers for our own little houses. What an experience this has been! It's hard to believe that just over two weeks ago, we had no firm ideas about what we'd be building on our land in Vermont. Now, here we are with our own beautiful timber frame. It is such a liberating feeling to know that we're one step closer to our homesteading dreams!