May 2009

Construction has begun on the woodworking shop building for Schreiber Autoharps! The new building will be located directly behind our home. The structure will be a two-story barn type building with a 32' x 48' working area on the ground floor and plenty of storage and wood drying area in the upper level. The construction time is anticipated to be approximately 6-8 weeks. We will be working on the interior of the workspace as time and finances allow and hope to be building autoharps in our new building by this time next year!

Some of the preliminary excavation was done last year. Below are a few pictures of the area before the "real" construction began and then some of each of the steps along the way!

View looking up the hill from our carport - before the real action began!

Prior excavation, but still a lot of trees standing!

Friday evening May 22nd... just a few of the trees down.

Saturday May 23rd... time to get serious! There's nothing like having the right tools for the job! By the end of the day on Saturday, all of the trees were down! What a memorable Memorial Day weekend! I did quite a bit of chainsawing this weekend!

This picture below was taken from the same location as the very first one near the end of the fun on Saturday! Notice anything missing?

The footers were layed out and dug on Tuesday May 26th, Wednesday was rained out and Thursday morning the contractor was ready and waiting on the concrete truck.

...which showed up right on schedule and was coming up the hill on a very muddy road caused by the prior days rain when he lost traction...

...and after an attempt by the bulldozer operator to pull him up the hill ended up nearly tipping over into the woods when his wheels slid down off of the road and into the mud!

The bulldozer operator ended up ferrying the concrete from the precariously located concrete truck!

Thursday evening after the concrete footers were poured we had over 4.5 inches of rain! Friday May 29th was a "rain day"... no progress.

On the morning of Monday, June 1st the forms were put in place for the concrete foundation and back wall. That same afternoon, they were filled with concrete! Monday was a good day!

Filled to the brim!

Tuesday the forms came off of the walls and the "floor" was covered with stone. It's beginning to look like something now!

Wednesday June 3rd the stone in the floor area was compacted and then covered with a layer of insulation and wire mesh. Also the outside of the foundation was sealed.

Thursday was a complete rainout!

Friday was rainy also, but the contractor put the plastic tubing in place for the radiant floor heating system. This should help keep the autoharp elves nice and cozy during the cold Pennsylvania winters!

Monday June 8th more concrete trucks arrived and the floor was poured...

...and a whole bunch of wood arrived!

Tuesday June 9th quite a bit of that wood was used to construct the remaining walls.

Here's the new view from the carport looking up the hill!

Lots of big windows for natural light!

Now, with walls all around, I guess I can say "I'm in the shop"!

Wednesday June 10th the main beam was put up, the floor joists for the upper level were put in place and the decking for the upper floor was begun.

Thursday June 11th the upper floor decking was completed and most of the roof trusses were placed.

Friday June 12th the remainder of the roof trusses were installed.

Tuesday June 16th the roof was put on.

A view from the entrance door into the shop area. I'm really excited! I can hardly wait to get some equipment in here and make the sawdust fly!

Wednesday June 17th the windows and the entrance door were installed.

Thursday June 18th the soffit and fascia were installed.

Friday June 19th the chimney was erected.

Wednesday June 24th - Friday June 26th the steel siding was installed and all of the outside trim work was completed

July 22nd the rain gutters were hung and on July 24th the garage door was installed.

End of July... Well, the building contractor is done and there is still much to do in order to turn this space into an autoharp shop!

After a series of rain delays, the excavator returned mid-August to complete the backfilling.

Now I can begin using the upper level space.

Here's some of the cherry wood that was cut last year. After several years of air drying this pile will be transformed into beautiful autoharps!

Near the end of August I installed the insulation in the framed walls and my father helped me to cover them with plywood which I then painted.

My father cut and installed the window trim. Also, I've painted the floor.

The period from mid September through the end of October was spent on the ceiling. Insulating, installing drywall, finishing drywall, and painting... remember, I'm working a full time job so this is all "spare time" work!

My father and brother helped to cover the ceiling with drywall. It sure came in handy that my brother at one point had worked full time installing drywall and also that he's 6'7" tall and has the reach to install the drywall screws on the 9' ceiling! Thanks Tom!

Oh and I'd like to point out a discovery that I made. If you've never sanded 1500 square feet of drywall above your head - with the drywall dust showering down on you, you really don't want to! I just had to keep reminding myself that this will all be worth it!

Mid October I hired a contractor to install power and water from our house to the building. This left me with some landscaping to repair, but it sure was nice to be able to get rid of the big yellow wire running from the house to the shop!

Early in November I purchased and installed the lighting. Also, throughout the month, my father helped me with installing trim around the floor and ceiling and I constructed three 4' x 8' work tables.

It's beginning to get a bit chilly around here! Near the end of November I installed a wood stove as my heat source.

Late November/early December the machinery began moving in along with a whole lot of "stuff" that is now in total disarray!

By early 2010 the disarray in the above photo was corrected, necessary equipment put in place, and the shop is up and running! The first of many autoharps to be built here was delivered on January 29th, 2010.