Working Wood for Gaynor

2010 was ages ago!  For many months I took on the role of doting handyman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for my dear friend Gaynor and her two ageless Siamese cats, Oyster and Sosumi (named by an attorney).  I was connected to Gaynor through the eccentric artist and conservation botanist Bill Moye, who some readers are bound to know.

I have chosen a couple of highlight projects, with photos furnished by resident Williamsburg woodworker Japheth March.  In addition to the projects below I repaired furniture, doors, frames, windows, sills, screens, storm windows, sheds and sculptures; installed AC units in both vinyl and wood window openings; installed industrial metal shelving; replaced a vintage mail slot and light fixtures; weatherproofed a neighbor's faulty retaining wall; insulated the rear wall of the building adjacent to the mechanical room; cleared ancient doors, paint cans, debris and small corpses from the back yard; planted and transplanted various plants; and performed quite a few other sundry tasks . . .

Upstairs and downstairs radiator covers were built on the cheap from hardwood planks in a rustic style matching the detailed settling of the rest of the house.  The uncovered radiators had previously been a cause for annoyance under the kitchen table and behind the headboard of Gaynor's bed.  Apparently, the cats greatly enjoy the new heated surfaces, which do a proper job of dispersing heat rather than having it collect all in one place.

The tree surround and planter box were also rustic budget projects, assembled with minimal lengths of treated lumber.  My only regret was that I paid too little attention to the fasteners used in the tree surround, but functionality was our main concern.  As opposed to the previous tree surround which was easily pushed around by cars attempting to parallel park, the one is deeply anchored, set on stone and brick, and not going anywhere.  It was also expanded to give more room to the typically constricted roots of a suffering Brooklyn sidewalk tree.  Both the original planter and tree surround appeared fittingly weathered and eroded. I tried my best to impart this look upon the new pieces while ensuring a long lifespan.

Neither of these projects made use of reclaimed material. Unfortunately, time does not always allow for us to be choosy about the wood we use.  Now that I have a little workshop, I am on the lookout for wood to reclaim for use in future endeavors. If you run across wasting wood in Asheville, please let me know!
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EDIT: outdoor projects are heavily treated with Japheth's patented secret blend of Turpentine and Linseed Oil.

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