Over New Years we pulled a little prank on our friend. Most of our friends that have turned fifty have gotten something planted in their yard. My friend Ray Bortz builds houses. He was the recipient of 50 2×4 studs and a sign reading “Ray’s 50, but he’s still a STUD”. Scott (the mastermind behind many of these events) runs the dairy farm up the street. His birthday was celebrated with 50 cardboard cow utters and a sign “Scott Owes All His Success to Utters”. These photos are for our friend Matt. Matt and his family run a local farm with a miniature golf course and driving range. Of course, he was surprised to see how we celebrate his turning fifTEE.
A few years ago some friends of Brad’s had taken down an old arched barn on their property. The barn was a classic Gothic arch shaped barn, similar this picture of the Goodrich-Ramus Barn in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Wikipedia has a nice article about the Goodrich-Ramus Barn. I suspect that history of the barn here in Pennsylvania is very similar. "The barn was built in 1942 from materials made by Rilco (Rock Island Lumber Company), a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser located in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The company had a number of premanufactured barn patterns available from a catalog. This method of barn construction became popular in the late 1930s. The roof has a Gothic arch shape formed from laminated timber rafters. The glued, laminated timber rafters had been developed in Europe and introduced to the United States in 1934. The United States Department of Agriculture issued a technical bulletin in 1939 on the use of these rafters, and Rilco was founded in Saint Paul, Minnesota that same year. Rilco’s marketing literature at the time promoted the rafters as being “factory-fabricated and engineered”, and the rafters were shipped predrilled and ready for assembly with all hardware included."
Transporting the rafters with our small truck presented it’s own small challenge. The truck has been a work-horse around the farm. After constructing a rack to hold the rafters secure, we got as many rafters as we could back to the shop.
Over the past few years, Brad has managed to find several uses for the rafters. A Rafter Bed, a few versions of a Rafter Bench, a Rafter Table, and even putting them back to use in a building that we affectionately call The Toaster.
The Rafter Bed, shown here at our 2005 Studio Open House. The spindles on this bed are tool handles.
Rafter Bench Version One
This Rafter Bench used found metal parts for legs and recycled pitchforks in the back support.
Rafter Dining Table
The Rafter Dining Table used a recycled steel plate set into a frame from arched rafters.
In the summer of 2006, we used some of the rafters to create a movable storage shed.
The Toaster is built on large skids. We can move it into position with the tractor. We use is mostly for wood storage and sawdust storage.
In late 2006 and 2007 Brad began making this version of the Rafter Bench.
We just made one more this year that can be seen here.
Exhaustion and quiet has taken over on this rainy Monday after the three day Studio Open House. Friday, Saturday and Sunday all had very strong attendance.
It was great to see some old friends and meet many new ones.
We need to thank several people that made this year’s show possible. It was great to have Michael O’Neill and Carol Lee Heisler join us as our guest artists and of course our partner in this show, Royce Yoder.
This was the first year for a few things at the open house. We were very happy to have two local companies that helped supply delicious food and coffee. Tru-Brew Coffee Service generously provided our coffee and brewing equipment for the show. Please be sure to check them out if you need coffee in your business or office!
Ristorante Toscano and Vermella’s Market delivered a great selection of italian meats, cheeses, and delicious cookies to us on Saturday. I can’t forget the fantastic hoagies too!
Ristorate Toscano is a B.Y.O.B located at 213 N. Broad Street in Lansdale, PA.
They’re open for lunch and dinner. For more information about them visit www.toscanolansdale.com
James Lauchmen played live music in the studio on Sunday. He was a great addition open house. James lives in Sellersville, PA plays around the area. You can learn more about him on his MySpace page.
This was also the first year that we used our Facebook page and our Twitter page to share up to the minute images and news about the Studio Open House. You can always find up-to-date news and a behind the scenes look at Bradford Woodworking on those pages. Check them out!
Thanks again to all those that joined us! We hope to see you all again next year!
Our annual Studio Open House kicks off this Friday at 10am!
Royce Yoder, Carol Heisler and Michael O’Neill will be joining us in the studio. We’re also very happy to have coffee provided by Tru-Brew Coffee. Tru-Brew Coffee Service is a family-owned, local coffee company which has faithfully served the Delaware Valley since 1972 with quality products, professional service and reliable equipment.
The Open House is located at 3120 Fisher Road, Worcester, PA 19490
We hope you can come by and join us!
In case you did not know, we’re on Facebook. We post updates daily along with some pics of the shop and what is going on. We will even posted some Facebook only specials from time to time.
Why not become a fan?
It was our first time back at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show in nearly 25 years. Happy to report that we had a great show. We met with many well informed guests and had some great conversations. It is always fun to get out and meet new customers.
The Rafter Bench was really catching people’s eyes.
Next is the preparations for our big Studio Open House! If you’ve never been, come on out! We’d love to see you. You can find all the information but clicking the link to the right.
We are exhibiting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show!
November 11 – 15, 2009
The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is presented annually by the Museum’s Women’s Committee and Craft Show Committee for the benefit of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Funds raised are used to purchase works of art and craft for the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to fund conservation and publication projects, and to support exhibitions and education programs.
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA.
Thurs: 11 am – 5 pm
Fri: 11 am – 5 pm
Sat: 11 am – 5 pm
Sun: 11 am – 5 pm
Adult $15.00 (single day) or $20.00 (two days)
Children under 12, $5.00
Tickets at the Door: Tickets can be purchased at the door. CASH ONLY.
For additional information visit http://pmacraftshow.org
A pleasant surprise arrived this morning. First we noticed it on our twitter page, then inside our mailbox. The latest issue of Fine Woodworking magazine arrived. There we are, on the back cover!
And there is a nice article about how we make our Ax Handle Stool.
We’ve had a lot of storms around here lately. As a result, we got a lot of phone calls asking if we were interested in blown down trees. They mostly just wanted the logs out of there so….yeah! One of our jackpot finds was at a golf course that had lost a lot of trees. The only problem: how to turn them into lumber. Who do you call?? The WOOD MISER. This is a portable sawmill that comes to you. We have used it several times and it does a great job.
Here’s Brad sitting on one of his, what Joseph calls, Hollywood logs. He calls it that because it looks so perfect. A red oak, one of the many trees that came down in a golf course.
Brad already deciding what he’s going to do with that beauty.
Sawing off the edges.
Kyle and Luke stacking fresh cut red oak. Can’t you just smell it? It will be put away for a couple of years so it can dry. Can’t wait to see what Brad’s amazing creativity makes out of these babies!
From time to time we will ask people to post questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
@VeradaleGuy via Twitter asked: What was your biggest difficulty in getting started in the business?
Thanks for your question. The biggest thing to overcome is money. I started out small, making a line of kitchen tools. That start meant a low overhead, small shop, limited amount of tools and machine needs. Over time, I could expand the line. First came a stool, then a chair. It has been a balance of slow and steady growth, keeping overhead small, and persistence.
Here are a few of the things heard in our booth at the Long’s Park Show over Labor Day Weekend.
“Look at that chair!”
“Oh my god, Look at this Harry!”
“You know what this is? A pitchfork”
“They don’t look used”
“That cabinet is beautiful”
“This rocker has good action”
“Where is Worcester”
“Part of the art is finding the wood”
“The headboard reminds me of iced gingerbread cookies”
About every 10 years Brad decides he needs to build a building. First our house in 1985, then the smaller shop barn in 1995, then the big shop building in 2005. In between he throws in a couple of little ones. I’m thinking there might be a need/want/gottahave for one of these little cuties. What is the opinion out there? They could be built in sections and brought to someone’s property.
The above “shed” is used for gardening tools and the mower. There’s an awesome weather vane on top that’s turned sideways so you can’t see it. I’ll try to get a better picture of it.
This one is used for wood storage.
We have added tractor seat stools to our line up. We have these swivel seats cast for us in iron at an Amish foundry in Lancaster. We then turn the legs in ash on our lathe. Please note the Bradford Woodworking cast into the seat. We are feeling pretty smug about that.
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