27th September 2014
Today Ford and I shuffled various wooden components of the house between our little garage in Forest Hill, the workshop in Kent and the building site in Clapham. There's no longer any room for the kitchen in the workshop so it had to come home but, as the house isn't ready for it yet, our garage had to be cleared of the wood I got milled back in post #4, which ended up on site after a visit to the workshop.
We also took our front door to site. Ford is posing with it here in its final destination, at the front of the solid brick porch/larder/fruit store that will only get built when the scaffold comes down. This part of the building, like the conservatory above it, will be outside the insulated envelope of the building so it's not part of the timber frame (and consequently doesn't exist yet).
I drew this door ages ago when I first sketched the Arts and Crafts fantasy that will be The Orchard: a quarter-sawn solid oak door with big metal straps and a chunky iron knocker. I was delighted when I found it for sale, almost exactly as I had imagined it, through Cox's Yard Reclamation in Gloucestershire. Apparently it comes from a Cotswold Manor House that was being modernised. I'm happy to have been going in the opposite direction at the same moment.
After getting the door on site we headed down to Kent with all our milled planks of sycamore from the tree that once inspired neighbouring Tree House. There we cut them to size and put them through the thicknesser so all they now need is a bit of sanding and oiling before they become shelves in our double height bookcases in the upstairs library. We are retaining the curving, knobbly edges of the logs and lining up the planks from the same logs so that their form will still be evident across the shelves. The wood itself is quite striking as the tree evidently suffered from a severe fungal infection; the resulting patterns bloom across the shelves.
As the workshop is in the grounds of the Scotney Castle estate, we stopped off for a National Trust lunch. We also checked out the recently renovated walled garden of the house, built with the solid brick garden wall bond that is common in Sussex and Kent and we which we will be using for our porch: three red stretchers, one dark header; repeat and offset on the next course. Lovely.