Blog: Sustainable Living

TRC Timberworks is now a Licensed Builder!

TRC Timberworks is now officially a Licensed Residential Builder with BC Housing (formerly Homeowner Protection Office – “HPO”). This means that we can now make it easy for you to build your dream home. On top of the services of designing, building, and project management, TRC Timberworks can now pull your building permit and provide you with a 10 year home warranty program to protect your house.

TRC Timberworks is now offering full general contracting services, which takes the stress out of building your own home. TRC Timberworks can manage all of the details so you can relax and enjoy the process of seeing your dream home coming to life.

If you are thinking of building your home, or if you are looking for a registered Licensed Builder, give me a call! Tel: 250-551-6584

Heart Spoon for Mom

In my last blog post I talked about my kids carving this spoon for their mom. Here is the finished project. The wood is pine and was an easy wood for the kids to learn how to carve with. The spoon now has a permenent home on the back of the stove for all of us to look at every time we cook!

I loved how the kids’ imaginations worked while carving the spoon. It was my daughter’s idea to carve the heart into the spoon, and it was my son’s idea to carve the small notch just above the bowl. These are things I wouldn’t have even thought about doing, so I am glad that the kids got creative!

I want to thank Doug Pauls of Rocky Mountain Alphorns – he was the one that gave me the spoon blank and spurred the idea. Here is a youtube video you can watch of his journey into carving!  Watching this makes teaching my kids how to carve that much more special.

Carving a Spoon for Mom

I got inspired last winter to carve some spoons for gifts for the holiday season. My kids loved hanging out in the wood shop with me, and they decided that they wanted to help carve a wooden soup spoon for their mom.

Not only did they both participate in using the chisels to shape and texture the spoon, they also came up with the idea to carve a heart into the end of the handle. I was very proud of my son and daughter for listening to my safety expectations so that they could carefully use the sharp chisels.

I love teaching them how to use hand tools to create their own wood projects, because we get to spend that special time together and they feel so good about what they have made with their hands.

We finished the spoon with food-grade oil & beeswax finish, then wrapped it up to give to mom! Watch for the next blog to see a photo of it finished.

Sunshine on a Covered Deck?

This deck was a joy to design and build. The customers wanted to expand their outdoor living space, and they already had the deck there but wanted a covered area where they could bbq and hang out. Since the deck is on the back of the house in a shady area, they wanted to maximize the available light. This lead their decision to install clear roofing material, giving them shelter from the weather while still letting the sun through! The best part is that they are my neighbors, so from time to time, I will be able to go over and enjoy the space myself!

This deck is on an off-grid home in the Slocan Valley. I have had the pleasure of working on a few other projects in this house, and it’s great to see how the longevity of my workmanship is holding up over the years. I’ve been keen to watch how various exterior and interior finishes have held up, especially on highly exposed areas outdoors or high traffic areas indoors, as this helps me to offer other clients the best choices for quality finishes and application methods.

 

Hybrid Post & Beam

Working with rounds is a lot different than working with square timbers. Layout is completely different: working off of chalk lines and carving the rounds down to square posts at the joinery took a lot longer than just working with square timbers.

Making the braces was a challenge in precision – getting the square part carved perfectly to fit the housing and then adding 45 degree cuts in the end really gave me a challenge! I cut all of the log joinery using a chainsaw to rough out the joints and then cleaned them up with an angle grinder fitted with a sanding disk.

The customer really liked the round look, so we used round logs for the posts and braces to give the house an open concept log home feel. However, since the square beams were faster to layout and cut, the hybrid of both square with round was the solution we came up with to work within budget.

This home will be an off-grid straw bale home, with clay plaster.

 

Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

It was my special honour, and one I didn’t take lightly, to craft a memorial urn for a dear friend after her passing. I suggested that a carving on the top of the box would add a personalized touch, and after scrapping several design ideas and one false start on a carving, I came up with this design.

My friend loved dragonflies and lotus flowers, and I wanted to incorporate both. The wood for the carving is cedar, because I liked the colouring of the cedar contrasted with the red colour of the African padauk wood lid.

The urn is finished with natural wood finishes (tung & linseed oils and beeswax), and it is appropriate for an eco-friendly burial of a loved one’s ashes, especially if the loved one was not embalmed or was embalmed with non-toxic chemicals. Continue reading Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

Rescued Axe Head

I’ve been looking around for older hand tools at antique stores and personal sales, hoping I’ll find some gems that I can use for planing or timber framing. I have some of my grandpa’s hand tools that are still in excellent condition; these older tools were made to last.

I found this head for a log hewing axe in the summer. An older gentleman was selling some of his tools, and this was from an axe that he used for timber framing homes 30 years ago. For the price tag of $10, I couldn’t resist (these axes usually run about $350 to $400 new), and I have an idea about how I can bring it back to life. Continue reading Rescued Axe Head

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

These beautiful veggies came from a farm close to us that is set up as a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a share in the CSA at the beginning of the season, and you enjoy a box of local, organic, seasonal vegetables each week. The first time I had garden-fresh broccoli (so sweet!), I was completely sold.

In a time where we get apples shipped from New Zealand, broccoli shipped from California, and zucchini shipped from Mexico, we have become disconnected from our food sources and the people who grow it. These are all foods that grow in Canada, and if we are able to find local produce and shift our diet to be more seasonal, we can enjoy fresh delicious food that was ripened by the sun in the fields rather than by chemicals en route. Continue reading CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)