Construction Arts/Background

       Huckleberry’s Background/Construction Arts huckpeelingpoles

Huckleberry began building skills young.

Tinker Toys, Erecter Sets, forts in the woods, knots in boyscouts, knots1

a doorstop in 4H, Huckleberry was always building. Dad was a woodworker and built simple boats.

knots2Huckleberry built and raced model hydo-planes as a kid. As a young man he began doing remodeling for friends. He made friends with some ferro-cement shipbuilders and helped them build a ship. He met and worked with Sam Conner who built wooden boats and had a wooden boat builders school. During this time Huckleberry built several boats. He took one of his boats to where they were building the Lady Washington and they offered him a job. He became one of the 13 original shipwrights of the Lady Washington where he learned traditional joinery. The Lady Washington is a precision craft built with mortice and tenon to replicate a full-scale ship built in Boston in 1790. So to learn traditional joinery there is to learn an extremely precise form of it.

After that he got himself a book and began building small timber frame buildings on his own; shops etc. using hand tools and joinery. At one point he went to the International Timber Framer’s Guild Conference where he learned a lot. To Huckleberry, timber framing is not just a construction style, it’s our human heritage. Strong. Enduring. It links past and future. It links humans and environment. It links communities. It’s beautiful. And unlike most houses being thrown up today, is an enduring work of art, worthy of the future generations.

 

Huckleberry built his own 2200 sq/ft permitted timber frame house with a timber frame shop on the land where he raised his family. (more pictures soon) He did it all himself start to finish except the plumbing and wiring. He even built the furniture. The house will stand for centuries.

After that, he built another timber frame building in timberframeQuinaultinsideQuinault, timberframequinaultanother in North River and another in New Zealand.

 

The style of timber frame that Huckleberry builds is the Shaker Design. Strong. Simple. Enduring.Image result for shaker timber frame jack sobon

At a certain point his fascination with traditional joinery and natural building led him to travel to Wales where he learned from Tony Wrench "That Roundhouse"  Walesabout Reciprocating Roofs as well as looking at and staying in every traditional timber frame building he could. oldtimberframeHis travels included seed collecting, learning and teaching Permaculture and natural building all around the world, primarily focusing on locations with similar climate and environment as the PNW.

 

woodenboatschile

On a seed gathering mission in Chile he studied traditional wooden

boat building.

 

 

While travelling to help teach Permaculture Design Courses in NZ roundhousecoband South Africa he developed the Portable Roundhouse using it for temporary classrooms in the bush.

 

In New Zealand he built a timber frame house and taught a 2 week workshop as he did. He can’t remember how many roundhouses he built nor how many roundhouse workshops he taught in NZ. Plenty! He worked on a lot of natural buildings while there, significantly

robinashouserobinasdeckkitchen

designing and building a 20 meter permitted reciprocating roof roofroundhouse with earthen infill for fellow PDC teacher, also taught as a series of workshops, and working with Richard Walker who developed New Zealand’s Natural Building Code.22' permanent roundhouse interior  NZ

 

Today Huckleberry’s research in the construction arts has mostly to do with buildings for the modern homesteader in the PNW. Portable Pallet Barns used for rotational systems; (livestock/poultry/greenhouse), traditional fencing: wattle, hurdles, stake and rider…arbors and trellises… roundwood timber frame buildings and myriad variations of the reciprocating roof design. To learn more please read on…..

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May the forest be with you!