Notes From Gramp’s Work Bench

Winter Progress Update
Hurray! Last Saturday the weather finally warmed up enough for us to get over to the school house and do some work! First Em, Gramp, and myself had a project meeting to check in and do some planning. Then on to the school house! Gramp is kind of in charge of the work space so I asked him what I could get going on. Here’s how it went:

Gramp: “You can sit here and pull nails out of all this trim and molding we are going to re-use.”

Me: “oh…” (and I probably had a disappointed look on my face,I have no poker face, whatever I’m thinking usually reads right on my face)

Gramp: “Or we can take the sink out and start removing the molding and trim and pull down more press board.”

Me: “YES!”

removing moldings and baseboards

I’ve been keeping busy in the cold weather with some small DIY decor projects with reclaimed school house materials.  Gramp apparently was keeping himself even busier researching and dreaming up ways to repurpose and put a lot of the materials back into the school house. He can’t wait to share what he’s been up to! Take it away Gramp!

IMG_3773Notes From Gramp’s Work Bench
We’re still in the demo phase of the project and the inside of the school house will likely get a little less pretty before we start putting things back together. It’s not too soon to think about what we might do with some of the awesome building materials we are collecting as we take things apart. Plus it’s fun and helps keep focus on making project progress.

I could tell from our recent project meeting that my input on the design plans & details may not be enthusiastically welcomed. Trust me nobody will accuse this family of being too subtle! Wouldn’t everyone want a graffiti covered snack table complete with beverage and chip holders in the middle of their living room?? Oh well, I’m perfectly cool with my marching orders – “don’t break stuff taking it down and don’t throw away anything without permission.”

Here are a few of the reclaim-able materials and repurposing ideas that the team is considering…

Vintage Shiplap
Math is far from my strong suit, but I think there will be enough of the random length shiplap that’s currently on the addition partitions to use on a vaulted ceiling in the future bedroom & bathroom. Repeat after me – don’t break the shiplap! If there’s extra, using it to build the bathroom vanity might be a good option. Of course I still need to sell this idea to the design team.

top: shiplap in school house addition, bottom: inspirations for reusing shiplap

Old Framing Lumber 
There is some really great rough sawn lumber that needs to come off of the inside brick walls. Lots of it looks to date from the original 1850 construction. It’s attached with mostly square cut nails (another reminder here not to throw stuff out without permission). The possible uses for the rustic lumber are many: Shelving, Student Bench, Kitchen Island, Trim & Accents, Wine Rack, Hall Tree, Mirror & Picture Frames, the list goes on…


top: framing wood from behind the press board, bottom: design inspirations

More More More!
There is quite a selection of other materials that we can reuse & recycle. I’ll pass more along as we progress. Contrary to how my design ideas were received, readers are more than welcome and encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions. I’m just hoping that I won’t need to figure out how to reclaim and incorporate that enormous old cottonwood tree* out front! -Gramp

*Jill’s Note: Oh I’ve already been thinking about repurposing pieces of that tree….you should be worried Gramp…very worried. Seriously the tree is the next major thing on our list…it haunts my dreams and I constantly text Gramp on windy nights and ask him to go check and make sure it’s still standing!!



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