We’ve been busy beavers the past couple of months at Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, but not with furniture restoration. Instead, we have been expanding our shop space so that Erik can work on more than one piece at a time.
Within our turquoise and white pole shed, we had one kinda smallish heated and finished room for the entire refinishing process, from cleaning and stripping through to the spray finishing. It meant that the dust and dirt from early in the process was difficult to keep from contaminating the later part of the process, even though Erik somehow managed. The rest of the space in the pole shed was basically cold storage.
We knew we needed to make the workshop space bigger, but we had to decide how much bigger. We also had to make sure we could make it weather tight and keep it heated. The cold of Minnesota winters invades pole sheds with concrete floors, making them feel even colder than it is outside.
We hired a contractor in the summer of 2017 to help us frame in the space where the giant garage door was, which included installing a window (salvaged by Erik for free!) and door. Once we decided on the size of the new shop, we then had to frame the space inside, including creating a ceiling for the shop within the pole shed. This happened last fall (2018) Basically, we created a box within a box right next to the existing shop.
After the framing was complete, we had to use spray foam and other sealants to keep the elements out, insulate, install vapor barrier, hang sheetrock, prime and paint. What has taken a sentence to say actually took us 2-3 months to do.
Then we had to call the gas company to have the gas meter reinstalled. The pole shed had an old gas furnace, but it was so long ago that the gas company had no record of gas installation on the property. We had the external fittings still on the exterior of the building to show that, yes, indeed, gas had once run to the building.
Following this, we had an electrician come do the wiring we needed for the furnace and outlets. And, finally, we had the furnace installed.
These operations by outside contractors took up the past month or so in terms of scheduling. Because it is now January in Minnesota, we’ve been managing this work in the cold, using a trusty kerosene heater to make the temperature in the new workshop tolerable (pleasant, even!).
Because the entire shop has been in disarray, with us shifting furniture and equipment around in order to do the shop build-out, we have not been able to do much furniture refinishing. We are happy to report that we’re back to furniture, with Erik finishing restoration of a Lane Rhythm dresser today. We’ll discuss that in our next post.