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leaving trees for summer shading and emerging ecological consciousness (picnic table, hammock and chairs for guests. . .all green)

leaving trees for summer shading and emerging ecological consciousness (picnic table, hammock and chairs for guests. . .all green)

In the spring of 1983, upon return from a spate of wanderlust in New Zealand, jayöh set about finding south facing acreage. We settled upon 12A near Brighton, ON overlooking Lake Ontario. It was on the slope of the ancient prehistoric shoreline of the then much larger lake. Completed in 1985, the shop open house was held 17 months after the site clearing began. 17 was to become a significant number in my karmic foreshadowing.

jayöh in the sump, schmoothin’ the concrete floor pad (notice the foil-sided polyurethane underpad insulation on the clear stone base)

I needed to earn a living again to make up for some wounded finances after this southern hemisphere sojourn. I’m a woodworker. First things first. I build my homes from the shop. I did some homework on building technology and settled upon the ON R2000 standard along with PWF. Now both of these older techniques originate from the prairies. The then Ontario Hydro pirated the concept from the University of Saskatchewan, who had done all of the developmental research.

I would like to state here and now that there are no right and wrong ways to construct and erect a building. There are only different solutions to questions that pose themselves throughout the process and within the consciousness of the builder/designer/engineer/maker. While I realize that there are some people out there bound and determined to get their way with their customers, I caution against developing a hard and fast rule of doing anything. Considering my experience and as the instructor who taught my son Todd and I how to run a CNC router . . . now listen carefully ye who read here . . .

There’s more than one way to cook a turkey”.

shingled & stained, now jayöh hangs the bass clef facer boards made from his own KD 24″ ON white pine

jayöh made the soffit from spruce and stained it. Fibreglass screening was stapled on the back side. The fancy facer boards were dried in jayöh’s kiln and planed on the first helicoidal planer brought into Canada by the Italian firm, EMA. I ordered 24″ wide ON white pine and jig sawed a stylized, horizontal bass clef. Music was and still is a great passion. Indeed; “Music is life. All else is merely details.” according to one sage.

working with mature trees near buildings (notice the south berm)

working with mature trees near buildings (notice the south berm)

Notice that the east and west shingled mansard rolls down the roof. While the overhang remains constant, the pitch changes precipitously as one descends from 9 ft to nearly 1ft. At the back of the building, jayöh could literally walk onto the roof for snow & chimney maintenance as well as seasonal cleaning of cedar droppings.

PWF stands for: preserved wood foundation. In ’83, there were 3 grades of PT (pressure treatment). The first or lowest level was for exterior decking, hand rails and the like. Next came fence posts and beams in contact with the ground. Lastly, for direct burial, that which I used, was the heaviest impregnation of CCA or (chromium~copper~arsenic) Yah, you got it Pontiac!

steel on strapping only . . . big mistake as there was lots of underside condensation {(it was code) bah humbug stupid code!} That’s the scribbler, jayöh, with his twin screw guns.

Not completely seen in this scanned image are the dead-man anchors engineered to hold the roof/wall system in place as the rear/north wall was backfilled the full 8ft! There were two powered 24″ roof top circulation fans added which were set to come on via a de-humidistat, operable from the shop’s mechanical/furnace room.

Who knew back in 1983 that these highly poisonous heavy metals were going to come back and haunt us from buried foundations to playground equipment; that we in all our insensitivity and blind awareness, created for our beloved children to horse around on. Heavy metals in our food, whether from sewage sludge or in microscopic dilution in our drinking water, is not part of our evolution as humans.

jayöh gets ready to stain the spruce siding & soffit

jayöh gets ready to stain the spruce siding & soffit

My woodworking shop at; 78’x38′ or nearly 3000 sq. ft., was in 1985, the largest PWF building in the dominion of Canada according to the Ottawa based Canada Wood Council. Accolades are OK.

pileated woodpecker up close & personal, curious of his own reflected image (great scan . . .eh?)

Now to the design:
– Basic mono truss or shed roof covered with 26g galvanized steel faces north
– 10 patio door thermal units of 3’x6′ with a similar sized casement window for the office, formed the passive south facing solar gain opening less than 5% of the floor surface area {(heat loss at night is the trade-off) some say 8-10% is optimum}
–  Walls were 2″x10″ @ 16″ O/C formed the fibreglass batt insulated cavity of R30
–  Foundation was PWF 2″x12″ laid directly upon 7″ of 2″ stone ( in the 22 yrs I logged inside, the building never sagged)
–  Central gravity feed sump, as the floor sat upon 5 springs burbling up from the hillside
–  Cedar shingled – false mansard roof’ on a 36″ soffit overhang (overhangs work for me)

heating plenum eventually taken down as unnecessary (Tatry radial arm saw & Wadkin stroke sander) 200W incandescent bulbs replaced in 1995 with high output fluorescent bulbs with low vibration ballasts

heating plenum eventually taken down as unnecessary (Tatry radial arm saw & Wadkin stroke sander) 200W incandescent bulbs replaced in 1995 with high output fluorescent bulbs with low vibration ballasts

– Eastern white spruce 1″x6″ t&g and plenty of it, was both the interior unfinished wall and ceiling covering, as well as the exterior diagonal siding all set on a herringbone pattern for visual interest.
– Floor was R12, walls were R30 fibreglass batt and the ceiling was R60 blown cellulose
– There was a continual 6mil vapour barrier throughout the building, but no HRV.

plainsawn& quartered white oak office

plainsawn& quartered white oak office

The 400 sq. ft. garage, was my air exchange area. Doubling as a spray area, the garage did not have very well sealed doors, since they were hand made of spruce wood. Immediately upon drying, some twisting became evident.

white oak door detail

The R2000 concept was/is essentially a heavier insulated wall and ceiling, airtight 6mil. vapour barrier with an HRV (heat recovery ventilator) to control air circulation, within a sealed living space. That’s the basic plan. Additions came later like better windows, doors, and higher insulated values with certification by authorized practitioners of the black art of blower testing for leaks in the 6mil. membrane.

The building performed very well. Sometimes when pulling an all-nighter, if I was finishing, I would I heat overnight with the electric furnace. I generally burned about 3/4~ 1 bush cord of kindling in any season. No matter how cold it was outside, if the sun shone through Jan. or Feb. it would be well above 74ºF up ’til the sun started to set about 4PM. Wood furnace generally only used in the early AM. The powrmatic furnace was a combination wood/electric unit from Québec. They lost demand and stopped producing them . . . sadly.

compact wood/electric furnace with electrical pnl and transformer

compact wood/electric furnace with electrical pnl and transformer

Because it was a woodworking shop supplied with 600V 3Ph power for the industrial equipment, summers were hot but not unworkable. Perhaps 85ºF. . . nearly tolerable. The overhang worked extremely well with a 4′ shadow up the north interior wall during the winter solstice. No sun on the window sills on the summer solstice.

setting up staging along south to shingle mansard (we built the trailer too)

setting up staging along south to shingle mansard (we built the trailer too)

Lastly, the shop was a woodworker’s dream equipped with the following:

– 2hp Newton horizontal boring machine (for dbl. dowelling)
– 5hp Murphy dust collector
– 16g spiral galvanized ducting

1" hard maple floor over 2x3 hemlock sleepers Ramset to conc. Yes, I even had some people take off their shoes during the winter when the floor was in this condition.

1″ hard maple floor over 2×3 hemlock sleepers Ramset to conc. Yes, I even had some people take off their shoes during the winter when the floor was in this condition.

– 14″ EMA 7hp sliding table saw w/scoring -24″ EMA 15hp helicoidal head planer(separate motor for digital table rise and fall and powered outfeed table roller – 16″ SCM 6hp jointer, 4 knife cutterhead 96″ long tables – 10′ Wadkin 5hp gooseneck stroke sander (move to 180 grit directly from the jayöh modified slow feed planer!) – 14″ Tatry 5hp radial arm saw with 24″ cut-off capacity
– 27″ Wadkin 7hp bandsaw

jayöh @ the bandsaw (notice the 3M safe-t-walk tape)

jayöh @ the bandsaw (notice the 3M safe-t-walk tape)

Devair 10hp 120 gal tank compressor16″ x 6″ combination – General 1hp, 16″ disc & 6″belt sander – 15″ Beaver (Canadian) floor mounted drillpress Ebac dry kiln could handle 300 bd. ft. of lumber – 8″ Baldor grinder/polisher on a floor mounted cast iron base

the Andi CNC router. These tools put many men out of work.

the Andi CNC router. These tools put many men out of work.

Anderson 15hp drive, 10hp vacuum, 8-position tool turret

jayoh's shop in winter

jayoh’s shop in winter

Many hand, electric and air powered bench tools graced the storage facility behind the 8′ hard maple bench.

It was within this building, over a nearly 17 year period, that all iterations of Waveform loudspeakers were manufactured, quality controlled for accuracy of frequency response and shipped to final destinations from 1984 – 2001.

I am John Ötvös, aka jayöh.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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