Lesson in Wood

January, 2010 

Bird posters in workshop

One of the ways I hoped to “go green” and at least nod toward restoration vs. remodeling was to resurrect the old wood siding and infill with new boards milled to the same profile. Ha! Not so fast. After much research I discovered that the siding was a common local pattern that could still be seen on very old homes across the area. (caution: I rubberneck wildly for architectural details.) I have not found where it was milled, but I know for certain that wherever it was, it’s long gone now.

Once I realized that I needed 1,400 square feet of siding, the DIY with a router concept became yet another ridiculous underestimation. Still, I figured someone could surely just, well, fiddle with the blades or something and cut some new siding close to the original style. I’ve been painfully educated: if it’s not in the western pattern book (the industry standard for wood siding profiles) you’ll need to have a knife made first. Read: pay much more money.

Bird posters in workshop

The value of working with experienced specialists can’t be overstated. Tracey’s, a local lumberyard near where I grew up, has connections at mills across New England and offers service you can’t get at big box. Bruce helped me with every aspect of the process, from assessing what I had to weighing all my options. We’ve settled on a mill that produced a semi-retired pattern that looks very close to the original. A happy compromise, It will do fine. Delivery expected in six weeks or so.