Note: This trailer is completely intact underneath of the wood covering. I am not concerned at all if the wood sheathing leaks a little because there is a sealed metal shell underneath that was a purchased commercial coffee cart before any wood was added. Another contractor/carpenter was hired and he glued firring strips on to the outside of the trailer walls and then attached cedar siding with screws to the firring strips. I do not take any kind of ownership or responsibility for the siding or trim on this project. The client was interested in a sign, and I convinced her that a beautiful architectural line with the roof will be the best sign this little cart could ever receive. I hope you agree :) Our part was to build the roof. Normally I would use the rough sawn cedar as a sheathing that the roof shingling would attach to, but in this case my client liked the exposed boards and since they are not the waterproofing member of this roof set up, I thought, I like them exposed too!
The first step was to through bolt the supports for the roof to the framing members of the trailer.. You can see the original trailer with siding here. We made sure not to drill any holes or allow any fasteners to poke through the metal siding. Aside from the through bolts that hold the supports for the roof, there are no other holes...
My pops drillin' (pictured above)
We kicked off this whole adventure by taking off for the beach. We scoured the coast for the right log. It was just sitting there waiting for us. We both agreed, in a rare moment of acquiescence, this here is the right log. So we journeyed home with our treasure, the van filled with the chatter of structural strategies and the 16' log dangling out of the back.
With the ridge pole up and the top plate cut for the right contrasting curve, the dynamics of the roof line began to take shape...
We sheathed the end walls with ply and got out the old propane torch. These things are sold at hardware stores as "weed burners." A torch is a wonderful thing... We used this big, propane torch to singe the exposed side of the cedar. This technique is known in Japan as "Shou Sugi Ban". I have only used this method a few times, but I really enjoy how the fire brings out the grain lines in the material and makes it more weather resistant.
After burning the boards we were hoping to apply tung oil, but we had to order a gallon of 1/2 and 1/2 mixed tung oil and citrus oil, which took a few days to ship. In the mean time we got the boards secured in place. We lapped the big live edge cedar boards and attached them together with small #8 stainless wood screws. This technique of lapping boards and attaching them closely on edges is how many viking ships were built. The vikings used copper rivets to hold the lapstrake boards together. We bent the boards wet, then attached them with stainless screws and let them dry. With this technique you can bend the thin boards and achieve lines that are sweet...
I took my pops to the airport and came home to finish shingling the end walls. I had collected a bunch of blocks of cedar from old stumps and I milled them into shingles on my friend's mill. I used these shingles on the Leafspring (my hut), but I had a bunch of leftover shingles from that project and it was just enough to finish these end walls.
With the end walls shingled, Kari wanted to come and see the progress on the cart. She was really happy with how it was developing and I convinced here to let me add a driftwood sign on the front of the cart. With the final details in place, I got out my shears and a sheet of brass to make the details pop!
I got the brass cap on and Dylan Magaster stopped by with a brand new drone!
Next I bent gutters. I saw how nice the line of the ridge looked glistening with brass, so I decided to create the same effect with the gutters on the outside line of the roof. The gutters sleeve together and screw to the underside of the roofing. Once I got them up I filled a bucket with water and dumped it. The stream coming off the gutter was a wonderful hidden line of the building that was a little bit of a design present. I can't wait to see it in action in the rain!
The final step was to complete the driftwood sign. I stopped by my friend Dana's shop and he was going to forge some knife blanks so I tossed in some 3/4" rod and made some brackets for a really cool piece of driftwood we found when my pops and I went to the beach for the ridge pole.
The difficult part on this sign was that I had to forge the brackets to fit around the piece of wood and then bolt it to the trailer. So I had to make them fit close, but not not too close because I had to bolt on the bracket then slide in the piece of wood. After it was fit I kept the driftwood piece wet, then used my favorite torch (the weed burner) and heated the steel in place. Once I got the steel up to temp, I shut off the torch and hammered down hot the steel around the driftwood. I much prefer the no fasteners, just thick steel approach...
I stopped in @ Fishtrap Loop to visit my friends Gina and Eddy and I got a nice piece of Pacific Yew with some figure from Eddy. After cutting out the brass letters, the sign was hung and wha lah... the coffee hut roof and sign commissions are complete!
Come get your first cup from the Bay Coffee hut on Mud Bay Rd in Olympia, Washington.
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