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Restoring the Past with Amy Harrington McAuley


 
  Tooling Up for Next Project by Amy Harrington McAuley 1 of 2  

 

One of my big yearlong projects this year is the restoration of North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco WA.

 

The lighthouse was constructed in 1897. Carl Leick was the architect of this lighthouse along with 24 other structures in the Northwest. As the mouth of the Columbia River is treacherous in the best of weather, mariners where complaining that the earlier built light at the mouth was insufficient for ships coming out of the North.

The following 2 pictures are of the lighthouse in its current state. The restoration currently underway is a multi-phased project that will go on for a couple of years.

My current mission that I have chosen to undertake involves the installation of 6 new windows (sash and frames) in the tower and some interior work in the workroom.

The six windows are located in the watchtower level and in the tower itself. At some point the original windows were scrapped and the openings bricked in.

As a side note, this isnít my first rodeo with lighthouses. So some of the issues I will be facing I have dealt with before on a similar project.

In the tower on the left, one of my previous projects, I replaced two windows on the tower body and four windows on the watchtower.

The first thing I will be doing is the interior carpentry in the workroom. This will entail running window casings and door casings for all the windows and doors in the lighthouse, roughly 200 ft., installing a tongue and groove ceiling, building a new closet to match an existing and modifying an existing door to match the original drawings.

In preparation for all this work I am currently working on tooling up. So this means that I am building some new tools in order to accomplish this work. One of the first problems was how was I going to make the complex window and door casings.

I have been loaned a piece of historic casing to match exactly. It is from this piece that I am building the tools necessary to make the run. Also, just to make things more interesting 8 pieces of the casings are arched.

I consulted with Jim Hendricks and Richard Arnold to get their opinions about this situation. After a bit of discussion I have decided to build 1 complex moulding plane and 1 scratch stock that would be able to do the curves.

Scratch stock

As a happenchance I finally purchased Simon James book Working Wood 3, the Cabinet Makerís Workshop. In my initial perusing of the book I noticed Simon detailed how to build a scratch stock that will work on curved sections of wood.

How fortunate for me as this is exactly what I need. The main body of the tool I made out of some scrap beech and I used an old scraper for the blade.


 
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