Over the years I’ve done a lot of woodworking and post & beam barn construction and rehabilitation. In the summers of 2014 and 2015 I rebuilt part of the foundation of a 100 year old barn in Trout Lake, Washington. This time-lapse video of the repair of one of the footings gives an idea of what it’s like to lift up and work under a 20 ton barn joint. Time-lapse is a useful tool to review large scale motion of the building which is hard to see in real time. At ~30 seconds into the video, the ceiling can be seen to raise up as the barn is jacked off of the footing to make room for the new supporting sill members.


These photos show some of the project challenges.

Over the decades, the roof had sagged and pulled the 2x8 purlins off of the old cedar posts (first photo). One challenge was to re-raise the roof, and pull the principle purlins back onto the posts. This was done with a combination of cables, bolts and jacking using long wooden T-beams under the the eave plates.

The old foundation was largely loose stone sitting in dust, and the posts were shifting off of it. In most cases, the barn was jacked up, stones relaid on deep concrete footings, and a rebar-reinforced concrete bottom sill was poured to support the posts. Thirty-foot long 5x10” Douglas fir beams were installed on top of the concrete sill; each beam weighed several hundred pounds, and getting them into place with the barn suspended above them was a fun challenge.


This project is a walnut linen press I made for a good friend as a wedding gift. What made this particularly fun was a friend cut down and milled the tree, I dried it for two years, then planed and joined all the board to create the piece. The only metal involved is the door hinges, the rest is done by mortise and tenon joinery.