52 Weeks #20: The hands of Masters

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Blog entry by clieb91 posted 05-23-2011 03:58 AM 1228 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: Week 19-Workshop Solution and a practice in progress Part 20 of 52 Weeks series Part 21: A day late… »

First off let me just say I am happily still working on my sign project, as is my daughter but since I really should have thought harder about my daughter’s sign we have changed direction and now I have a few more letters to cut out. Oh well.

In the meantime, I would like to relate a slightly different tale. It has been my pleasure of the past year to watch a number of true craftsmen at work. The dedication of the Korean Bell Garden Pavilion at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens was last weekend. It has been truly something to watch this being built.


The logs you see being delivered arrived in a few different loads. Humorously, we got a call one day saying they would be delivering some wood for use on this project. We wound up with a delivery of several trees. However, a few months went by and carpenters arrived from Korea. These 4 men had a little bit of powered help by means of a band saw mill, chainsaws and a few drills and power planers; but did a ton of work with just hand tools. They worked through the summer and into September, when they left 2 other gentleman flew in to work on the slate roof. All of the slate was brought in. Work has been continuing on various parts over the past year. The bell itself arrived last month from Korea where it was cast and was installed. Leaving us with this…


This entire structure only has maybe about 2 dozen bolts in it. Everything interlocks together. This was the awesome thing to watch. These guys built several dozen of the same pieces in order to have everything fit together with a small amount of hammering on occasion. As soon as I receive permission from another friend I will post pictures of some of the work in progress as I know folks here will want to see some of the up close stuff.


In order to celebrate the dedication of the bell installation an artist came from Korea to carve some traditional totem poles (jangseung). I was not able to watch him but it is my understanding these were all carved by hand with axes, froes, and chisels. Some of the detailing was actually burned into them with a torch.


As a LumberJock it has been a true pleasure to be able to watch as this structure has been assembled over the past year. I will look to get some of the in progress pictures up soon. If you happen to be in the Northern Virginia area I would encourage you to check this place out, and let me know.

Hope everyone has a good week in the shop and out.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

3 comments so far

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3166 days

#1 posted 05-23-2011 04:47 AM

That is so cool. Thanks for sharing

Do you work there?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Woodfix's profile


344 posts in 3630 days

#2 posted 05-23-2011 08:21 AM

Great story. Thanks for sharing.


-- I would rather have the most memories, than the most money.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3655 days

#3 posted 05-23-2011 11:00 AM

oh wow… stupendous!

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