"Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt #53: Barn Cat in Training and More....

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Blog entry by frank posted 08-10-2009 04:06 AM 1781 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 52: Three Acts of Working the Wood Part 53 of "Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt series Part 54: What Lights Up An English Barn »

Barn Cat in Training and More….

I might as well introduce a new member in my barn and tell you some of her history. To start out with it might also help if I was to explain that the barn you are seeing here is an English Barn dated from around 1780. My wife and I started gutting this barn back in 2000 and then while I was on the road most of that winter, she along with a crew took the barn down in about a weeks time after numbering all the bents. Next after taking a year to get our variance and building permit I was able by the summer of 2002 to start putting her back to-gather again. The only point to remember here is that this is an English Barn….and so starts this story up till now.

From 2002 and up until now (2009) there has been many months during the New England winters and summers when I have been totally lost in getting this barn to where she is today….and still more to go. Over the years we have all-ways had cats or might I say many cats and up until last week we had three cats. These cats for the most part are inside and outside cats, which come in at night and are outside during the day. Yes they are also use to the snows and just as soon after a snow storm as I can start plowing our house out, they are ready to head out and explore, while in the house they serve the purpose of keeping us free of chipmunks and mice. One thing that has never been taught to them is about the barn, my workshop and how to deal with the noise of power machines when turned on. Actually their way of dealing with this noise is a fast exit out the door. And so lately I have been thinking and then my thinking grew legs as I begin letting it be known that I was looking for a barn cat and preferably of the female species, since females are better hunters and provide more….

So it should come as no surprise that last week a carpenter friend let me know that he had a cat for me, that had been abandoned when their tenets moved out of his duplex. When I first saw this cat I knew that she was the one for our barn, and so what better name to give her then to let her have the name ‘English’ after our English Barn. So her training has started and as you can see here in the above photo, she is really learning how to operate in the barn….but then this is with power machines all morning, the radio blaring and then the smell of shellac fumes in the air. Yes I’ve tried all types of music with her during our times out here and I have found that she is more and more leaning to country music….hmmm, I prefer rockin’ and rollin’, so we may have to have a discussion on this in the future. So at the end of my day before I head in to home, I am now stopping by the barn to pick English up and to-gather we both make our way back home….

….yes I’m still working on the shaker bench and after some fine tuning on one leg I was able to get the bubble on my level to fit where needed. Today I finished up with 6 coats of German Garnet Shellac flakes….

….my work station….

….a good brush….

….and then some photos as the shellac keeps flowing onto the wood….

….the legs have now 4 coats on them and so they are due for a sanding tomorrow evening….

….and so I will leave you with this parting shot, and soon it will be time to change over to the start of the last step in this bench and that will be 4 coats of oil varnish with a VOC of 650….the good stuff.

Thank you.

[email protected]

’’….work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood....’‘

-- --frank, NH,

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4661 days

#1 posted 08-10-2009 04:28 AM

View Karson's profile


35273 posts in 5485 days

#2 posted 08-10-2009 04:55 AM

Frank: You didn’t post a picture of your English barn. You know we want to see.

Beautiful bench.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View lew's profile


13357 posts in 4840 days

#3 posted 08-10-2009 05:41 AM

Thanks for the update, Frank. The bench is really gorgeous.

A calico cat for the barn. She blends right in.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View John in SD's profile

John in SD

140 posts in 4897 days

#4 posted 08-10-2009 05:52 AM

Love your blogs, Frank….and pics

-- Life used to be soooo much simpler!!!!

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5161 days

#5 posted 08-10-2009 06:36 AM

FRANK!!! I have not been on as much…but was wondering how you were doing since I had not seen a post in a long time…glad to see you are still making some sense of this crazy world…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5391 days

#6 posted 08-10-2009 07:03 AM

Frank, Interesting stump in the background of your “work station” picture, the one in the way back, standing upright on the floor.

As for the cat in training, I’ve had one cat that would not only stick around for the power tools, but would almost get dangerously close to me while I was working with said tools. All the others would run and hide at the sound of a hand saw. Funny how they are all different.

I was going to ask what VOC is, but then I can just be patient and wait for the appropriate blog.

Thanks for your photos, time and words.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4517 days

#7 posted 08-10-2009 01:00 PM

Heartwarming story, Frank.
Nice barn and bench also!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4388 days

#8 posted 08-10-2009 02:56 PM

That looks like a wonderful place to work. I also have a cat, she most often can be found hogging the bed at night and often most of the day. When she is not doing that she is either outsider prowling about or laying on my chest as I type with my feet up on my desk.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4611 days

#9 posted 08-10-2009 05:00 PM

Oh yes, pictures of your barn please… To have the room, the square footage of a barn…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4846 days

#10 posted 08-11-2009 04:59 AM

Great looking bench Frank, Id like to see more of the barn.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5290 days

#11 posted 08-11-2009 12:39 PM

Hello to all;
....well lets see now, Karson started it about barn pictures and so this same ‘wondering’ and ‘asking’ seems to have carried right on thru the rest of the thread.

I will have to take some time and get some new photos of the barn and so I will try and post some more recent pictures of whats going on in ‘the Barn’. Truth is I really didn’t think the barn would be all that interesting as any-one who has been reading my blogs over time would have all-ready read and seen quite a few pictures and stories about ‘the Barn’ where she is the subject I’m writing about or she appears in the bachground for some wood object.

Now let me mention; Reader Beware as I am a barn person and so is my wife….so much so that at one time stories of barns were all-ways flowing out of our mouths, while talking barn construction and such. One point I might mention is that the type of construction we have used in our barn is still along the lines of what was used way back then and I could never just give you photos of the barn while with-holding the wood and joinery that went into timber framing—-post and beam.

And yes, true that now the inside of this barn is getting a new face lift, while on the outside she stilll looks more and more like that original 1780 English Barn we took down and re-assembled. I might mention that there are no metal nails used in the construction of this barn as I made all the tree nails from white oak….hmmm, see there I go again starting off on a story.

I will see what I can post in bits and pieces….but just allow me some time, as I am also busy building the interior of this barn on my wife’s side, which is why all my pictures are coming from over there. One would easily get lost in my workshop side due to all the construction going on around this place and that’s not only the barn, but house and cabin also.

Glad to hear from every-one here and I will add barn pictures and stories as time permits….;

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5331 days

#12 posted 08-11-2009 04:18 PM

Sorry I’m late on this thread old friend, been away a few days and you know what happens nowdays on here if you miss a day. You are lost. Things move a lot quicker than they use to. Beautiful bench though. I shellaced mine I was going to enter in the contest. No one told me that shellac alone will blister something awful in the sun without something over it. Anyway I’m in the process of scrapping down the old finish and starting over. Besides one of my old friends found an obvious mistake on the front of it I tried to hide. So I’m going to fix that to. I like your barncat. They are special critters arn’t they?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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