It's taken a while to get set up. First there was the 4-months at sea for all of our stuff after leaving Nairobi, making its way slowly to the port of Montreal. Then of course we had to find somewhere to live. That turned out to be easier than expected. We found a nice place on Mont Shefford, less than an hour's drive east of Montreal. The property is high on the mountain, surrounded by sugar maple and red oak, with a view south toward the US border -- on a clear day we can see two ski hills in Quebec and one in Vermont.
Even before our shipping container arrived, we were busy with the typical must-do improvements around a new house purchase. Still, we took time to gather some maple sap and prepare some maple syrup -- now we know we're back in Canada! The container itself was unloaded on Easter weekend, when of course it snowed!
Just when we should be unpacking and setting up the workshop, I went in for surgery -- a total shoulder replacement. It's been a huge improvement, but did slow everything down. With the green leaves of summer, the house received a number of renovations, including a balustrade to guard against the 4-meter drop off the lower deck down the mountain!
The lower floor of the house has a garage, now equipped with compressor for spray finishing, a mechanical room for storage, and of course the workshop. The shop area had been originally designed as a family room with a walkout on to the back deck. Renovations weren’t extensive, but did involve a little bit of everything: demolition, framing, drywall, new doors, new lighting and new electrical circuits (2 x 240V and 2 x 120V), paint, and finish carpentry. It’s only been this past week that everything could be put in final position and cabinets loaded. There are a few additional things planned, like a more efficient dust-control system, but things are now at least useable.
Where’s the wood? All of my instrument wood is stored in the mechanical room that has been equipped with a humidity control system that maintains a constant 42% RH. My assembly bench for critical glue-ups, such as braces, is also in the same area so I never have to worry about the air being too wet or too dry during assembly.
So, the shop is now in operation – you see a guitar on the bench for some minor repair (on the workbench), and the neck for my next project underway (on the table saw). Feels good to be back in the business of making sawdust and guitars!