Woodworking the Interior – Eureka, CA

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Benches with new backs
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Bench backs fold down to access storage
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Latches that are accessible through a finger hole open the bench backs
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Salvaged redwood shiplap for the drawers (work-traded from my friend Perry)
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Wood cut for drawers
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Bottom of drawers are rabbeted for 1/4" plywood
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Drawer pieces cut, laid out and ready to glue/nail
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Choices for drawer fronts
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Drawer fronts cut
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First drawer glued and nailed with a nail gun
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Vintage marine brass drawer latch/pull
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Latches required an angled cut
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Latch from the backside. Notice spring.
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Latch installed in a drawer
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The old kitchen drawer setup
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Plywood installed on the sides of kitchen drawer space
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Plywood for mounting drawer slides
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Face frame installed
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Drawers finished! Note: bottom empty space is where the wheel well is and will eventually be a small door and vent.
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Camp stove slides into it's own space
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Drawers for tea and tea cups!
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Closet gets its final once over. Heat shield for the woodstove on the side
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Space where closet goes
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Closet installed
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Salvaged redwood white picket fence to be used for the wood storage box/roll out table
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Picket fence planed down to show true varied colors of the redwood
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Wood storage box gets hand waxed
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Wood storage box in its spot.
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Wood storage box is also a table or bench, rolls anywhere, and has food grade finish on the cherry top pieces.
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Inside the wood storage box: wood, axes, hatchets, drop-in denatured alcohol burner, tea kettle that sets into wood stove burner.
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Upper cabinet over benches - holds letter writing supplies
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Upper kitchen cabinet getting the final touches.
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Upper kitchen cabinet installed
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Copper vent hood
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LED and computer fan replaced the originals.
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The original metal cabinet that housed electrical stuff was cut out.
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Electrical panel trimmed
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Electrical cabinet doors installed with fuse box and "Tri-Metric" for monitoring solar and batteries.
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Charge controlled mounts inside door.
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Bookshelves redone
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Shop manuals now have their own place
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Rosemary getting dried on nails made for hanging things to dry. 100% recycled lantern on the right.
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New stainless piece behind sink
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3/4" angle iron added to heat shield between sink and woodstove
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Trim behind benches
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I decided to make my main home base Washington and leave Northern CA for a bit. With access to such a great shop in Eureka, CA, I thought it would be a good idea to get a big push in for all my interior woodwork. All of the wood, and most of the hardware for all this is salvaged/reclaimed/scrap. Here’s what I did:

- Kitchen drawers: redwood shiplap, plywood, drawer slides, antique marine brass latch/handle combos and miscellaneous wood for the drawer fronts (like a piece from a cabin I grew up going to in Maine that got destroyed in the hurricane). They were tricky (my first drawers), but once they were finished they slid like butter, and latched so sweetly (Laura Goldhamer called opening and closing them a “drawergasm”). These kitchen drawers house my silverware, plates and bowls, pots and pans, teas and herbs, bags, rags, etc.

- Closet – only a foot wide, this houses the ever-so-important button-ups and vests, along with scarves, hats, belts, suspenders, and the like. The doors have a magnetic chalkboard front and some nice old barn wood with aged copper. Antique brass latch. Oh, and lined with cedar plywood for added moth protection (Thanks, Joe).

- Wood storage – This unique “drawer” rolls out from under the woodstove on wheels. It looks like a drawer, and it looks like a crate, but it rolls completely out and can be a table, chair, or cutting board surface (food safe finish). The food safe boards can be removed from the top to reveal firewood storage and all woodstove accoutrements (axes and hatchets, woodstove tea kettle, drop-in denatured alcohol burner, etc). The crate is made out of old redwood white picket fence boards. The inside is still white, but he outside takes advantage of the wide array of redwood colors and gradients from a purple through a red, pink, and onto a white. It kind of represents the American Dream to me – we take all this colorful different pieces, and then whitewash them to all look monotonous and the same.

- Upper cabinets – Some of these have been mostly done for a while, but I put the finishing touches on them and built some more. Redwood face frames, old barn wood door frames, aged copper doors, cool antique hinges, etc. The main large cabinet resides over the kitchen and houses an overflow of herbs, tea accoutrements, cooking spices, vinegars, and oils, as well as bathroom and medical supplies. The smaller cabinet (above the bench) houses letter writing supplies and a postal box for Lightfoot Sustainable Post.

- Vent Hood – The large cabinet also houses a vent hood. I salvaged this from an old travel trailer, took off the stainless front and replaced it with hammered copper. I also replaced the light with an LED and the fan with a computer fan. Behind the unit is a dust collector open-close vent so that I can open the vent hood to the outside when in use. The outside of the bus has a chromed vent for the output.

- Bench Backs – The benches I built a long time ago have always been just okay. They needed back to allow for more comfortable sitting, as well as to hide all my junk that resides behind them. Finally… The backs are pine tongue and groove bead board with 1-1/4” holes in each of their centers with a brass tubing as trim. These holes allow your finger to enter, push a latch and let the backs dow for access to storage areas. They are pretty neat.

- Solar/Electrical Hub – Originally (and temporarily) in a different spot (where my fold down desk will go), I had to move this to a new location. Above my drivers seat was already a cabinet that housed much of the originally bus electronics, so I figured it was a good hug for my solar electronics. I cut out the originally metal door and made a larger wood cabinet. On the doors I mounted my fuse box, as well as a display for telling my the status of my solar charging and batteries and such. Inside one of the doors I mounted my charge controller. It all fit perfectly, and has been awesome, despite the pain in the but of rerouting all my wires to that location.

- Rebuilt Book Shelf – I had built an okay bookshelf above the driver’s seat across the front of the bus a couple years back, but it broke (leaving my friend Lily with a slight concussion), and so I decided to rebuild it. My new design offers a little less room for books (I’m okay with paring down the possessions and weight), but also offered a great place for my large tea kettle to hang out. The middle of the bookshelf had a placard that says “Edna”, which folds down to reveal all my shop manuals, and above which houses my tea kettle. On either side sits a self-contained bookshelf, which can be removed individually by pulling three pins out. This is for when I’m doing an event and want to take my library out to share, or to access some wiring that runs beneath it.

-  Many smaller projects – Stainless steel above the sink on the bottom half of the window so I can hang sponges, etc, and my veggies are protected from the sun when I am drying them. Trim along the back and side of the benches. Nails along a piece of trim above the woodstove for drying herbs. A lantern holder on the closet that holds one of my homemade 100% recycled lanterns that run on recycled vegetable oil (or any number of fuels). Added a piece of angle iron to create as more sturdy heat shield between the sink and woodstove.

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5 Responses to Woodworking the Interior – Eureka, CA

  1. Lynn & Evan says:

    We came up from Eureka. My husband used to work at Almquist Lumber.My son Daniel De Armond worked for Arcata Parks & Rec for years and does woodworking. He had a carved Redwood Forest Display in Arcata Arts alive.

    So, just wondering, why Washington? (I am from here originally)

    My daughter in New Hampshire sent me this link. Small world.

    • Guisepi says:

      Good question: why Washington? The simple answer is that is where I am from. The grandparents are getting old and the family could use an extra hand. We (the bus and I) are also gearing up for a major North American tour, which will put us on the road and away from the family for an extended time. We want to be fully prepared, and the community that raised us is a great one to help give us the final push. Thanks for your interest in the tea bus!

  2. lily barlow says:

    Oh my word Guisepi!!! She is so beautiful!!! I knew you had been buys all this time… but WOW. S-O G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

    Want to come to LA and re-do it all on our boat? ;)

    Love to you and Edna!

  3. Perry says:

    I just have to get a quick dose of Guisepe & Edna from time to time. I really dig your new seats and relate to those classy cabinets real well. Ya forgot to mention the other half of your cabinets were transformed into a fantistic outdoor bar that resides in a couryard in Eureka. That bar is used weekly with lots of great stories & tall tails still being told at that bar. The fine builder of that bar is always welcome to share some great stories & tea again. Hope to hear from ya soon. Perry

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