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Contractors’ Intro to Walling: October 16, 2020

The rain held off for the first several hours of the last Contractors Intro of 2020. Most of the seven students were able to lay the foundations and build through the first lift before the deluge struck. They completed the second—and in some cases third—lifts in the driving rain. Even though each waller built his stint under the protection of a pop-up tent, it was soaking work. Still, instructors Jared Flynn and Sam Brakeley report that attitudes remained positive, despite the weather. Kind of what you’d expect from people used to keeping their businesses running in all kinds of conditions, which is true for about half the workshop participants. Others brought similar ruggedness with more personal motivations. Whatever the case, everyone expressed appreciation for the hands-on experience, one-on-one attention, and personal feedback.

Early in the day, master craftsman Jared Flynn shared a tip about tying stringline to the rebar rods that form the batter frames. Three quick rounds of the rebar, pull the bottom string over the top, and done! Quick to tie and quick to undo. “Tie it again,“ Jared said. “Do it a few times. You’re going to be moving that string up a lot in the course of the day.” He added, “You build out to the string, not beyond it. When you do that, your face will be as smooth as paper.”

Some students would have liked to set up their own batter frames. It can be hard to fit all the skills into a one-day workshop, but we’ll keep the suggestion in mind. We do also offer Stringlines and Batter Frames as a stand-alone workshop. Keep your eyes open for our 2021 schedule!