Community Build at Dartmouth Lodge

October 14, 2014

Thanks to the brilliant and prolific Phil Wagner for not only putting together the above, superb, video, but also for writing the lyrics to the song below. Timberhomes helped to orchestrate a week-long timber framing workshop and community raising at Dartmouth College’s Moosilauke Ravine lodge a few weeks ago. As these community build projects tend to be, it was full of surprises, small trials and triumphs, and a strong sense of mutual support. Thousands of items on a checklist were swallowed by the great cloud trailing the small riot that is that special mix of volunteers, alumni, instructors, and whoever else shows up. This video shows a montage of students learning hand skills necessary to cut traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Peppered in are shots of the delectable meals served up at the lodge throughout the week. A few shots of the raising capture a sense of quiet excitement, followed by the burst of energy when a section of the building becomes vertical for the first time (the first time, I suppose, since the timbers were still connected to the earth). Work continues at Moosilauke…Timberhomes’ Sean Dalton is returning each week to organize a group of Dartmouth Alum to finish enclosing this structure which will become a bunkhouse for the lodge.

Expressing their gratitude for, and enthusiasm about their newfound love of timber framing, a group of students were captured by the spirit of rocker Bryan Adams and performed a mortise and tenon remix of Summer of ’69. The audience was thrilled. Few teachers have received such satisfaction with their praises as we instructors upon hearing …..

(to get the true effect, click on the link below to see this live, and in action)

I cut my first real mortise
made to fit a 2″ tine
Chiseled ’til my fingers bled
Was the bunkhouse of ’65

Me and some timber frame pros
Drew the lines and we sawed real hard
Mallets rang, chips they went flying
I felt like a timber rock star

Ooh, with only six short days
I knew I’d have to work real steady
Oh, and when I made chamfers,
I knew the beam was almost ready
Thanks to the Class of ’65!

Cuttin’ tenons ain’t easy
When your timber’s made of oak
When Hooke said there was ‘a sixteenth tolerance’
I though it was an inside joke

Oh but when that framing square
Came down and it was straight and level
I smoothed it with the chisel blade
To give it an attractive bevel
Thanks to the Class of ’65!


Man it was raisin’ time
We were peggin’ braces
And fittin’ all the splines
So this bunkhouse will last forever, FOREVER!!!

Almost done timber framing
So many bents, so many plates
It’s been such an awesome workshop
‘Cuz Dave and crew has been so great

Tomorrow we may all head home
But now we all know how to chisel
Working with friend new and old
Has made an awesome week fo’ shizzle
Thanks to the class of ’65

LINK to video.