Sunday, November 4, 2012

Building the Under-carriage

I have begun working on the under-carriage to support the gypsy wagon.  I have spent the past few weeks gathering the materials.  The main support piece I needed was taken from an old 1830's barn that was being salvaged in the nearby town of Groton.  I had to split this massive 12 inch by 10 inch beam  in half which though straightforward in my head, proceeded to take me more than 2 hours to split the 12 ft length.  The first struggle was to get the great timber from the demolition site to the farm which was assisted by my neighbor John and his pickup.  We had the beam precariously perched on the cab and the bed of the truck and made it the 15 minute ride back to the farm.  Today I proceeded to chisel out recesses for the stringers that will support the floor and bolt the main beam to the chassis. The next step is to carve decorative scrolls to the end of each stringer.  Sixteen scrolls in all.  When the wagon is completed these small decorative features will give the wagon the semblance of a gypsy wagon while not quite being a traditional wagon.  What I have enjoyed with this wagon is how it has come together with support from so many avenues.  The chassis as previously stated is from a 1930's farm wagon.  Four Oak windows we salvaged from Significant Elements, a local architectural salvage company in Ithaca. The old barn beam and in our basement we found an old dutch door which is the perfect entrance for a gypsy wagon. Lastly, my wonderful in-laws, Lottie and Gene, knowing I always have some project going on the farm, gave me a gift card to Lowe's  for my recent birthday,which paid for the hardware and miscellaneous tools I needed to assemble the base. The support of friends, neighbors and family, odd mix of materials truly make it a "gypsy wagon."

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