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Project of a Lifetime: Demolition and Restoration of a Craftsmen Style Front Porch #1: Second year, progress to date

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Blog entry by DeLayne Peck posted 651 days ago 2129 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Project of a Lifetime: Demolition and Restoration of a Craftsmen Style Front Porch series no next part

I love woodworking, heirloom quality woodworking. In my mind, that’s small things in oak and walnut. Carpentry?Not so much. But, when our 10’x40’ front porch began to sink on its footings and crack plaster inside our 1925 home, my wife and I were called out.

With a contractor to arrange the really heavy stuff, we began demolition in May 2011. No sympathy sought, work progressed until August 6 when Causalty Notification Officers crossed our porch. Our son was a Chinook Helicopter Crew Chief deployed to Aghanistan. He was among the 30 Americans, Army Guard crew members and Navy Seals, killed on a special ops mission. Suffice to say, freedom isn’t free.

Work resumed in my garage shop during the winter. Eighty-six year old, cedar columns were cut to size and restored. Porch skirting and column trim were designed and built. Here is my photojournal of our work and progress to date. Ahead: finish the last three columns, design and build craftsmen style railings, and some final trim work.

Our progress? My wife? I am a very lucky man. She’s been very hard working, get ‘er done, full partner. Not to mention a crazy, cute, unpredictable, fun, riot to be around. (Find the picture of her smoking a cigar and threatening me with “wood” hardener.)

Finally. please notice the American flag we flew from our porch on the 4th of July? It was given to us by an Army Sgt. with the stipulation that we fly it. That flag was taken in a backpack on every mission flown during two deployments, Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been under enemy fire countless times. We love and revere what is has been through and what it stands for.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.



8 comments so far

View crashn's profile

crashn

515 posts in 971 days


#1 posted 651 days ago

Thank you and your son for his service to our country! You are right, freedom is not free. As a new father (my son is only 15 months old), I have a new found sense of your loss.

Bless you all,

crashn

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1086 posts in 1365 days


#2 posted 651 days ago

No words can express the deep sense of gratitude and sadness I feel on learning of your son’s sacrafice. You and your wife have borne what must be one of the heaviest loads any parents can be asked to bear. Thank you both for raising a son who would give his all in our defense.

May you be blessed with the memory of that fine young man and may your grief be softened by the Lord’s tears for your loss.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View camps764's profile

camps764

681 posts in 866 days


#3 posted 651 days ago

The porch turned out incredible!

Unfortunately I can’t say it better than it’s already been said, so I’ll simply say Thank you for your son’s service.

-- Steve

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9590 posts in 1196 days


#4 posted 651 days ago

Having lost my only son, I am hurting with you. You and your wife working together on the porch restoration is good therapy for the both of you. God Bless.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

303 posts in 708 days


#5 posted 651 days ago

Thank you for all of the kind words. All of us take losses. Woodworking is healing. Our craft has an important emotional side beyond all the machinery. Woodworkers build legacies, memories, tributes, delight, and loving gifts. Our skills can touch generations. And, when needed, our shops can comfort, cheer, and console.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

925 posts in 2313 days


#6 posted 650 days ago

”.... Our son was a Chinook Helicopter Crew Chief deployed to Aghanistan. He was among the 30 Americans, Army Guard crew members and Navy Seals, killed on a special ops mission. Suffice to say, freedom isn’t free…”

God bless you and your family on the loss of an honorable young man, your son. Truly, my heart aches for your loss. When I read the post you left, I cried and then I prayed for you. My heart is broken. If woodworking is the healing process for you, then may God grant you an eternity of woodworking. Your craftsman style home is absolutely wonderful, just beautiful. It’s a testament to the love you demonstrate daily for your son and his courageous actions and love of country. We are all in great debt to you and your family for your commitment and sense of obligation to keep America free. Words can’t convey the gratitude we all feel for the courage your son displayed in defending our freedoms. Thanks you. God Bless you and your family.

Maxwell, CDR, USN

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

303 posts in 708 days


#7 posted 650 days ago

Our Country has enemies to our way of life. Most Americans are happily unaware of the reality of that until it crosses your porch. Thank you for your wishes. We are recovering.

Read your profile and looked at your clocks. Thank you for your long service and stand against our enemies. You have an amazing military service record. Your clocks? Stunning! Truly stunning! Suggest marketing them to very high-end Builders and Interior Designers. They belong in fantastic, multi-million dollar homes.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View rance's profile

rance

4107 posts in 1666 days


#8 posted 650 days ago

I can’t imagine the pain and hurt you’ve gone through. A parent shouldn’t have to bury their children. I too thank you for your son’s service and ultimate sacrifice. I hope you find more healing.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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