John, it’s looking like 8:30 this morning…


Summer has rolled into autumn and locally we are swept up in the late-night delirium of Papi’s heroics and Koji’s splitter.  And as October baseball winds down, we have also turned the corner from front to gable in our work on The Sagamore House.

Chad and his family have worked diligently getting paint on the house front, sashes and storms before the weather turns. It’s a big thumbs up for the linseed oil-based red.


While Chad chased us with the paint brush, we struck the staging…


and bent our thoughts toward the plank frame’s end wall.


As is to be expected, there were some timbers to replace beneath the planks.



Michael, John, and Chad have a look at impending repairs in rafter and beam.

There we found more than rot, however. Some resourceful builder, centuries past, had turned around interior finish boards to make a wall in an upstairs chamber. The molding pictured below–which bore traces of red paint–now faced the inside of the external planks as we opened up the wall for repair.


Not only that, but there was a mysterious drawing on boards a couple feet away:


Tick marks showing Lester’s K’s.

It appeared to be done in chalk and ran up one edge of the board. This is the only place we saw such a drawing, but we hadn’t opened up the entire end wall, so there may have been more. Random sketch or something else…?


Around the same time, we found this amidst the wash in front of the house after a rain:


This old pipe stem comes with elbow patches and a bushy professorial mustache.

Back to work, one thing led to another as work is want to do…




When we finished framing repairs, installed windows, flashed, and replaced sheathing, we could finally ditch the big blue tarp which had daily mocked us. Someone was happy about not having to put the tarp back at the end of the day–


Once we planed and installed the rake boards we could begin clapboarding.


Our clapboards are radial-sawn from white pine, which makes for better grain all around:


Tell me Stainless Ringshanks isn’t a proper name for a Dickens character.

With clapboards everything old is new again:


Back in the saddle.

They’re hand-planed and their ends are skyved (beveled) with a draw-knife.


We use both cut nails and ringshanks to apply them.


Life of Pi

The new clapboards really make the new window frames pop.


The Sagamore Elm patiently overlooks our progress.

Red is a recurring theme in these parts right about now…




See you at 8:30, John.


Here’s a link to a great post by Follansbee (in case you missed it) which perfectly illustrates how the game of baseball transcends the field of play and influences generations. It runs deep here:


Also, check out Jack Baumgartner’s blog about October’s richness in middle America. Be sure to click on his accompanying music at the top of the page. Beautiful work.


Finally, there’s a SAMPE FEST going on in downtown Plymouth this Saturday, November 2nd from 11am-5pm.  All things CORN will be celebrated at Plimoth Plantation’s Plimoth Grist Mill. Kim and company grind some kick-ass organic corn meal!



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12 thoughts on “RED

  1. Red huh, that’s a funny thing because I m’self was out there putting a coat on my new fence but it is a mixture of cows blood and iron oxide which came out al right in the end. Were you by any chance nailing up those clapboards with Treemont nails?
    A lot of times you can narrow down the origins of those clay pipes if you can identify the makers stamp on that little nib under the bowel. I’m always digging those things up around here.



  2. jackbaumgartner says:

    Peter’s baseball post is really special. That little gabled tower on the Sagamore house looks pretty nice. Thanks, Rick.

  3. Seth kelley says:

    What size is the rake and bead? Keep up the good work!

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