Friday, July 28, 2006

Photos by Warren Lange

Warren Lange was kind enough to give me three cds full of photos as well as several prints of various sizes. The camera is Warrens labour of love. I'm pleased to have met another good friend at the side of the burlshack.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A tribute to Peter Donald Murfitt

It's with great saddness that I say that Pete passed away on May14, 2006.

Pete will be missed by anybody that ever was fortunate enough to have known him.

If it wasn't for Pete, the burlshack would never have been constructed. A part of his life is in that burlshack, and it always will be. The quality and workmanship that he put into it is amazing.

I knew Pete for a short period of time, but my time spent with him was like an old friend that I'd known for years. It was humorous, relaxing, educational, and just plain pleasant.

The burl is drying out beautifully now in the burlshack because of Pete. He understood wood like nobody I've ever known, and he knew the importance of protecting it. He offered his help in such a giving way, and stuck with me until the burl was in a safe place.

I'll never forget you Pete, I want to thank you up there with all of my heart. You came into my life and did me one of the biggest favours ever done for me. You're a great friend and will be missed forever. It's an honour to have known you my friend. May the peace of the Lord be with you.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Shack frame is up!

Thanks to Pete the burl shack is now standing over the burl. I just need to figure out what to roof it with. If anybody knows where I can find some good cedar shake blocks, I'd be happy to find out about it. It seems like a shame to cover Petes workmanship up, but it can't remain just a frame, I'll take care to enhance it with what I do from here on. Here's a few pictures of the building process.

All the local sidewalk superintendents were out for a final inspection so I captured them in the first photo. [smile]

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shack Plans

Over the past few weeks I've been fighting to keep the UV rays and rain off the burl with tarps and straps, boards, a ladder, a stool, and anything else I can find. I've looked into those portable temporary carports, just tried to find any possible affordable way to get it protected.

Finally, I realized that the burl would have to be protected with a shack that suits it. A log structure, not plastic or vinyl.

That's when I remembered one of my visitors, Pete Murfitt. He told me he builds portable bandsaw mills, and would be setting up and sawing logs with his latest model. So, I gave him a call.

Pete thought a burl shack was a great idea and immediately offered to help me out. He said he has some joinery skills with logs and invited me to his mill site. I left his shop today excited that the burl shack is going to be built. Pete is not only skilled with joinery, he's a welder, a builder, a logger, a mill operator and a nice guy. He drafted up exactly what I had in mind, figured out how everything would be connected, and worked out a materials list in minutes.

The frame will be 14 feet X 14 feet, with a four sided hip roof. It's designed to dismantle and stay with the burl if I ever move it. The panels will be built with time, but for now at least the burl will have a roof, thanks to Pete.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Giant Birdseye Maple Burl

This is the photo that I sent in to the newspaper. I would like to thank the Cowichan Valley Citizen for the article called "6000-pound burl unearthed". I was actually just trying to find out how much it would cost to put this ad in the newspaper. The lady I talked to (Shirley) said "It sounds like a story"

Since their story I've had the pleasure of meeting more than a couple hundred very nice people. All them very encouraging and supportive. I've had several offers for help. The Cowichan Valley is full of good people, I'm honoured to live amongst them.

The Victoria Times Colonist published a story of their own called "Giant burl object of Duncan mans love", and the A-channel in Victoria had it on the 5:00 pm news.