A lot has happened since the last Cabinet Class blog! Rural Studio has transitioned their classrooms to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone see that coming? Not us.
To keep everyone safe, class is now being held on an online video platform. Obviously, this will change what is expected from students for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, in accordance with Auburn University regulations, the Studio has put all on-site construction on hold, which includes 20K Ophelia’s Home. As a result of all of these changes, this class will regretfully be unable to fabricate their cabinets this semester.
This change in plans, however, will not stop the class from powering forward! Teams are now working remotely to finalize the design of their cabinets. With their final designs, students will create thorough sets of construction drawings and instructions for the use of Ophelia and Rural Studio. Hopefully, at the end of April, this class will have all components needed to build the cabinets, so the next class can construct cabinets when the Studio is able to return to the shop. Steve and Chelsea are excited to see the beautiful fabrication drawings this semester creates!
Spring Break is here, and this 3rd-year class is almost ready to build! Before Spring Break, however, the students were reviewed by some incredible experts for their midterm.
For the class’s first review, friends from Wood Studio, Dylan and Keith, and Emilie Taylor from Tulane came and gave their sage advice on the students’ design and built cabinet mockups .
For their second and final miderm review, the Studio’s fearless leaders Andrew Freear and Emily McGlohn visited the class. Given this is the first time Rural Studio’s woodshop class has ever ventured into building cabinets, Steve and Chelsea wanted to provide the students with as many perspectives as possible. Thanks to all of the wonderful reviewers the Cabinet Class has had over the last couple of weeks!
Things are in motion at 20K Ophelia’s Home! Specifically, the motion of lifting walls up and framing a porch. The exterior walls have been framed and sheathed, and the north and south walls have been lifted into place.
This process was started by measuring and tracing out the stud placement on the edges of the subfloor and laying out all the timber before nailing them together. Occasionally nailing some timber to the subfloor then having to take them out was surely a great way to improve our nail-removing skills. Once the walls had been framed with the studs at 24” on center, and window and door openings were located and framed, the green layer of Zip sheathing was laid on top.
The walls were not the only thing to be framed, as the MEP team was hard at work framing up the porch which proved to be more tedious than expected. In order for the porch to create a level surface with the soon to come interior floor, the joists had to be shortened slightly to accommodate for the layer of wood that will create the porch surface.
Speaking of the porch! There was also some more development of the ideas about a solution for the porch entrance that came from a review with Andrew Freear, Elena Barthel, and assistant director of Tulane’s design build program Emilie Taylor Welty. After much discussion of the three options, which are angle, north, and tongue porch, the 3rd-years were able to narrow it down to the “tongue” option. In order to reach a final porch design, this iteration will go through another process of refinement in the upcoming week.
3rd-years signing off for a jiminy split, see you folks after spring break!
As assigned, the teams have been diligently working towards their cabinet designs. As part of their assignment, the teams built physical models, or mockups, of the cabinet itself. This is a very common practice at the Studio, which is used to test the fabrication process.
This means that the students finally get to build something in a shop class! Because a large component of this course’s assignment is using a CNC router, instead of traditional shop equipment, a number of the students ventured back to Auburn’s shop at Dudley Hall and CNC’d the cabinet pieces.
It might still be raining, but the rain delay is over for the 3rd-years! It’s about time here at 20K Ophelia’s Home, but the framing of the floor above the crawlspace foundation is finally complete. As the rainy days are starting to become less frequent, there has been more time for the 3rd-years to progress forward with construction.
Enclosures team finished up the last details on the termite flashing, figuring out a neat corner solution along with the flashing dipping down to cover where the girders rest.
Wednesday was a charrette day back in studio, and the walls have never been more colorful! Ideas upon ideas were put on paper as the whole day was spent exploring options for the porch on Ophelia’s Home. The 3rd-years will continue to refine the design for Ophelia and the site.
There were a few road bumps while building the flooring because we discovered the foundation was not completely square and is now a ~soft~ trapezoid. Having to work around a funky foundation, the framing team became pros at leveling and squaring the floor framing. In order to make sure the floor was entirely level, they carefully worked to correct the rim joists by pushing them towards the crawlspace in some spots. Once the shimming and squaring was done and checked (and checked again, and maybe redone in a few places, then checked some more) it was smooth sailing to place in the rest of the joists and blocking.
To cap off a busy week , sub floors were put into place on the joists. The floors might be blue, but the 3rd-years sure weren’t as they finished up with a layer of waterproof paint that matched the much anticipated clear sky above.