Larrysson Pipes workshop
Larrysson Pipes - Workshop
In February 2006, our dream of moving to a rural village was finally a reality. We found a miners cottage in the heart of Bodmin Moor, part of Cornwall’s historical mining district. The cottage, built in 1820, was in need of repair and modernization. Fixing the cottage up to our own tastes made the property all the more appealing. The only outbuilding that could be used for a potential workshop was a derelict old pig shed, or piggery, as it is so named in this part of Cornwall.
Bodmin Moor
The original structure was built at the same time as the cottage. It measured 20’ long by 4’ wide. The rear wall measured 9’ high, and the front wall 5’ high. The dividing pens had long since rotted away, and the granite cobble floor was covered with decades of earth and debris. The potential was there, and I could envision the completed project. It would have to wait until summer, though, as the house improvements were priority.
dilapidated piggery
The time had finally come by early summer. There were still many projects I wanted to get underway for the house, but I needed a workshop in order to complete them. The first step was to remove the greenhouse and rusted tin roof. Now I could get a better look at the job ahead of me. There was no access for a mini digger, and the site too removed from the road to have ready mix concrete delivered. The removal of earth and stone, and the mixing of concrete would all have to be done by hand.
workshop construction begins
The front stone-and-earth wall was leaning at a precarious angle. A simple two-man push made the wall collapse. The granite cobble floor was excavated along with 18 inches of subsoil to level the ground..
original workshop wall
I had to dig below the foundation stones to level the ground. This presented a potential structural weakness, so the wall had to be underpinned before pouring a 6” concrete ring and 2-foot high retainer.
foundation repairs
A new breeze block wall was then constructed to tie into the existing stonework. This was built on the extended foundation, which increased from 4’ to 10’ wide. Stone from the original leaning wall was reused to build a secondary external wall against the breeze-blocks.
constructing new wall
The three walls needed to be tied together with a 6” deep concrete ring beam. This would level the rear wall and also provide support for the slate tile roof. The exposed stone wall was washed of loose mortar, which is a mixture of mud, lime and chopped straw. This allowed a deep key for a sand-and-cement mix render.
finishing wall
Now that there were four structurally sound walls, construction of the roof began. Old Cornish slates were used to tile the roof, giving the piggery an aged appearance.
roofing workshop
It was time to begin the woodwork. The ceiling was made using pine boards; the window frames and door were constructed from reclaimed oak. An insulated sub-floor was put down before being clad with oak floorboards. I wanted a wood floor to protect falling carving tools, and also for a warm, aesthetic appeal. The leftover floorboards were used for the main workbench top. The worktops under the windows were made from a solid piece of white cedar, the outer edge left natural and curvy.
interior construction begins
There was still much work to do. The remaining jobs included painting, electrics and lights, shelves, dust extraction, mounting machines and installing a wood burning oven.
finished workshop
The winds had turned cold and brought the rain. Winter was upon us, and my priority turned back to the house. There were many wood working projects to complete inside the house. I like to make furniture, and I spent the winter making nice things for the house. Pipes were growing strong on my mind, and I was looking forward to spring to begin creating new pipes.
finished workshop
Some think I went overboard in the construction of a pipe-making workshop. But I don’t think so. The workshop is more than a place to build things or make pipes. It is an extension of myself. Sometimes I will spend hours in my space, and sometimes no more than a few minutes to puff on a pipe. It is where I go when I’m contemplating a problem or want to get away from the world. When I’m feeling blue, I will sit at my workstation and look out the window towards the house. I think how happy I am to have a wife, a son, and a home. I think how wonderful it is to be a pipe maker. These thoughts always make me feel better.
finished exterior
Thank you for visiting my workshop. –Paul Hubartt
Inside Tour of the workshop
Paul Larryson in workshop
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