One Tree Woodwork

Custom woodworking and art

Modifications to my rolling Shop/Camper/Happy Place

I have continued the evolution of my cargo trailer by adding a new ceiling to it. I have always been in love with cedar stripped canoes and fully intend on building one, one of these days. I once built 3/4’s  of a pocket sailboat complete with a small sleeping cabin but that’s another story. If you catch our local lumber yard on the right day when a fresh load of western cedar comes in and your willing to pick through the stack (all the while- the lumberyards loader is snarling at you) you can pick out some really nice tight ,straight grained  fairly knot free lumber as the ones I used to make these strips from. I have no aversion to knots in fact I love them, but for this project I needed as few as possible. I debated wether or not to apply a finish but the smell of raw cedar is pretty intoxicating and convinced me to leave it alone. Raw cedar is  one of those woods that has a very appealing way of aging and there is something to be said about the value of patina.

9 comments on “Modifications to my rolling Shop/Camper/Happy Place

  1. Crystal Jackson
    February 10, 2014

    Definitely worth it for the smell alone. I could hang out in there all day and just breathe.

      February 10, 2014

      I think that the smell of cedar might be able to rehabilitate the soul.

      • TJC
        February 11, 2014

        That’s why Big Sur is so close to Heaven.

  2. TJC
    February 11, 2014

    All my career as a wood butcher I have longed for a trailer like that, and a kit of carefully cleaned and sharpened tools that only I would handle. I thought this current gig was the time it would finally happen but no; there’s a crew again and I spend hundreds of dollars on tools that I only handle at the check-out line at Home Depot before they disappear into the ravenous maw of a careless crew. Yesterday a six-day old Milwaukee M18 Fuel impact gun ($229) fell thirty feet from the parapet wall of the McD’s we are building. I didn’t bother to ask for reasons; I have heard them all. (I once offered to pay for a missed day to any man who could come up with an excuse for not showing up that I had not heard before.)

    I will be buying a trailer soon and it won’t look like yours, sorry to say. It will be filled with ladders and extension cords and piles of worn tools that were recently new. I will have to muck it out every few days like back when I had a job cleaning horse stalls. If I ever get to Heaven (not likely) God will reward me by sending me to Hell where my job will be beating the daylights out of so-called carpenters who are careless with expensive gear they did not pay for.

    Actually, that pretty much describes my days now…so am I in Heaven or Hell?

    William Blake could probably sort this out, but not me.

    I have not been blog-jacking because I find these days on the road with the guys leaves my voice coarse and a bit un-nice and that ain’t the voice I share with my webular brethren…but I will try to fix that when I get the time.

    Those cedar strip canoes are absolutely gorgeous. If I ever make one, it will hang from the porch beams and never see water. Our local river is a tidal estuary and filled with oyster beds that demand aluminum or at least heavy fiberglass. But I may redo my little single-wide bedroom into a copy of your fine rig. Yeah…



      February 11, 2014

      I feel your pain, because when guys aren’t respecting your tools no doubt they are probably not respecting other things as well. I have had many experiences with crew or subs that need to borrow a tool I relent only to see them with their muddy feet jump in the back of my truck smearing their mud into my carpet and rummaging like a drunk squirrel through my loyal tools. The same people who don’t seem to have the money for any tools seem to always have money for new trucks,stereo systems,to eat lunch out everyday,etc…… But that does seem to be the new reality for the most part. Instead of a carpenter you end up being a Shepard without all the peace that’s found out on the mountain.

      Yea, we don’t have many oyster beds in my neck of the woods but if I had a strip boat I probably wouldn’t have the nerve to take it our either. Something’s are better left as art, as a reminder of beautiful things.

      Keep rocking in the free world.


  3. diydad
    February 25, 2014

    “Never judge a man by his tools. They may be all he has”. It was a lesson I learned very early on when I started working construction at age 13. I was working with 2 old guys that had literally seen it all. It is great to have nice, sharp and clean tools… but it is what we do with them that matters. I paid my way through college with a skill saw, hammer, drill and a cheap $99 tile saw. I probably had a few other tools, but I could work magic with that crappy tile saw.

    That being said… nothing wrong with having a nice setup like the one you have built :)

    February 25, 2014

    Yes, when your young it’s understandable to have few tools. But I have to confess I do judge someone by the way they treat my tools. My problem is not that others choose not to re-invest into their trade but how they choose to respect the tools of someone who has. I agree you can do a lot with basic tools but they have limitations especially with the interior trim and cabinets we build in fact my job if summed up is to do what others are unwilling to or unable to. Which means I often have to be prepared for anything. Anything from tying some steel,patching Sheetrock,touching up some paint,building stairs,framing,hanging doors,building cabinets,etc. I keep everyday tools in my truck camper and try to keep specialty tools in my trailer which are able to be babied like a classic car. The old adage-” work smarter not harder” comes to fruition only when you have the knowledge,work ethic and the tools to get the job done. To have as many tools as I do has not been by accident but through time and sacrifice and when someone who is making a very generous salary (I know because we write the check) decides all they need is basic tools but routinely have to borrow mine daily only to mistreat it well that rubs me the wrong way.
    I’m thinking about hooking up some sort of electrical fence around my truck to keep them at bay……….haha

  5. Tom Speirs
    April 3, 2014

    I have trailer envy. If I was lucky enough to own something like that, I would probably spend most of my life in it.


      April 3, 2014

      Thanks Tom,
      I’ve had a real blast working on it. The mods are not quite done yet so stay tuned.

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