At long last, the Eco Relics shop is operational! Doug “the Termite” has moved in and is now constructing custom builds on-site rather than at his home shop. The sawdust is flying, but many details are still sorting themselves out. The Termite says, “It’s not down to a science yet.” The final layout of tools and work stations will be determined as he gets a better idea of work flow on a daily basis. “We’ve still got to drive it into the floor and weld it in place.”
Getting the new shop in order while handling custom builds and dealing with the day-to-day business at the Southeast’s largest architectural salvage operation has been a challenge. Shop classes for the public are still on the way, but not until we’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. The Termite will start with hands-on woodworking classes on tools like the band saw, table saw, and router. Students should expect to learn all sorts of tips and tricks for setting up and operating the tools, while also making something useful to take home. “I can read something and figure it out,” the Termite says.” But you can’t beat hands-on instruction with someone who’s done it before.”
As we get our sea-legs, Eco Relics will be offering more classes based on input from customers. What would you like to learn?
Doug won’t be giving up on his home shop. He’ll be using it to build spec projects from repurposed materials that will be offered for sale at Eco Relics. A salvaged piano case will get a new life a bookshelf. He’s also got plans for pieces from salvaged apothecary cabinets. “Most of it is falling apart, rotting,” the Termite said. But what is left is old growth ¼-sawn tiger flame oak. The Termite is carefully dismantling the usable pieces and cleaning them up for future use. “This stuff doesn’t exist anymore!” he said. “I spent an hour on it last night and got five pieces done.”
With a shop at home and a shop at work, the Termite has plenty of room to spread out. You might think that would make him happy, but for the Termite, it’s just “six of one, half dozen of the other.” The thrill of building is what makes him happy, not the facilities. He remembers his 2’x2′ plywood “bench” laid in the bottom of a boat hull and a router clamped upside down as his smallest shop. It was all he needed to do the job. “You gotta be able to adapt,” the Termite says. That’s good advice in work and life.