While I have participated in various construction projects such as Habitat for Humanity or Clemson’s Freedom By Design community builds, and have a general comprehension of how “things go together,” I am the least experienced of the group in terms of understanding the processes of building with wood. Every other member of the team is enrolled in the Intro to Craft class where they have already had solid experience with the equipment and know the steps to take when creating high-quality wood based projects. That being said, they have been truly wonderful teachers to me and I have learned an immense amount of skills and information in just a few days. Although I am still unfamiliar with certain aspects of the construction, I am confident that understanding them shouldn’t be an issue because at its core, every system is the same: to create a balance between speed and accuracy.
Every process that we have completed thus far has been a testament to this concept. With five members of the team, we analyze where the most hands are needed: who can be painting while someone else is cutting, who buys more screws while someone creates the cut sheet. Not only is our efficiency measured by the amount of people we have, but also by the nature of the materials. Paint and primer need time to dry, thus knocking that out quickly allows for other tasks to be completed while they are drying. We realized (with help from our generous classmate Dylan) that by lightly nailing all of our screws to the column connections before we took the drill to them allowed for a speedy (and correct) assemblage.
Little preparations and calculated thinking really maximizes our time in the shop. Likewise, collecting information on the next step in the process prior to shop-time is critical. I have to admit, the idea of completing all of the build in just +/- 3 weeks was a very overwhelming thought, but now that we are making solid headway, I feel that I can breathe a little easier….let’s hope we continue with smooth sailing!