Builders of the Pacific Coast Book (28)

Jan's Cabin

“As I was finishing it, nailing the last shake on the roof, a surveyor came along.” Bad news: The building was completely on his neighbors’ land. What else to do but move it? He jacked up the building, slid four logs underneath, put axle grease on them, and with a come-along, a 5-wheel block and tackle, and 1″ steel cable, skidded the building up onto the logs, onto four other logs and then onto the repositioned original logs, a distance of 70 feet onto his own property.

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Godfrey Stephens' Toomany Pocketts Sailing Vessel

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Godfrey Stephens’ latest sailboat is this little 12′ San Francisco Bay Pelican, a model designed in 1959 by Bill Short.

It’s a much beloved boat among sailors. Godfrey worked on and off customizing it. A leeboard on the side provides lateral resistance; this way he doesn’t need a centerboard, and can go up on the beach…

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Bill Heick's Northern California Home

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Photo by Lloyd Kahn

Bill’s piece of land is at the end of a two-mile dirt road. His 1900 sq. ft. house has a pentagonal floor plan with an 800-year-old salvaged old-growth redwood log as the center post. There are 21 Douglas fir rafters that Bill peeled and then sanded with an auto-body grinder. There are structural posts under eleven of the rafters. In between the posts are 2″×6″ studs with traditional plaster walls.

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Jay Nelson and Friends Visit Godfrey Stephens in Victoria, BC Yesterday

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Jay and 3 surfers are on a surf/photo trip on Vancouver Island for a Surfer’s Journal article, traveling in a camper Jay built. Yesterday they visited Godfrey. In this photo (Jay at left), they’re looking into the cabin of Godfrey’s latest sailboat. I’m hoping they get a chance to visit Godfrey’s best friend, master builder and surfer Bruno Atkey.

Both Godfrey and Bruno are featured in our book Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Jay’s San Francisco home is featured in our forthcoming book Small Homes.

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Bruno's Hand-Hewn Froe Mallet

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Bruno Atkey, one of the major builders in Builders of the Pacific Coast, has been splitting cedar shakes for most of his life. He split the shakes for my 6-sided tower roof from driftwood logs (and his girlfriend Mecea drove them down here in a van). He’s split cedar shakes, and even siding, in British Columbia for numerous homes over the years.

Godfrey Stephens sent us this photo of Bruno’s latest mallet. (I use an old bowling pin.) In the background is one of Godfrey’s paintings.
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Jeremy Tuffli's Creations

I met Jeremy a few months ago in Bolinas, meeting young talented builders is probably my favorite part about working with Shelter. Jeremy’s attention to detail is on par with master carpenters twice his age. Here are a few words and builds by Jeremy.

Hi Evan,

Just got your message on Instagram and thought I’d share some photos of my projects with you.

The first two are custom pickup truck campers. I drove one out to Bolinas last year.

The other is a 1961 Winnebago trailer remodel in Colorado.

My latest project is a tiny home on wheels, currently under construction in Sonoma county. The tiny home is still several months away from completion. I will send more photos of that one when it is finished. Hope to have a website up and running by then as well.

Thanks to you guys at Shelter Pub for the inspiration. Builders of the Pacific Coast is one of my favorite books.

–Jeremy


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Vin's Exquisitely Crafted Small Home

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Master builder Vin Jon Gorman’s colorful, exquisitely crafted small home in progress. (See pp. 204–205, Builders of the Pacific Coast for his eucalyptus pod–shaped redwood sauna).

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This is Sneak Preview #13 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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