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Water Stone – Shop Expansion

  Breathing Room
As the new century turned we began planning a major expansion of our physical shop facilities. Having worked in the same limited - and difficult to heat - space for 30 years we finally reached a point where the shop was simply not adequate to accommodate our steadily increasing production.

So we took a deep breath and began a huge 4000 square foot shop expansion.

I was fortunate to have neighbors that are exceptionally builders to help me plan, excavate, frame and close in the new space. We began in late September and I was applying the final roof shingles on a clear zero degree day in mid January 2002.

The entire process was a wonderful experience that I do not ever expect to repeat. Working with an enthusiastic crew 25 years younger than myself was great fun and afforded the opportunity to forge lasting friendships.

Foundation Excavation New Foundation – With one of the smallest lots in our township - we excavated most of our back yard to set the foundation and provide well drained space for a full basement designed for clay storage & mixing and apprentice quarters.
Foundation Excavation Below Grade - Considerable time was spent laying perimeter drainage and screening so the basement would be bone dry for our clay storage and apprentice apartment. Our cement block kiln building can be seen at the upper center of the photo.
Concrete Pump Truck Cement Pour – After much stuggling with back hoes and skid steers and knee deep mud we slowly stabilized our excavation. On a cold November day we had forms set to pour the foundation and basement walls - the entire northern section fully below grade. Watching the concrete boom pumper was great fun and the weather fortunately turned mild so our foundation and basement walls could properly set and cure.
Rafters Up Rafters Up – We worked steadily through November, December and early January to close in this very large building. We started most days shovelling snow before work could begin and we stayed bundled up so we could work through seasonal flurries with daily temperatures frequently near zero.

It is truely amazing what can be done in spite of the weather if one is sufficiently motivated.

To date - we have completed the new entry, clay storage and kiln loading rooms and I finally have our car kiln track precisely aligned with the exterior brick kiln building. In addition to our daily sink production - we are steadily working to finish the interior of this new space so that we can finish expanding our shop machinery and work processes.

The full basement space with windows exposed to the southern sun and the nearby brook will become apprentice quarters to support our planned Apprentice Program. I am genuinely looking forward to having resident apprentices to help share the work and with whom I can share my life's work experiences. If you know someone who would be interested in being a resident apprentice - please contact me.

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115 South Gouldsboro Road - Gouldsboro, Maine 04607 - sales@waterstonesink.com - 207 963 5819
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