The Great Wall Of Woodyboaterville. Please Stay.


Over the past couple days we have had more unsubscribe emails than ever before. I suppose its the readers not liking the great wall thing. Maybe it’s that I am not focusing on an actual boat. Maybe the Railway and puppy stories have just gone too far afield of the topic we claim to be about here? Or maybe it’s my bad spelling has caused to many aneurysms and unsubscribing for the emails is for health reasons. The widget that sends you emails has been acting wonky, so some days are missed and then one big clump comes in. HEY.. its free. So, you know what they say..

Hey? Where did you guys go?

SO? back to the great wall design. For the record I had not decided what to do, until you all helped. The ideas are fantastic, and an example of how diverse and subjective it all can be. In the end, I have put up a lot of ideas and removed them, and yet one thing kept coming back. Plywood! And so here is my rationale behind the choice.

I would like to present my design choice for the Wall of tools.

I picked out two pieces that flow together


First the situation.

The building was built over a century by the Butlers. It’s been re walled 2 times, Raised 1 ft and repaired and adapted for use over the 100 years. In other words, its been USED as a building, first as a blacksmith shop, and then workshop, then storage and last, as a bathroom and storage. The ceiling was drywalled in the 80’s and stuff placed in the attic. The roof, and front are original.

A simple shed

A rough look at the changes. Some are back to the original look, and some are designed to hide and just look like its always been like this.

The look. The floor is plywood, sometime in the 60’s and the walls are plywood back of T1-11 On studs. Nailed with boat nails. The ceiling is raw wood, ceder, and pine.

SO, what to use on the walls and textures?

retaining the boat bottom trim

I chose a simple Pine Paneling, It picks up the grain and texture of the floor which will remain plywood, and be cleaned and coated. It also picks up the new old pine strips I made for the door wall and other walls to be completed. All pine! It will all be the same color and create a balance that represents and plays homage to the time that the space has lived. In other words, The space will show its age, and have design elements from 100 years of living, rather than making it one period of time.

Clean yet textured

It will be aged, and taken back, with different ways to distress. Before the tools and parts are put up. Note the old cans already show how this will work.

The tool wall is now that pine paneling since I want there to be no lines to distract from the tools and parts as a canvas so to speak allowing the tools and parts to be the focal point and blend in.

OH! YA, oil and time! Cutherbsons in Michigan


OH GOD! Sorry, I went into another universe of my brain. The one that presents subjective ideas. I apologize. Please don’t leave.  Believe it or not it all connects back to our boats. It’s just part of the universe they embody.  To completely understand our passion, we need to know how, why, and when the boats lived and worked.

UGH, I miss countdowns and sausage days.

36 replies
  1. Syd
    Syd says:

    Ivan day that I am enjoying seeing what your doing and how it’s transforming. A part of history that is being preserved

  2. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    The grime, oil stains, cuts and gouges of a shop interior tell a story of the work performed there. Like a paint can lid that wasn’t on tight enough before being put in the paint shaker at a shop I saw. Everyone who saw the evidence would ask about the paint splatter. A legacy of good and bad that happens.

  3. Bob Menzel
    Bob Menzel says:

    Continue with the shop and entire railway marina story, very interesting and informative.
    I am sure that should any woody boat story present itself we will be the first to know!

  4. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    your’s is the only blog or whatever it is that I check each and every day! oh, maybe that says more about me than the site?

    Carry on….I am Going Boating on this nice days in Va.

    John in Va.

  5. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    I love these stories. It’s not boating season and you’re building everyone’s dream “man cave”. (Just don’t put a f*****ng TV in there!)

    You’ve also inspired me because this Summer I’m turning the 1939 half log garage at my cabin into some kind of a Sconnie tavern/ping pong room using reclaimed wood with a similar vintage vibe.

  6. BT
    BT says:

    Bravo! The plywood was my choice too. Now just dirty it up, throw a couple hammers and wet paint brushes at it, and it will be perfect (and insulated). As we say with my construction projects “it ain’t no piano”. Please keep the story coming.

  7. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    I’m enjoying the Railway stories! And with spring beginning to emerge, I’m sure there will be more boat stories soon too.

    I’ve never been much for signing up for emails. I prefer to bookmark sites I enjoy & I visit WoodyBoaterville most mornings.

  8. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    I’m not sure why anyone would unsubscribe because of articles on the renovation of a marine repair facility as this topic would seem to go hand and hand with antique and classic boats. We all know that in one form or another they always need some type of maintenance and repair but that is the allure to our hobby. Sometimes it’s not the destination that counts but the journey!

    Most old shops I have been in were not aesthetically pleasing but the beauty was in the form and function. As a kid I was mesmerized by touring the Wright Bros. and Edison Menlo Park workshops [now at Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford Museum], Others were not so impressed so once again beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Based on this do with your shop what makes you happy!

  9. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    I enjoy every story here. It’s all about classic boating and the many behind the scenes aspects. Keep going.

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Are you going to paint the framing around the window? If not I would, a subdued dirty maroon/red that matched your planked bottom window frames from earlier blog. Consider painting the workbench face frame as well just to breakup all the wood exposure in a subdued beat up gray or a color to match what you already have.

  11. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    What about the puppy? Have not seen the mutt pictures in days. Oh the horror. I don’t know what to do

  12. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    It’s a challenge to come up with a new story every day for however many years you have been doing it. There are only so many “boat” stories during the off season. So have at it. Yes, some of the stories maybe a bit of an off the wall stretch, (no pun intended), but that is part of the folksy charm of the site.

    Have at it.

  13. Alan Moore
    Alan Moore says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog! The problem is; it will come every day for a while but then stop. I patiently wait for it to recommence but finally unsubscribe and resubscribe to get things flowing again. Cheers1

  14. Michael Murphy
    Michael Murphy says:

    you’re getting more unsubscribe than ever because when you changed your server i quit getting your daily updates.

    I’ve unsubscribed and subscribed several times but it won’t recognize me and i don’t get anythin.

  15. Mike Murphy
    Mike Murphy says:

    In addition to my above post. I love the shop news and updates.
    Most of have some type shop so this is great stuff.

    I also made a “first time” donation to the cause yesterday thinking that would get me back on the subscription list.

    not yet.

  16. Ron in Seattle
    Ron in Seattle says:

    See… you said it, You have a wonky widget. I agree, I don’t get my morning fix all the time. The biggest problem is I think I forgot something those mornings but can’t remember what it was…
    I like the stories, it’s why I offered the greenie light shades!

  17. RH in NY
    RH in NY says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing, the way you do it.
    Not everyone gets it. In fact, I find that most people don’t get it.

  18. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Old boats, old cars, planes, toys, and buildings – preserve/restore and use! It’s all the same sickness. I suspect the unsubscribes may have more to do with the server change than anything else – that, plus a few politically offended holdovers and some casually interested in old boat folks who aren’t as sick as the rest of us… 🙂 As many have said, I am amazed (and grateful) that you are able to put something out every day that relates to this hobby!

  19. Rick Garrison
    Rick Garrison says:

    Wonky Widget is the culprit. It’s happened before. This time I just waited it out, but kept up to date by selecting “next post”. This morning I was pleased to find WB in the inbox.
    As we all know, there are so many facets to WB that keep us interested.
    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! (is really work though, when the love comes first?)

  20. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Don’t stop. You are getting to be an age where there is more time to float your boat, however you row. Thanks for all your efforts. As it warms along the shores of Lake Michigan I can now get my saws outside and make all the dust I want. Got lots of trim and drawers to make. Then I can build my personal version of the marine railway mens club.

  21. Jeff at Indian Lake
    Jeff at Indian Lake says:

    As Jackson Brown would sing, “Stay…..just a little bit longer….we want to play, just a little bit longer. Now the promoter don’t mind, and the unions don’t mind, if we take a little time”

  22. Al Campbell
    Al Campbell says:

    Well Matt, quite frankly I’m keen on a full colour engine room tour of that fine wooden trawler of yours. How do the emergency pumps work? Power take off or electric? Electrical system set up.. is there a genny or driven off the main? Battery set up ?Do you carry a spare prop? There’s a lot to be learned from a fine old boat like yours….. Please.

  23. Jim W.
    Jim W. says:

    Matt as other subscribers has indicated, I also lost my daily email updates a week or so ago. I resubscribed and now I get 2 duplicate emails daily. I will be be unsubscribing from one, so don’t be offended as I look forward to your blog every day. Keep up the good work!

  24. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    First off, I love the storyline that’s being progressing.

    Second, I didn’t even know that there was a way to subscribe! I put a bookmark to the site on main screen of my phone and click on it most mornings. I hate getting more emails than I need to. That reminds me, I should un-subscribe from most of the other crap I get!

Comments are closed.