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More stories about Backfill

  • Model Home for Sale

    Every year since 2001, home builder Cape Associates of North Eastham, Mass., has built a playhouse replica of a local historic building. Past models have included the town library, the Coast Guard station, and the famous Outermost House, which was swept off the beach during a winter storm in 1978.

  • Still Grinding After 200 Years

    Andy Shrake fixes windmills. Not the newfangled kilowatt-generating type, but the all-wood grain-grinding beauties built some 200 years ago. With 14 still standing on Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island, repairing them is a full-time job.

  • Solar Cargo Trailer

    Paul Bias, a green builder in Arcata, Calif., frequently works on sites where it’s difficult to get temporary power. Rather than use a generator — which is loud and dirty and easy to steal — he powers his tools with energy from the sun.

  • JLC Extra: Solar Cargo Trailer

    This schematic shows how to wire the trailer-mounted photovoltaic power system described in July’s Backfill article.

  • Haven for Homeless Homes

    When a northeast storm cut a new opening through a barrier beach in the Cape Cod community of Chatham, Mass., in April 2007, owners of seasonal cottages on the narrow strip of sand were dismayed but not surprised: North Beach, as it's locally known, is in a continuous — and sometimes dramatic —...

  • Turning Monster Posts on a Shop-Built Lathe

    When a local remodeler approached me about reproducing five porch posts for a 140-year-old house in Boulder, Colo., my interest was piqued. Despite the fact that I didn't have a lathe — much less one that could turn 10-foot posts — I took the contract, figuring I could build my own to do the job.

  • Tight Fit in Toronto

    To judge by its dimensions — 45 feet by 6 feet 6 inches — the structure at 128 Day Avenue in Toronto has more in common with a bowling alley than with a residence. And in fact, the site it occupies was originally meant to be an alley.

  • Where Have All the A-Frames Gone?

    If human scale is as essential to good design as architects say it is, the classic 1960s A-frame got it just right. You can confirm this by putting a ladder against an interior gable-end wall and climbing until your head is nestled snugly in the peak, as if you were wearing the structure like a...

  • Backfill

    When small was beautiful

  • Workbench Wonderland

    For some of us, vintage tools are impossible to resist. The mere sight of them incites an overwhelming compulsion to buy, regardless of need.