Friday, March 15, 2013

The Brown Oak Wall Installation Installation

Not only was yesterday Pi Day (for my fellow math fans) it was also Hang the Wall Installation at Brian's House Day!

After a morning of resenting snow flurries as we climbed in, on, and around the bed of the truck wrapping the slab in blankets and bungee cords, we headed to Brian's house to mount it on his living room wall. Before leaving, Rob took the time to make a story stick/board of sorts carefully mapping where the mounts were on the back of the slab as well as its dimensions. Because the shape of the slab is far from straight, the mounts couldn't be placed perfectly centered on the back thus making the story stick even more imperative. This way we could hold a thin, light piece of wood up in the air instead of the 9ft long, 100+ pound slab itself as Jeff perched on the ladder marking where the mounts would have to be drilled.

With the help of some blue masking tape, Jeff was able to mark the center of the wall. Paired with Rob's story stick, he drew accurate lines where he would drill the mounts.
As you can see from the photo, the mounts on the wall were essentially wedges facing upright with a solid base. The corresponding pieces were attached to the back of the slab and were identical with the exception of the wedges facing downward. There was one mount at the top of the slab and another near the bottom. When the slab was lifted above the mounts on the wall and slowly lowered down, the wedges slipped into each other like puzzle pieces and held the weight of the piece securely.

Naturally, we hit a stud during the first attempt to drill the first mount into the wall. But, because I work with woodworking pros, we had planned for such an event. Altering the plan a bit from relying on toggle bolts to hold the mounts, we moved on to screws and washers instead.

Like installing any piece of art, it takes a bit of trial and error to get it to look just the way it should. After stepping back to check for straightness, we unanimously decided it needed to shift just a few inches on the bottom. Reaching for the blue masking tape again, we marked where the edge of the slab should be adjusted to hang. Exercising my arm muscles a bit, I helped Rob lower the slab off the wall and we adjusted the lower mount accordingly. Eventually, the hanging was straight and we all stepped back to admire the work.
And soon, my first visit to a client's house to deliver a completed piece was over. To step back and see all the hard work we had put in over the course of the past couple of weeks hang so beautifully was fulfilling. The color of the wall and the straightness of the banister really brings out the piece. And, just the same, the length and detail of the slab add so nicely to the height and sharp corner of the ceiling/wall.

I am still in awe over the fact that such an intricate and detailed pattern found in burl exists in nature.

After admiring the installation as it fits so nicely into Brian's beautiful living room, we headed up the road to visit Spacht Sawmill. An entry about that adventure is to come. My first client delivery and my first visit to a saw mill all in the same day made for one of the greatest Pi Days known to man.


  1. OMG - The Burl Wall hanging is impressive and gorgeous! Great work! Paula Spiece

    1. Thanks so much! We were pleased it turned out so beautifully.