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He Builds Scale Model Barns That Restore Memories
Barns built 100 or 150 years ago by wood framers still dot the North American landscape. Lowell Finley builds scale model barns that restore memories of these barns for folks who long ago left the farm, but want their families to know how and where they lived.
  He builds scale models of early barns and homesteads, including cabins, using the timber framing method that was popular in the 1800's. Timber framing makes use of mortise and tenon joints, in which a tongue fits into a square hole to hold the beams together. Wooden pegs are also used to fasten everything together. Barn interiors have hay lofts, built-in ladders, and large one-piece wooden beams.
  "I believe that barns are a part of America's past that needs to be preserved for our grandchildren and for future generations," says Finley, who has exhibited his work at farm shows.
  Finley, of Mansfield, Ohio, was in the construction business for many years and used to build new homes. Even though he's now retired, he's still in the building business. He uses the models and designs of the past to guide his building skills. Often, he works from old photos.
  Finley builds barns using oak wood. His barns have sliding doors, which in real life were big enough to drive a load of hay inside or to park a tractor on the barn floor. There's even a ladder leading up to the hayloft.
  Finley builds to order and puts at least 100 hours into every barn that he builds, depending on the design and amount of detail. His barns have lightning rods, downspouts, and cupolas. There are stalls for horses and cows. One barn that he built has a standing seam, shiny metal roof. Some barns have stone foundations and a Chew Mail Pouch tobacco sign that looks just like the ones painted by Harley E. Warrick, the early Ohio barn painter.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lowell Finley, 1790 Mansfield Washington Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44903 (ph 419 522-6572).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6