Time for a progress report on the garapa paneling that will soon embellish the icehouse bathroom. We started out gently easing the edges, but several iterations later we’ve settled on a full roundover. Here’s why…
Because the garapa upcycling backstory helps illuminate the decision to edge these boards with a diminutive roundover, let’s rewind the time machine. The garapa we’ll be installing in the icehouse bathroom as paneling began service at Rosslyn back in 2008 as decking, and it served admirably for almost a decade and a half, enduring summer feasts and foot stomping fêtes, winter snow and ice, and all manner of wear-and-tear. Last summer we deconstructed the deck, not because it was failing, but because the TimberSIL substructure was kaput.
After dismantling the old deck we sorted out the best garapa decking boards for upcycling; “cherry picked” and inventoried the best-of-the-best material to ensure sufficient linear footage for adaptive reuse in the icehouse; and then began the painstaking process of trimming, re-dimensioning, planing, and grooving the edges that will be conjoined with garapa splines during installation.
A little over a month ago Peter experimented with several profiles. He started by just barely breaking/easing the edge two ways: sand paper and a single pass with a hand plane at 45°. Too subtle. He eased slightly more and then a little more. He also tried a subtle v-groove (two micro-chamfers), and we finally settled on a full roundover. Both the chamfer and round over details were achieved with a handheld trim router and a super small round over bit.
Why did I make this decision? Because the garapa is repurposed, it is charactered and irregular. Preserving this patina is important to the finished look we’re endeavoring to achieve. A subtle wabi-sabi story is being told not only in the varied lustre and texture of these boards, but also the handworked (ergo slightly irregular) dimensions. When installed there will be some variability in the thickness of the boards. The roundover will create a shadow line while accommodating the slight inconsistency from board to board, and the quarter round profile will be less severe than the 45° chamfer would have been. I’m hoping that it will all come together with a a subtle horizontal linearity that creates cohesion for the well worn wood.
Well Worn & Well Worked
It’s worth noting that the age and patina were showcasing with this upcycled lumber has only been made viable through the guidance of Hroth, Peter, and Pam and Tony’s devoted attention and immeasurable hard work over many months. I joke with Tony that he’s investing lots of love into transforming this material. From debris to centerpiece. In the photo above he’s roundover edging boards that he’s literally been working and reworking since last September or October. That’s a LOT of love!
What do you think?