Midnight Woodworking


Appalachia mission trip 2015

I just got back from our Youth group’s annual mission trip to Preston County West Virginia. We work with the Summer home repair project, run by the church of Preston county. We went down with five teams to tackle five different projects. You should be able to view progress photos on the Saint Peter’s Facebook page here:

Site A

Site B

Site C

Site E

(More photos will be added over the next week or so.)

I took a lot of pictures of my team, so this post is all about them. Our family’s sole source of heat is a wood stove. They needed a new wood shed to replace an old coal shed, that had fallen down. This would enable them to have storage for enough wood to last them through the winter. Since one of my goals on these trips is to teach the kids as much as possible, I designed a wood shed that would expose them to several different facets of construction. Here are the plans for the shed we built: wood shed- Layout.pdf

We hit the ground running on day one, digging holes and building the floor deck.






This is a picture of my awesome teens at the end of day one on their completed deck. Catherine, Timmy, Erin, and Claire.



Day two we put up the walls while my Co-leader Tim stood around and attracted butterflies…

We showed the teens how to do each step of the project and let them build the entire shed on their own.

It was amazing to watch how well they did.

Dodging rain drops all day, they got all four walls up.

Day three started out rainy so we stayed back at the camp and built trusses for the roof.


We marked all the angles and had the girls cut the sides of the trusses while Timmy cut the gussets.

After a couple of hours of solid work, they had seven trusses built.

They were a little hesitant to be using the circular saw at first, but after only a little instruction, they were cutting like pros.

That afternoon, the rain let up a bit and we had a chance to throw the trusses up on the roof and let Timmy and Catherine toe-nail them down.

Day four we started putting on the roof, and we got rained on again.

After the rain, we started putting on the roof sheathing.

Catherine couldn’t wait to get on the roof.

Tim had two of the team working on sheathing the walls while we started papering the roof.

Erin and Catherine nailed down the tar paper.

These kids worked like machines!

Catherine and Timmy got a quick lesson on how to lay shingles, then went to town on the back while I worked on the steeper front part.

Catherine took a break to model her new asphalt skirt while Timmy kept nailing down shingles… Erin and Claire trimmed the shingles to keep the assembly line moving.

Claire cleaned up our mess while we finished the caps.

And of course we got rained on again just as the last caps went on. But the roof worked great and we waited for the rain to stop, under our new roof.

Claire was my go-to girl for cutting anything, even ankle-deep in mud…

Tim worked with the kids teaching them how to lay out the angles for the upper section, then the teens installed them.

At the end of the day on Thursday, we had a big cook-out back at the camp. We invited all of the families from each of our projects. Even with the tornado watch in effect for the evening, most of them came out to eat with us.

Day five was our last work day, so we had to finish up. Tim had to go haul materials for another team, so the kids and I unloaded the truck and got to work.

We trimmed the corners first, then the home owners asked if we could fix the steps on the old shed next to ours.

We tore off the old stairs and broke them down for fire wood. I laid out the stringers and Claire did all of the cutting.

We built a solid set of steps. They may not be pretty, but they were level and strong.

Our home owners tested them out and they were happy with the results.

When Tim got back, he showed the teens how to trim the upper section of the wall while Claire and I worked the step for our shed.

The last thing to do was install the soffit in the overhang and Erin and Catherine did that.

They all left their muddy hand prints on the wall outside and we all signed out names inside.

Project complete a half day early.

This was my favorite picture. These four made a fantastic team.

As we packed up to go help another crew finish their project, everyone was tired, happy, and proud of the job they did.

Tim just kept flexing his muscles. I don’t know why…

This was my sixth year going on this mission trip and it was one of the best years yet. I normally have a much larger crew, but it worked out really well. I hope to be able to work with this team again next year.

I also want to mention a special “Thank You” to Jay our camp cook, or I should say “Chef”. I normally loose a few pounds working and sweating for a week, but Jay fed us so well that I think most of us gained a few pounds. Thanks Jay!

One comment on “Appalachia mission trip 2015

  1. dtugboat
    July 12, 2015

    Isn’t it great to know some of our young teenagers do real good things. Not at all like the TV news we get each night. Thank you for teaching these young folks and their parents for raising them so well

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This entry was posted on July 12, 2015 by in Church projects, Misc..., plans and tagged , , , .

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