Builders of the Pacific Coast Book (48)

Jay Nelson and Friends Visit Godfrey Stephens in Victoria, BC Yesterday

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Jay and 3 surfers are on a surf/photo trip on Vancouver Island for a Surfer’s Journal article, traveling in a camper Jay built. Yesterday they visited Godfrey. In this photo (Jay at left), they’re looking into the cabin of Godfrey’s latest sailboat. I’m hoping they get a chance to visit Godfrey’s best friend, master builder and surfer Bruno Atkey.

Both Godfrey and Bruno are featured in our book Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Jay’s San Francisco home is featured in our forthcoming book Small Homes.

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Bruno's Hand-Hewn Froe Mallet

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Bruno Atkey, one of the major builders in Builders of the Pacific Coast, has been splitting cedar shakes for most of his life. He split the shakes for my 6-sided tower roof from driftwood logs (and his girlfriend Mecea drove them down here in a van). He’s split cedar shakes, and even siding, in British Columbia for numerous homes over the years.

Godfrey Stephens sent us this photo of Bruno’s latest mallet. (I use an old bowling pin.) In the background is one of Godfrey’s paintings.
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Jeremy Tuffli's Creations

I met Jeremy a few months ago in Bolinas, meeting young talented builders is probably my favorite part about working with Shelter. Jeremy’s attention to detail is on par with master carpenters twice his age. Here are a few words and builds by Jeremy.

Hi Evan,

Just got your message on Instagram and thought I’d share some photos of my projects with you.

The first two are custom pickup truck campers. I drove one out to Bolinas last year.

The other is a 1961 Winnebago trailer remodel in Colorado.

My latest project is a tiny home on wheels, currently under construction in Sonoma county. The tiny home is still several months away from completion. I will send more photos of that one when it is finished. Hope to have a website up and running by then as well.

Thanks to you guys at Shelter Pub for the inspiration. Builders of the Pacific Coast is one of my favorite books.

–Jeremy


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Vin's Exquisitely Crafted Small Home

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Master builder Vin Jon Gorman’s colorful, exquisitely crafted small home in progress. (See pp. 204–205, Builders of the Pacific Coast for his eucalyptus pod–shaped redwood sauna).

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This is Sneak Preview #13 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Yogan and Menthé's Pacific Northwest Trip (Part 1)

imageOur French carpenter friends Yogan and Menthé spent several months last summer, hitchhiking up and down the Northwest Pacific Coast and trading their carpentry skill for room and board.

When they left, they visited us here and we downloaded about 1,000 of their photos. They’d had a great trip.

They wrote: “The U.S.A. is incredible, so much imagination. It was a perfect trip for me. Thank you Lloyd, I wanted to meet the amazing builders of the pacific coast. Your book Builders of the Pacific Coast was my motivation for my trip to the West Coast.”

I picked out a few photos and Yogan has written these captions. We’ll post them one at a time.

The Leviathan Studio on Lasqueti Island. Mark is a contemporary dancer who built this studio by himself. He used trees from his 12½-acre property. The south side was made with used windows; the floor is yellow cedar. The roof is green: he used EPDM roofing. It’s built it for dance workshops during the warm season. The architecture is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci.

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SunRay Kelley's Solar Electric Diesel Hybrid RV and Reclining Electric Bike

SunRay Kelley

SunRay Kelley continues to invent, design, and build a plethora of buildings and vehicles. I asked SunRay and Bonnie to send us the latest, and here are videos of his campers and electric reclining bike. I don’t know of any vehicle that combines diesel, solar, and electric power like the RV shown at the right.

SunRay was featured in our books Builders of the Pacific Coast and Tiny Homes.
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SunRay Kelley's Newest Sauna Stove

Sunray Kelley's Sauna

This is SunRay’s newest down-drafting sauna with a stove built from salvaged materials. The fire box is a 20″-diameter stainless steel piece from an industrial heating system. The heat riser is housed inside an old propane tank.

Flue gases spiral and rise until they hit the top of the tank and then are forced down between the heat riser and the tank until they are vented out the spiral chimney made of flexible stainless steel ducting.
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SunRay Kelley's New Treehouse

SunRay Kelley is a master natural builder whose work has been featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast, Tiny Homes, and Tiny Homes on the Move. Here’s some recent news.

Hi Lloyd,

SunRay is working on a two-story, one-bedroom tree house. The attached picture will give you an idea but I need to get some updated photos soon it is a lot farther along these days. I hope she’ll be done in time to make this next book. Below are links to photos and text on a few of the small homes SunRay has done.

Sounds like you have another great project to keep you busy and out of trouble this rainy season.

Love and Light,
Bonnie and SunRay

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Lloyd's Camping Vehicles, Part 3

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In 1988 I bought a 4-cylinder, 5-speed Tacoma 4×4 with the Xtra cab (meaning a 6′ bed). Then in 2003, I got a new one, same model. The engine is a bit gutless going up long hills, but will run forever.

By this time I knew exactly what I wanted:

A metal camper shell made by Tradesman in Winters, Calif. It opened on all three sides, was way stronger than plastic shells. I bought an aluminum rack from Hauler Racks. It came disassembled via UPS and I bolted it together and mounted it. It rests on the truckbed sides, not on the camper roof.

At Campway’s in Santa Rosa, Calif., I got the inside of the bed sprayed with a waterproof membrane to protect the metal. Also a “carpet kit,” with storage boxes along the sides and sliding middle panels inside the bed.

You can see the pull-out drawer and side storage boxes. I shot this photo on Hornby Island, BC on one of my four trips to Canada shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. I remember one afternoon collecting oysters way out on a reef (beyond the commercial guys and cooking them for dinner on a beach fire with aluminum-foil-clad potatoes, red wine, AND blackberries with …(ahem)… heavy cream and brown sugar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI never mounted the rooftop tent. I bought a used pull-out canopy which is great for Baja surfing, sets up in a few minutes as opposed to 45 min. for the flea market tarp. On camper roof: Yakima Rocket Box, surfboard rack. I slept inside when it was raining or really cold, otherwise outside.

This is a fantastic setup for desert travel; the 4×4 will get you just about anywhere. A 4×4 van is another option, but costs about twice as much.

I can take the camper shell off (four quick-release clamps) to haul straw, topsoil, gravel, etc.

(Interesting factoid: The Toyota Hi-Lux trucks, beefed-up Tacomas, and mounted with machine guns, were used in the Iran-Iraq war and more recently by Afghani rebels.)

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