From fitting door furniture on his favourite Lodge to doing the final checks to the chassis, hutmaker Al talks us through a not-so-average day in the Plankbridge workshop…
Which aspects of hut-making do you work on?
I work on whatever needs dealing with on that particular day, whether it’s paint touch-ups and fitting doors and door furniture, or doing the final checks to a chassis before the hut is delivered to a customer. It’s a skilled and varied job.
Best part of the job?
The team. Everyone is so hardworking and helpful, and if I ever face a problem I haven’t come across before I can draw on their experience. I’ve picked up a lot of different carpentry skills since I joined, as well as a few extra ones like lead welding.
Lead welding is tricky and takes a lot of patience – it’s easy to melt through the piece you’re working on if you’re not careful, but if you can do a neat job of welding together the trays they look really smart and finish off the look of a hut window. My favourite thing to make is detailed pieces like oak trims. For me, they’re the most rewarding.
Do you have a favourite shepherd’s hut model?
The Lodge because of the options a bigger space provides; you can have en-suite, kitchen and bed all in there. Read about the Lodge hut here
Do you have a favourite colour from the Plankbridge colour card?
Wistman’s Blue. I’ve always been transfixed by rivers and waterfalls and love the colour blue.
Favourite place to eat locally?
My village pub, The Frampton, in Crossways near Dorchester. It has great food, a nice seating area, and it’s within walking distance of my house!
What do you do in your time off and weekends?
Walking my 13-year-old border terrier Dave, and watching history documentaries. I’m a complete history nerd.
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