Scaffolding in a library: Celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Eliot House Woodworking Program

During my first year at Eliot House I came up with a novel idea: to build a wooden structure inside Eliot's Library to carry lights and define dedicated floor space for our first art show. Together with our art tutor we planed the exhibit to show paintings, woodwork, ceramics, and other art made by students and affiliates of Eliot House. We built the structure parts from pine, and designed it so that beams, posts, and keys would hold the structure tight for the duration of the show. The posts received a wide footing plate that included a pin to enter the post's base. Underneath the plate we placed a non-skid mat to increase friction and prevent it from moving if someone accidentally kicked it. Each beam had two notches to fit over a key in a post or over another beam. To lock the structure together I designed a red key that was malletted down on the last beam and was flanked by the post's top grove. 

Look at these images to learn how we set the structure up and how we transformed the library space to celebrate our students' achievements.

1. The Eliot House Library before its transformation.

2. Hauling the parts from storage and setting them up on the floor. 

3. Lifting the first beam "gate".

4. Placing the first cross beam.

5. Installing the second cross beam.

6. Placing the red key.

7. Instaling the middle cross beam.

8. Scaffolding job is done.

9. Installation art work.

10. Opening night.

11. Master Lino gives a short speech. 

12. More work….

13. Music by Harvard students during the opening night. 

14. Jack and me looking at one of our students' box. 

American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.