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One Photo; One Story: I followed instructions. Once.

I dug 6” holes as instructed by the online blue prints I downloaded.

I sunk the 8-foot posts in quick dry cement and let it sit overnight. I was building a rustic woodshed. I am not very good at construction work. I’m a wood butcher. I have no patience for this.

“You’re building a 10 x 20 woodshed and you’re only going down 6 inches? It will never hold.” Dad warned.

I had the plans from a guy online who built this beautiful shed and posted the plans and the photos. “I am just following his instructions Dad” I shot back.

The next morning, I went out to see if my posts were hardened in the ground. They toppled over.

“I told you, you had to go down three feet at least.” I kept hearing my Dad say. He was right, again.

My wife and I had just purchased the home of our dreams, a Victorian style farmhouse on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It would be our homestead for the next few years, it had a wood-burning fireplace and it needed a rustic woodshed.

I was going to build it myself. My mind was made up. So, I searched the Internet for plans. This was 2006, in the early days of the Internet.

I found a website that featured a photo of a rustic woodshed with moose antlers hanging over the door. It was made of cedar and it was beautiful.

The photo was black and white and the plans were listed below. They were good plans and made sense to me. Until the posts fell over.

I wrote to the man who put the plans online, I told him his plans inspired me to build a shed just like the one he had. Something wasn't quite right though.

He wrote back.

October 24, 2006

Dear Mark,

I’m glad this has inspired you. This woodshed is a wonderful change from the normal. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any help beyond the photograph. This is not actually my woodshed. My parents took the photo one day while shopping at some garage sales in northern Minnesota.

The web entry you viewed this from is from my undergraduate work at Bemidji State University. We were learning how to create basic web pages and I thought the woodshed would be worth the space.

Sorry, I can’t help any more than I have. When you’re finished, I’d love to see a picture of your version.

Good Luck,

Karl Klint

Well Karl. That’s just ducky.

We got a big kick out the fact that the first time I follow instructions EVER. I got the wrong ones.

My Dad, son Devin and I did build a woodshed. 200 square feet of pressure treated lumber, cedar planks, hurricane straps and a window I found.

A friend told me I could blow it up and it wouldn’t fall. I over built it. We had fun and it was ours. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and before every snowstorm we were out there cutting wood, so we could stay warm together by a nice fire.

As for old Karl. I hope he has a job at Google.

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