Jordan and I have been in our shop in south east Portland for a number of years. When we set our goal of leaving for South America as September of 2012 we had to start working on an exit strategy from the space. The building owner had become a good pal of ours and we wanted it to be as easy on him as possible, so we put some feelers out there and connected him with a new tenant for when we left. However, things change and deadlines get blown through, and I found myself with two motorcycles that were 75% done and new tenants that were eager to take over the building when that time finally came.
For the last couple years while waiting in green card limbo, my status in the states has been in 6 month increments. In the past when my 6 months in the states was up I would go back to Canada and work as much as possible, then return to our shop in Portland to start where I left off. Now I needed to bring the bikes back to canada if we had any chance of leaving for the trip. The only way that was going to work would be to move 1500 square feet of equipment home to finish building the XRs. The only problem was that my parents have no shop space or garage on there property. With a serious amount of finesse over the phone I was able to convince them that bringing a full machine shop home in November without having anywhere to put it was a good idea.
A couple days later I had a 36 foot moving truck way overloaded with two mills, lathes, shaping equipment, welders and 5 years of hoarded motorcycle parts. One of our best friends Blake Hudson was an incredible help, he brought over his fork lift and spent all day in the rain helping load along with our awesome shop neighbor Mike. Around 9 pm everything was loaded up and we hit the road north driving through the night trying to avoid all the weigh stations on the freeway. A quick stop at the boarder to import my equipment and we were off to Whistler. The weather was on our side and I lined up a friend with a backhoe to unload the machines. We built a quick shelter for the big equipment and covered them in grease to keep from rusting while I built the shop.
The spot where I was going to build the new shop was where I had built my first shed when I was 15 to house the snowmobile I had been saving for. It was sad to tear down the old shack but I was stoked to put together a workable insulated shop that wasn't an eye sore
I started making calls around town to scrounge together some building material. We are lucky to have a handful of great friends that do a lot of construction, so everyone has a pile of salvaged wood around. I hit a couple jackpots right away and had concrete footings and beams for the floor the next day. Over the course of the week I had enough material for the floor walls and most of the siding. The only new wood I had to buy were rafters and a handful of 2x4. Cases of beer where the currency of choice and plenty of wives where stoked to get rid of there husbands pile of lumber.
A couple days into building the snow started to fall and made for some wet days and cold hands. Starting with the floor we layed out our beams and used double joist where the heavy machines would sit. 1 1/2 inch flooring was used on top of that for a bomber floor. Pretty soon the walls where framed and the roof was wrapped up. We where finally able to get the machines in the shop
Once everything was under cover I could focus on putting the insulation in and running power to the shop. By the end of January everything was buttoned up other than the exterior siding. We tyveked the exterior and called it done for now
Once the snow was melted in the valley I tackled the exterior. My dad had been saving some nice red cedar logs for a while and gave me the green light to mill them up into some siding. The problem was that I had no way to get the logs to the mill, so I borrowed a friends alaskan mill and Stihl 660. For a solid day and a half I bummed out the neighborhood, filled the yard with sawdust, burnt a couple gallons of gas and ate up a chain
All in I had a little over 1000 dollars into a small but functional shop to finish the bikes and store my equipment while I was on the road.