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Artisan Crafts Beautiful Tiny House from Salvaged Trailer

Artisan Crafts Beautiful Tiny House from Salvaged Trailer


My name is Travis Skinner and this is my
house, The Leaf Spring. This started out actually with a 1984 Terry Taurus camper.
I talked to a friend and told him that I was thinking about building a tiny house
and that if he came across a trailer to let me know. Three months later he
called because his neighbor had eight trailers that were all water damaged and
destroyed so I went up to his place picked up this trailer for free and I
demoed the house and salvaged what I could and then it kind of just was one
step after another, you know. I didn’t think too much too far in advance. I just
tried to stay focused on what the step was I was on. Kind of one thing unique I
did when framing, which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but had a lot to
do with my process, was to not have anything figured out. I had no design. I
just put the walls up and then I put a table inside the walls and I sat there
had tea and thought about where I wanted windows. Then when I was like, “I want a
window here”, I got out a saw and cut a window so it was kind of you know one
thing after the next just keep on keeping on. It kind of took the name The Leaf Spring
because the leaf springs on the trailer acted as the connection between the axle
and the frame. It was kind of what gave the tiny house its jurisdiction is the
connection between a steel frame and some wheels. One of the important exterior details is
I used a rain screen siding which means that there’s a furring strip and
it’s on each stud member and it holds the siding out. There’s a mesh net at the
bottom and then holes at the top. Through convection heat pools in the bottom and
circulates and pulls it out. In the northwest the best thing to do isn’t to
just try to keep water out but to design for when it gets in how do you allow
airflow to hit it to dry it out? You know in any house doors are one of my favorite
parts, you know it’s the portal. It’s the entranceway and so I wanted to build
some cool doors. Other element was my back door which is kind of a window. It’s
an awning style window. I definitely got a lot ideas about that window from Abel
and seeing Abel’s work. I actually made that window in a shop I think, the
majority of it. All right, well here’s the kitchen. I did forge work on the brackets and you can see there’s a sun here so I forged the pieces, welded them together, all
the brackets are handmade. I made a simple gravity-fed water system and then I made this pot rack to keep
my dishes overhead and out of the way. I got back from Sun Ray’s when I was
building this crazy cedar dome and there was all this leftover wood and I would
just, at the end of the day I’d like grab three nice looking boards and toss
them in my van and be like, “sweet”, ya know? When I got home I had a couple boards
and I was like, “I wanna build my cabinet out of these free dome boards.” I had seen
this latch. I loved it because there was no handles on
the door and I was like, “that is so ingenious”, and he made it. There’s this
little horseshoe piece of wood and you open it just by pushing on it. The living
room features this bench. It’s kind of a cool design element and I took these one
by cedar boards and I ripped them with a jigsaw on the line of the grain. I wanted
to build a space where I could have a desk and a seating area, but then I could
also feed a couple people if we needed a dining room table. The runners for the
table on the wall they slide out and then the leaf is on hinges. This is the not super usable
chalkboard. And then the table just slides together. I forged these snake
hinges that fold the leaf down and then now in this space you can feed six
people around the table. And then I guess the loft, the last component is my bed. I
designed it like a futon mattress. There was all these strips of wood that
had air flow between them. Moisture is just the constant issue in the Northwest
and if your mattress if it sits on a flat surface with no air flow then it
will sweat, create an environment for mold to grow, you’re gonna have mold underneath
your mattress, very common. I built two ladders just step above the heater on
this black locust board and then you can crab forged handles and then just walk
right up. I had my mom just come and stay. She’s 60 years old and can do it,
but yeah you just climb up like that and then you can just hop back here. You got
my bed and then the way I really like to climb up and down is this monkey bar
staircase and it’s just fun, you know? Everyday waking up I really like
swinging down, just being a kid. The other element of the loft is the window that we
saw from the outside that awning style window I was talking about. I really like
it a lot because it gets hot up in the loft so the door’s designed so if
when I’m hot I can just lean over and kick the bottom of the door and get airflow.
Just kick the top of the door and slide it back down and I put a little handle that you can grand and pull. I have a dog. His name is Payal. He’s my buddy and he encourages me every day to wake up and get outside. That’s what we do when
we wake up. Okay, leave it. So each morning
we walk a pathway down to the creek, kind of just get acclimated into the world. I’m
not inside a box but what’s actually happening. Every day when I get back from
my walk I feel like a thousand times better. My mind’s been cleared. I’m not
thinking at all about what I was thinking about and I’m just experiencing
what’s going on today. The act of being inspired, inspired to
design with intention, create and then experience. That process the artistic
experience once you start stepping into that realm you start seeing that you can
put intention in your design in almost any medium. The Leaf Spring was the first
time where I can put my intention into something that was mine. Seems like
that’s a big obstacle for a lot of creative people is that they don’t want
to invest into something they don’t own because then they’re doing the work and
not receiving the eventual reward for it. The act of learning is directly affected
by one’s lifestyle therefore lifestyle becomes a part of
the practice. When your lifestyle is encompassed in practice there’s these
philosophical questions that develop and one must establish their own morals and
ethical ideals. Those ideals lead one to seek for fulfillment in their actions.
You have to ask what is fulfilling to you. As you create and then learn from
that creation then you experience and decide whether that creation is
fulfilling and then you move on to continue to do it if it is fulfilling
because it’s, for you, it’s your own reason. You don’t have to answer to
anyone. You create for that fulfillment because it’s the right thing. It becomes
natural. The design has intention. That design leads to creation. The creation is
then experienced. When you find a flow you bring all three of these elements
together so you’re simultaneously designing, creating, and experiencing.
Process evolves and then is influenced by every other human in their processes.
As you develop your own process then you meet other people that kind of steer
you in little directions of the path and they allow the path to be opened up and
that’s why I’m here talking to you is because you have to experience other
people’s processes in order to develop your own so the more that we are then
exposed to the artistic experience the more that we can find and seek that in
ourselves. Thanks for watching. I uploaded the full
25 minute tour where Travis goes a lot more in-depth on the details and design
of his house over on the Patreon page. If you’re interested in seeing that extra
content or just want to become part of the team hop over to the Patreon page. Thanks again I will see you next week! Ciao..

93 thoughts on “Artisan Crafts Beautiful Tiny House from Salvaged Trailer”

  1. Beautiful woodwork! I love that you built as you went w/out a plan, feeling out the space and then knowing what you wanted, each step a beautiful work on the other. I myself am struggling on where and what kind of windows. I know you said you don't recommend doing as you did, but I think I'll just have to do as you did and cut out the windows later – no materials wasted since I can reuse the cutout later. I took some serious notes on that rainscreen siding. Monkeybars! Creative and Fun all around; I absolutely LOVE this! ..great philosophe roll-off at the end as well 🙂

  2. Very cool construction. If natural building and tiny home construction was more accessible in urban settings, it would be so cool. Everyones house would be so much more special.

  3. Me: This guy is so cool, so imaginative, so…
    Travis: I have a dog, his name is Pile…
    Me: the devil, this guy is the devil.

  4. I'm so impressed with your natural abilities, including your artistic ones as well. Your attitude about your day and what we should do with our skills is so true. We ( I did) get pulled in thinking college (which is great in many ways), corporate world, marriage, children, etc. If I could do it all over again, I would travel, do some college, use my God given natural abilities to do something I love doing and creating. I loved art in school. I do design and make quilts but I've lost my passion lately and don't know how to get it back. Listening to you made me want to create again. I also love woodworking, so may try something like that if I can manage it, I'm 66 and not real agile (spinal issues), but will always keep trying and finding ways to feel rewarding and happy. You look so much like my great nephew, even the long hair..it's freaky, y'all could be brothers. His hair is lighter, but he's tall and thin and so into being a free spirit type..takes after me I think..lol. He works at a pottery place in a small town in PA. making pottery. He plays the drums and is in a Christian band his father started…Joyful Noise. They are quite good! I could see y'all being friends. I love your dog too…he's quite skilled with that ball!!! lol Good luck, be safe, happy and wish you many blessings in 2018..Happy New Year.

  5. I love tiny homes plus I am a collector of miniatures. Just love tiny objects. The way things are going in the U.S., terrible western states wildfires, the California wildfires burning since October 8, 2017 – to date (Jan 9, 2018), the four CAT 5 hurricanes that wiped out Puerto Rico (Maria), parts of Florida (Irma), Texas (Harvey), Jose hit the Caribbean, Mexico, PR, etc, point is so many are homeless and these tiny homes could many, plus you learn to live with less, maybe grow healthy food, trade with your neighbors. I mean just look how content this guy looks and no damn cell phone glued to his hands and no rads frying his brains. Yep, I love tiny homes.

  6. I have gained much from this. I am a fellow Northwesterner who is on a path of personal fulfillment. I will have a tiny house by my own hands some day. Thank you.

  7. Travis built this in the zone of creation. What is the zone? It is the place of no thought. A place where you trust yourself to do it. The place is in the moment and the moment is without fear, why? because thought is fear, thought is always based on the past and usually on other peoples fears long before you.
    Being in the present, we do, we create something. Our brains and the thoughts we have do nothing. Intuition and instincts gathered from knowledge flow without thought, more than we can think. We only need get out of our thoughts long enough to make something happen.
    Thank you sienna brother, and your dog for keeping you well, and out of your mind.
    Peace

  8. awesome house body, congratulations. I am in the NW too building my music studio out of a 86 vintage trailer. and this is being a wonderful experience so far.

  9. Lovely to see you and your dog on that beautiful morning walk. I'm an ancient artist in Philly, and saving to move out of the city for just such things! Your work is as beautiful as your life philosophy, which I wish more people could not only hear, but embrace, as the world would be so much better off. You have a wise soul and I wish you all the best.

  10. Greetings from west Cornwall in the United Kingdom. What an absolutely beautiful video. Dylan type Dave Erasmus into Youtube when you can who is a guy in the UK whose videos I think you might immensely enjoy. Btw I just shared this video into my small group on Facebook – Tiny Homes UK. Before I go, here 'ave one of these mate (((((Dylan)))))

  11. I watched it again very amazing design I love the wood design I love everything about the home the way you Incorporated the little snail amazing amazing and I love your dog Lucky Dog to live in such a nice tranquil place

  12. Wide-eyed and smiling in wonderment. Which is more amazing – this beautiful abode or the young man?! Where was such a "boy" when I was young?? Never-ending-ly utterly remarkable in the (your) creativity…

  13. I'm so jealous!! I grew up taking morning walks through the woods at my Grandma's cement block house with an iron cook stove, outside toilet and a well & dipper! We bathed in a tin tub on her back porch after heating water on the iron stove or in her backyard in the summer. I was raised by parents in a big city because my Dad worked for an airlines so I grew up with modern conveniences but I always felt extremely lucky to experience a more simple way of life when I stayed with my Grandma! It was AMAZING and I treasure those memories. I believe a forged an early bond with nature! Lol!

  14. How to qualify to make a tiny house:

    Have long hair
    Have no idea what you're doing
    A couple of friends with some interesting contacts
    Own an Australian Sheep Dog

  15. Wow! How very inspirational! I like to wing it a lot too, and I'm wanting to build one of these as an art studio behind my house. (Thanx for the NW tips.) My neighbor has all the tools and some know how… I'm gonna do it 2!

  16. You, Dear One, are a true inspiration. I LOVE your home, your philosophy, your beautiful SELF. Bravo…and THANK YOU!

  17. Your work in your imagination is very unique very inspiring your home is huge for tiny home your design made it open and beautiful it’s the first tiny home that I fully loved your craftsmanship

  18. What a creative and inspirational guy Travis is. He radiates happiness, warmth, and growth. Dogs rule. Thanks for the video.

  19. Travis, you are a true inspiration to the soul and spirit that resides in every one of us, love your creations and your beautiful mind.

  20. Thank you for the incredible inspiration, Travis. Home as an expression is so beautiful. I really resonate with your philosophy. And it was really fun building with you recently, my friend. Live, laugh, love!

  21. Beautiful. And i love how you open your circular window, very easy; priceless. You may now make your own bike that can tow it. Challenge to make a wheel system to carry a big load such as a tiny home. ALso, seriously, if you like to place PVC Tube 2 longitudinal at the bottom of the home in order to FLOAT it when big Flood comes in. It is serious; most were doing it now. search here in you tube. / I will try to model my home to yours; not all, but the front and back. Actually, what i was thinking was about the same. / THink of this: think of bunk beds with a standing walk-way path at the back; your home could be done that way. That is my Design, and i am sharing it here. Because it happen that my Design was very much like yours; especially the kitchen area; that shape; but, that is bathroom and above is a standing loft. Good luck. It is really nice to make homes. Pray always. Pray the Holy Rosary if you can. It is easy: just one Our Father and "Hail Mary full of Grace" x 10 [then, the rest was a petition]. THank you.

  22. Very inspiring, getting ready to do something similar! Now I would really like to tryout my farrier friends forge!

  23. This guy is super clever and I totally get what he was saying but breaking out of the cycle of modern day salvery can be a challenge. Especially if you don't have a trade and you have a load of responsibilities. I totally get this guy though he's living what is now considered the awake persons dream. Peace always to you. ❤️

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