I’ve never met Ben Brunick. In fact, I had never even heard his name until a few weeks ago when a casual attendee of the International Builders’ Show approached the Abatron booth and told me that I “NEEDED” to call him. I was told that Ben had been using our products on a project at the South Dakota Mental Hospital and that this was a project I was going to want to see. Imagine my surprise when I returned to the Abatron offices only to find a FINE HOMEBUILDING magazine on my desk with a detailed article on window sash repair, featuring none other than Chalkstone Woodworking and its owner, Ben Brunick.
The “mental hospital project” is in fact the Mead Building, which was built in 1909 and is currently being restored in order to be the future home of the Dakota Territory Museum. It has been vacant since about 1980, but Yankton County Historical Society has purchased the building from the state for $1, agreeing to restore and preserve as much of the historic site as possible. Dr. Mead was director of the facility when it was built and was revered for having a keen eye for design. The building became somewhat widely known for its impressive entrance and marble staircase.
Up for a challenge, Ben Brunick took on the window restoration project, admiring the beauty of the building and the impressiveness of its entrance. The Mead Building contains around 240 windows; mostly 1 over 1 double hung wood windows, with the exception of some 2 over 2 lights and the arched parlor windows.
Abatron’s s LiquidWood® and WoodEpox® products are being utilized on a good number of the sash, sills, and casings on the project. Ben had been briefly introduced to our products years earlier while restoring an old pool table, but has become much more familiar on this project.
“I like the ease of use of the Abatron products,” said Ben. “They are straightforward, and easy to teach to others as well. Stay within the limitations of these products and you’ll have very good success.” Ben’s been working on the project steadily for about 4 years now and aims to complete the last window before the end of 2018. He’s already been recruited by some of the local churches.