Solstice Wall – Proof of Concept

January 03, 2024

By: Lee LeFever

I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.

This article was published as an issue of my newsletter Ready for Rain

One of the fascinating parts of this project, to me, is that there is no playbook. I can’t find any helpful resources for how to make the Solstice Wall work. I’m sure people have done similar things, but their process and problem-solving seem to be unattainable. I take this as a challenge. We will experiment our way through.

One of the most productive experiments to date is a proof of concept model I created to test the materials and be sure that they will work as expected.

The Solstice Wall is made from a variety of materials:

  • Lumber in the wall (existing)
  • Drywall on the lumber (existing)
  • Plywood on the drywall
  • Paint on the plywood
  • Metal dowels in the painted plywood
  • Plywood strips on the dowels
  • Stain on the strips

This list gives me a bit of anxiety. All these layers have to work properly across a wall-sized installation.

To soothe my feelings, I made a model:

This proof of concept helped me experiment and test the layers and how they interact. More than that, it gave me confidence that our design would work.

Here’s a short video with more:

I’m sharing this process on social media. Follow along!


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On most Tuesdays, I share a story from my life on Orcas Island and a recommendation for something I love. I'm interested in how to design work and home for lifestyle, livability, and fluffy dogs. Learn more.

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