Trevor Parscal's Studio

Building a recording studio in New Hampshire


A few weeks ago, the scissor lifts were picked up and some friends and colleagues arrived. I took the next few weekends off to focus on entertaining guests, attending a work conference and planning for the final push to finish the siding and roofing.

Renting scissor lifts proved to be extremely valuable, but as we moved to focusing on the outside of the building, they were less useful as they are specifically designed to work on a smooth concrete slab. What we now need is a way to be 10ft or 15ft off the ground on the outside of the building.

Seeing how expensive equipment that could serve that purpose would be to rent, I started looking at CraigsList to find alternative solutions. Most of the scissor lifts were very expensive, but I found a lift with pneumatic wheels that appeared to be a sensible solution. So I rented a U-Haul truck and trailer and headed to central Massachusetts with Peter, ready to buy.



After looking at the lift in person, I was quickly convinced that it was a death trap. The electronic controls on the platform had been removed, with mysterious wiring partially still remaining. As the lift extended, it made a horrible groaning sound that removed any doubt that the machine had never been lubricated. As it extended upward in jolts, the motor struggled and whined. The motor was so weak, likely from years of abuse, that it was unable to extend the lift at all unless you dropped it all the way down and started over, giving it a running start.

Feeling resolved that any motorized lift equipment that I would feel safe using was out of my price range, I decided to move my focus to scaffolding. I expect I will need to own some scaffolding to complete the interior anyway and, unlike renting, purchasing at least leaves me with an asset I can sell.

So today I ordered two 10ft tall 5ft x 7ft towers with leveling feet and casters. The towers are reconfigurable, so I can set them up side-by-side to create 14ft of scaffolding along a side-wall, or stack them up to create a 15ft or even 20ft tower to complete the end-walls. Once it arrives, I can set it up in advance to my friends arriving and move it between work days.

I have about 90 days left before it might start to snow, so it’s great to have sorted out how we will complete the final phase.

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