Hal Forbes, a Restoration Designer, from Halifax, Nova Scotia uses his scroll saw to restore old buildings back to their Victorian splendor. Working in his downtown Halifax woodshop, he faithfully reproducing the hallmark embellishments of the era such as old brackets, corbels, moldings, spandrels, spindles, wooden shingles. “The obligation with restoration carpentry is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to faithfully reproduce what has already existed,” said Forbes. Since 1984, he has restored over 30 homes in Halifax and more than two dozen in other areas.
Forbes said his greatest challenge to date was a three-story corner tenement building suffering decades of neglect. He purchased the building and got to work. “I was a real mental challenge. Knowing that all of the facade would require complete rehabilitation, I worked very hard at many potential reconfigurations. All style applications were considered,” he said.
In the end, Forbes choose the Victorian design know as the Stick Style popularized in the 1880s. “I always enjoyed that period because of the heavy use of the scroll saw. I studied the references and applied the math. With the fabrication of many corbels, the combination of clapboard shingles and patterned shingles, and belt courses, the complete design and color palate was the result I had hoped for.” The resulting exterior restoration took eight months to complete. www.forbesrestoration.com