Bragging Rights Published on January 12, 2018

Newell and Ridge several years ago on HP&B job site.

We’re proud as punch of an article titled “In Praise of Carpenters” published in the March 2017 issue of Fine Homebuilding. Why are we so puffed up? Because the author is Newell Isbell Shinn, who is not only a former CEO of Hardwick Post & Beam but also the son of Ridge Shinn, founder and current president of our company. Newell was in pre-school when Ridge founded HP&B, but grew up in the business* and eventually ran it with his dad.


Since then, Newell and his family have moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he is Production Manager for South Mountain Company, in West Tisbury.

Newell’s article in Fine Homebuilding begins,

A carpenter’s intimacy with a building is particular and visceral. Carpenters know, for instance, how every material in a house smells when it is cut; what kind of dust it makes. They know how many pieces of each thing they can lift by themselves, how many with help, and the ratio of pieces moved today to tomorrow’s aches and pains. When they walk away, they know a building with their body in a way the occupants probably never will…. Read the full article.

Well said, Newell!


*Since we’re bragging, here’s a poem Newell wrote when he was 17 about being his dad’s sidekick on the job as a child. This poem was a winner in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Poetry Competition and was published in the newspaper:


Frame Raising

by Newell Pledger-Shinn

Rich oak beams, stacked, wrapped in plastic,

coffee in Styrofoam cups,

pickup trucks,

saws, drills,

extension cords,

working men,



Dad’s too-big, old, red T-shirt,

skinny arms,

saw blades,

oak pegs,


crane roaring


winches turning,


sucking soda,

perched on coolers,

stone walls,

and piles of timber,




pack the tools up,

thoughts of supper,

oak skeleton,

looming in the rearview.

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