I moved to Maine in 1986. My first workshop was attached to a 135 year old sea captain's house. This was a wonderful place to work on antique fire engines. It got quite crowded if I was decorating more than one engine at the same time.
In 2001 I built a workshop specifically designed for hand painting on vehicles. The layout is loosly based on a 19th century paint shop I saw in a book. There are two large drive-in bays and a clean room for gilding smaller parts. All the paint rooms have an air ventilation system. The storage room is as big as my entire previous shop.
My present shop is just two miles from my former location. I left downtown Tenants Harbor for the woods. The photo below was taken early in the morning on September 11, 2001.
It was a powerful day to be raising a roof...
In 1985 I helped on the restoration of a steam fire engine for my local fire department. The following year I move to Maine and began working with Andy Swift of Firefly Restoration. His restorations of fire apparatus are as fine as any I have seen. Most of the fire engine restorations on these pages are projects from his shop. Andy and Ken Soderbeck have been generous teachers to me. There is a separate page on this site for each of them.
Tenants Harbor, Maine
Peter Achorn deep in thought in his research library, 1952.