Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Winter Has Arrived and Barn Update

Now that winter is here, the yard work is winding down, though I think I'll give it one last mow to clear some leaves and get the garden in order. Then again, it might be too late for that. I'd like to clear the debris, spread some compost, and then till the soil, but it's been freezing at night and soon I won't be able to.

Also, there is the issue of time. I can barely keep things together on the home front, but I've also got other project going, but no time for whiners, right?

Having said that, I've managed to get four rough openings completed, and have to confess that I like doing them. I guess I'm a framer at heart, because there is a margin for error and sloppiness, which is my forte. It may take me days to frame a RO, and the edges may not line up, but boy do I have fun doing it. I've completed the entire backside of the barn, and I just need to put up sheathing and then frame out the gable ends for the doors and kitchen sink window, which will be a big one. Should be interesting.

I still haven't heard from my sensei, he said he'd be available to help me, and he is a logger who can cut the trees in back (he's got a chipper), and he does roofs. An all in one package if there ever was one, except what good is it when they never get back to you.

As I've mentioned before, it's hard enough to get a contractor to return your calls when it's an emergency, but if they have even the slightest hint that there is no urgency to a job, don't even dream that they'll contact you. It's almost as if they don't want our money. On the bright note, it's more stuff that I get to do. So what if it takes years to complete... just kidding.

I got the pressure treated wood for the sill and cut it to size, making sure the kids were nowhere in sight and I was properly protected. Nasty stuff, that pressure treated wood. My friend made a garden box in his home using PT wood, and I couldn't believe it, but said nothing. Also, our good friends the Macs are always eco-friendly and health conscious (to the point of being priggish) and they just built a deck entirely out of PT wood. No thank you.

Anyway, I now need to fasten the sill to the foundation, and I have a few options. The first was to have our friend B come over with his handy nail gun and simply shoot nails through, but this brought up a couple of issues. First, I've been told the nails can crack the foundation, and second, I've heard they don't actually hold the boards down, they simply prevent them from shifting. It has been recommended to me that I use a hammer drill to make holes and then put bolts (I forgot what they're called) and fasten the boards to the bolts. Finally, my good friend JC (who has a hammer drill that he said I could borrow) recommended mason screws, which apparently hold well in concrete. So many choices, so little time. I like the idea of doing it myself, not just to save money, but because it's another step towards becoming a real man and I don't have to wait around for someone to show up, much less return my phone calls.

Finally, I ran out of rough cut lumber. I need more 2X6 boards, and it's convenient that the guy sells them down the road, but I think the quality of the wood left something to be desired. I may simply make the trek to Wrights Mill and get the good stuff, especially now that I'm a framing machine. Speaking of which, I need to increase the RO of the doors, which will entail cutting out the header and raising it up a few inches. Time to break out the Sawzall. I love that thing, though I wasn't sure what to use it for at first. I just did what I told, and I was told to get a reciprocating saw. I didn't know what to do with the thing at first, but now I'm really into it. I think the key was getting good blades, and lots of them. I've broken two of them, but fortunately they're cheap, which of course speaks volumes to me.

Anyway, cutting out the headers should be interesting. I want to retain the jacks because they require long pieces of wood, and you can't really buy short pieces of the stuff. The shortest I've found is ten feet, which is more than I need, but you take what you can get. I also need to order windows and doors, but one thing at time.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Hanna Zabielska for the pic.

If I could

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