Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/21/10

3/23-25/10 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

While I was gassing up the truck to leave, I discovered that my water pump was leaking. I drove over to Maddyís and since he couldnít fix it right away, I decided to risk a trip over the mountains with the pump leaking. I went back home, got a couple bottles of antifreeze, topped off the radiator, and took off. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:35 with no problem. Bert and Ernie showed up shortly afterward.

As soon as I moved in I called Mike Dickinson and left a message that I was at the property. I had talked to him over the weekend about getting the septic system hooked up and he told me to call when I got there and he would come over. He also gave me the name of an electrician in Beaver Valley named Darrin (763-4344) who works with him. I think Iíll look into having Darrin wire up the dosing pump.

After moving my stuff in to the trailer, I went up to the cabin and started a fire in the stove. Then I went back down for lunch and a short nap.

After lunch, I measured the distance from the distribution panel to the dosing tank. It is about 75 feet. I also did some thinking about where and how to mount the pump control box. Then I took the tape into the woods and measured the distance for the last run of copper water pipe. There is about 135 feet left to go. That is just over two coils of pipe.

Since I was out in the woods, I went up to check on the spring. I cleaned away the debris that had accumulated over the winter. Then I went down to the concrete staircase and tightened up the rope handrail. It had gotten pretty slack over the winter.

Next, I got out my home-made brake and used it to make three more post caps out of aluminum sheet. I installed two of the caps on the remaining two 4x4 posts on the concrete staircase, and one on the 6x6 post holding the electrical meter-disconnect box. Finally, before I went in for the night, I took up a tarp that had covered up the firewood pile that was now completely burned up. Towards evening the frogs filled the air with their loud singing. It was good to hear so many.

On Wednesday I sanded the underside of the loft stair stringer so that it would be ready for its final coat of varnish. Then I started working on setting up the scaffolding outside the Grid 1 wall so that the vent pipe could be installed out there. The first thing was to find enough half-inch allthreads to hold the brackets. I needed six of them, or so I thought.

I found the allthreads but they were nicked up so that you couldnít turn the nuts on. I got out my tap and die set and ran the half inch die completely over all the allthreads. The cordless drill made this process a little quicker.

I was in the loft shoving some of these bolts through the holes in the wall when Larry stopped by for a visit. We visited in front of the stove until it was time for lunch. He left and I went in for lunch and a nap.

After lunch, I re-installed the gate log. I think the snow season has ended. Then I went back to work on the scaffolding. I used the holes in the wall that I had made for that purpose and installed two brackets, three planks, and a handrail between Grid B1 and C1. But no sooner was it installed than I could see that the brackets were too close to the columns. I am not sure yet whether the pipe will be installed up against the Grid C1 RPSL, or the Grid B1 PSL, but in either case, there wasnít room for a 3 inch pipe.

After thinking about it a while, I did what I had to do. I drilled two new holes for the bolts. Actually, since I would have the same problem on the scaffold on the next tier up, I drilled two more holes up there for that. Then I dismantled the scaffold and rebuilt it using the new holes.

Before I went in for the night, I realized that I had not thought the whole problem through carefully enough. For one thing, I wasnít sure exactly how the pipe would be routed on the outside. I want it to go up alongside the RPSL, but a horizontal run from there to the hole I had bored goes right in front of the window. So, it seems to me that the answer is to run the pipe at a 45 degree angle from the hole to the RPSL in order to miss the window. But then the left-hand scaffold bracket is right in the way.

Another problem is access to the peak of the fascia which is where I want the pipe to go. The top scaffold tier will be high enough, but it is not wide enough to reach the end of the ridgepole. One possibility is that a 20 foot extension ladder might be able to reach the peak from the high rock. Another possibility is to use the outside anchor hook on the ridgepole to support part of a scaffold deck. Yet another possibility is to construct a larger scaffold platform supported by boards lag screwed right into the RPSL. Iíll have to mull all this over some more and do some more experimenting before I figure it out. Itís a good thing the plumber was sick and had to postpone coming out because I still have quite a bit to do before I am ready.

On Thursday morning just after I had started a fire in the stove, Phil and Jeanne stopped by with their dog Dutch. We had a nice visit while I showed them the progress I had made. After they left, Bert and Ernie showed up again. After a round of hugs and biscuits, I varnished the stringer, closed up, had an early lunch, and left for home at 11:45. I left early so I could get home in time to get ready for a special Court of Honor I had been invited to.



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