Construction Journal for 2000, Part 1 of 7

1/3-4/00 I skipped last week because of the holidays, and I didn't do any work at the property this week either because Ellen took some time off. We went up to the property on Monday with the intention of doing some cross country skiing on Tuesday. I was pleased to see that the tarps were still intact that covered the lumber. The snow conditions were beautiful in the morning, but by the time we got going, it started raining. We changed our plans, packed up, headed for home, and did a little skiing in a blizzard at Stevens Pass on the way over.

1/11-13/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

There was quite a bit of snow in the pass, but chains weren't required and I had no trouble getting over. I arrived at 11:15 and spent an hour shoveling out the parking place. Then I spent another hour making trails, moving in and having lunch.

I started out by cutting strips of fiberglass insulation and stuffing it into the space between the sill log and the pressure treated sill on the northeast wall. Then I stapled screen over this between the log and the sill. Hopefully this will prevent ants from finding a way into the house in that space.

On Wednesday, it snowed lightly and stayed about 28 degrees all day. I made and installed 9 4x4 posts to support the northeast rim joist. Then I installed the 2x10 rim joist on top of the posts. Then I used the gwizzard to flatten the remaining four spots on the C3 RPSL and the D3 PSL for the beam hangers. By the end of the day, I had made two double 2x10 beams and installed one of them between the C2 PSL and the C3 RPSL. The time consuming part of all of this is the careful measurements that must be made to make sure the floor will be flat and level and at the right height to match the door frame thresholds.

On Thursday morning, I made the remaining two beams for the southwest side and installed them along with the one I made the day before. I finished by about 12:30. Next week I will begin installing floor joists and the first floor will finally begin to take shape. I left for home about 2:00.

1/18-20/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

There was a lot of new snow, but chains weren't required going over the pass. I arrived at noon and was pleased to find that someone had scooped out my parking place. I am sure it was Mike Dickinson. That saved me over an hour, and I think I will have Mike do it on a regular basis so I can get more work done.

It was 23 degrees, clear, and sunny and beautiful. The snowfall must have been wet and then the weather got cold and stayed that way because the trees were all loaded with snow that was pretty old. It's kind of hard on the trees, but they sure look pretty like that.

Since the weather was supposed to stay clear for a couple days, I decided this was the opportune time to move all the rest of the lumber up to the building. I shoveled about 3 feet of snow off the lumber and dug around the pile so I could get the tarps off and get at the lumber. Then I used the snowshoes to make trails and pack down the snow everywhere I thought I might want to go in order to hoist the joists up the cliff. I changed the high rigging inside the building so that I could pull joists through the window nearest the south corner, and then before it got too dark to work, I winched up two loads of three 28 foot joists and got them resting on the window ledge and the main floor beam.

On Wednesday it was still clear and beautiful but the temperature was only 20 degrees. I used the winch to pull up another bundle of 28 footers and then decided to try to drag them up by hand one at a time. The first one only took me 7 minutes so I decided to drag all the rest of them up that way. They slid on the snow real nicely because it was so cold and the snow was pretty firm and dry. I finished getting them all pulled up by about 2:00.

When that was done, I hauled two barrels of pretty heavy yard waste from the pickup to the compost pile. Then I filled a barrel half full of snow and loaded it into the pickup so that Andrew and I could have a snowball fight when I got back home. Shortly after that, Larry Copenhaver showed up and we had a nice visit.

After Larry left, I insulated the space between the pressure treated sill and the sill log on the southwest wall. Then I started stapling on the screen and got it about half done before I accidentally broke a light and blew the GFI breaker in the process. After resetting the breaker and turning on the lights again, the breaker blew again. I decided this was my signal to quit for the day. I reset the breaker again and went in for the night.

That night, I had a toothache in a dead tooth I have had since childhood and I figured it was from breathing that cold air all day. This has happened before but it always went away after a while. This time it didn't and it hurt pretty much all night.

On Thursday morning, I could hardly eat my oatmeal because my tooth was still hurting. I went to work and finished with the screen and then nailed one side of all the joist hangers on the northeast rim joist. I figured that would make it easier to install the joists and after the joists were in, I could get the hanger nice and tight up against the joist. I cut one joist to length and dropped it into place. It took several cuts and several false starts to figure out how to do it, but I finally got it in place. I didn't nail it in, but it was still gratifying to see the first floor joist in the building finally in place. I quit work at about 12:30 and went in for lunch. I tried to eat an apple but my tooth hurt so bad that I couldn't, even by cutting it into small pieces. I made a baloney sandwich and had to cut it into small pieces and try to chew them without touching my sensitive tooth. It took me about an hour to eat that sandwich. Then I packed up and left for home about 2:00.

2/8-10/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I skipped last week because the passes were closed all day Tuesday because of avalanches. I drove all the way to Scenic, which was as far as it was plowed, intending to wait until the pass opened. The police that were there told me that it wasn't going to open at least until 6 PM and that the rain was going to turn to snow by that time. I figured there was no hope so I turned around and went back home.

I also skipped the week before last because my tooth got severely abscessed and it took a little over a week for my face and lip to shrink back to normal size, after two rounds of surgery by the dentist. The good news is that it looks like he saved the tooth, so far anyway.

It was about 36 degrees and raining lightly when I arrived at noon. I had contracted with Mike Dickinson to scoop out my parking place each week for the rest of the winter, and it was real nice to be able to park the pickup without doing the usual hour of shoveling snow.

There was a couple feet of new snow that had gotten rained on so it was soft and heavy and it made it hard to make the trails with the snowshoes. It took about an hour and a half to make all the trails and to move all my stuff into the trailer. I noticed that the snow that had piled up on the lower part of the big side of the roof had torn all the tar paper off and now there was a new big pile of snow on top of the bare OSB. The snow doesn't slide over the OSB any better than it slides on tar paper, so the snow avalanching off the tarps above accumulated and was frozen directly on the exposed OSB.

After lunch, I went to work and insulated and screened the northwest sill. Then I cut the six joists that go on the northwest side and placed them in their hangers. I nailed the other side of each hanger to the rim joist, but I didn't nail the hangers to the joists. I still may need to move them.

Wednesday was a beautiful, dry, sunny day. The temperature was about 26 degrees in the morning, but after the sun came out, it warmed up to about 35 degrees. I cut the four 17 foot joists that run up against the fireplace hole, and pulled them inside the building and up onto the beams.

By the time I finished that, the temperature had risen enough to soften the snow and I figured this was the opportune time to clear the snow off the roof and then cover the exposed OSB with tarps. There was a huge mass of snow perched on the ridge that I had to clear first. It could have been dangerous if it had avalanched down on me while I was working down below.

It was tricky getting up to the ridge to work on that snow because the tarps are super slippery to walk on and I didn't want to tear them with my boots. I had to walk up the roof by hanging onto a rope and leaning back so my feet didn't put any force on the tarp except straight into the roof. Then by pulling myself up the rope hand over hand like Batman I could walk up and move around the roof.

After clearing the snow on the ridge, I moved down and shoveled the snow off all the exposed OSB. This was also awkward because I had to keep myself tied to a rope to keep from slipping off and that made it hard to maneuver and to do the shoveling. I scooped every little grain of snow off that I could so that the OSB could dry out as much as possible before I put tarps over it.

I finished about noon and the sun was shining super bright and warm on the OSB. I figured it would dry out pretty well by the time I finished lunch.

Sure enough. It was almost completely dry when I went back out but to give it a little more drying time, I shoveled the snow off the privy roof and the woodshed roof. I hadn't shoveled them off all winter, and they had accumulated pretty heavy loads that were starting to get dangerous.

By the time I finished that, the OSB was almost bone dry. I didn't have quite enough tarps to cover the OSB so I patched in a few pieces of 6 mil visqueen in order to cover everything. I stapled the tarps and visqueen down good and I think it will now shed the snow nicely for the rest of the winter. At least I hope so.

One corner of the tarp on the small side of the roof had also torn loose and had flapped back exposing a big triangle of OSB on that side. That too had dried out nicely so I did my Batman walk up the roof, over the ridge, and down the other side and stapled the tarp back where it belonged.

On Thursday morning, I cut four more joists to length and then placed them, plus the rest of the ones I had cut, in their hangers. I didn't nail them in place because I want to make sure they are aligned correctly first. It was gratifying to look out over those joists and see my floor finally start taking shape. I was also pleased to see how much headroom I have in the crawl space.

One problem, however, was that the hangers seemed to be about an eighth of an inch too short. The tops of the joists were an eighth of an inch above the top of the rim joist. This put them an eighth of an inch above the rough door sills. My plan was to run the subfloor right over the tops of the exterior door sills which were supposed to be flush with the tops of the joists.

I didn't like this discovery. The alternatives that occurred to me were 1) Tear out and rebuild the rim joist with its supporting 4x4 posts to lower it by 1/8", 2) Grind off 1/8" of the underside of the flange of each joist where it bears on the hanger, 3) Shim the door sills 1/8" to raise them to the joist height, 4) nail the subfloor down the way it is and have it bend and slope down an eighth of an inch as it goes out the doors. I don't like any of these alternatives.

I left for home by about 2:00.

2/14/00 Called the technical support line at the TJI manufacturer and discussed the problem with the joist hangers. He told me not to grind anything at all off the TJI flanges. He also told me that professional house framers would never concern themselves about being off by 1/8". They would just nail things together the way they were and forget it. That took a little pressure off me and it also partly explained why my construction is going so slowly. When I told the guy that I built my foundation to within 1/16" of being level and within 1/8" of being square, he just laughed and told me that there is probably no other foundation that accurate anywhere around.

2/15-17/00 I went up to the property for 3 days, Tuesday through Thursday.

I got a late start and didn't arrive until 12:30. The weather was 38 degrees, sunny, and beautiful. There was only about a half inch of new snow on the ground, so I had no trouble parking and I didn't have to make any trails at all.

After learning that I didn't have to be so accurate in aligning my joists, I decided to nail them in where they were and trust that my beams were aligned closely enough. The central beam was typically an eighth of an inch or less lower than the joists, so I shimmed the gap before I nailed the center of each joist. I got the first six joists nailed down before the end of the day.

Wednesday was another beautiful sunny day. I fired up Mother Sow in order to notch four PSLs to allow full length joists to pass. I hadn't started the saw in several weeks, or even months, and it was only about 28 degrees, so I was apprehensive. After eight or ten stiff pulls, she started and ran fine while I cut the notches. Once she was warmed up, she started on the first pull every time. I guess that saw and I are beginning to see eye to eye. It took a long time to cut the notches because it is awkward getting to them. I had to build temporary scaffolding for each one in order to reach them with the saw. I ended up getting nine more joists nailed in place.

Larry and Roberta stopped by with Vik and Nita Jacobs for a visit. They looked over the work and we had a nice chat. Vik and Nita had visited a few years earlier and so there had been a lot of progress from what they had seen before.

On Thursday morning, I flattened five spots on the RPSLs for mounting joist hangers. A joist runs directly to the center of the RPSLs and I will use face mounted hangers to support them. I flattened the spots by cutting a kerf on the top and bottom with a skilsaw and then removing the wood in between with a big hammer and a big wood chisel. This is pretty hard on my elbows, but it goes pretty fast, once I figure out a way to reach the spots. I measured for the length of the two joists that meet these posts, and cut the joists to length. I put them in place to see if they would fit, and I had to trim both of them again because they were a little too long. Better that than too short.

By the time I finished that it was time to quit for the week. I left for home at about 1:45.

2/22-24/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I arrived at about 11:30 and there was only about a half inch of new snow on the ground. It rained a little off and on during the afternoon, but not much. One joist that I had nailed in when it was pretty dark didn't get seated all the way into the joist hanger on the loft support pole. I decided to pull the nails out and nail it in correctly. This took a little time and a little struggle with a crowbar, but I got the job done. Next, I nailed in two more joists that I had previously cut and which hang on the C2 RPSL. This completed the installation of all the joists for 3/4 of the floor on the northwest side. My plan was to complete this much so I would have a place to store a bunch of long lumber that was standing up against the southeast wall. I had to move this lumber in order to finish installing joists.

I rigged a pulley high overhead and used a rope to lift and move a couple of long TJI beams and lay them on the joists. Then I moved all the 20' fascia boards onto the joists as well along with some other odds and ends of lumber. Next, I took down the ladder which went up to the high scaffolds because that was in the way of the joists also. With all that stuff out of the way, I cut the last 6 full length joists to length, and moved them into the building instead of hanging out the window like they were. Somewhere along the line, I misplaced my 16 oz. hammer and in the dim light I just couldn't find it.

On Wednesday, I insulated and screened the sill on the southeast wall. Then I nailed the last 6 full length joists in place.

The next thing was to frame in the fireplace hole and to solve the problem of the joist hangers being too short, I decided to re-bend them. I used the vise and a 3 lb. hammer and bent the flanges of 20 hangers so they were an eighth of an inch higher. Then I used these hangers to build the fireplace hole and install the joists between the hole and the southwest wall. All the while I kept looking for my misplaced hammer and couldn't find it. In the meantime, I used a 13 oz. hammer which worked OK for the joist hanger nails but was a little light for the 16d nails. By the end of the day when all the joists were in, I found my hammer under the workbench.

On Thursday morning I was casually looking out the window at breakfast and it dawned on me that my lumber rack was gone. I didn't think the snow was deep enough to cover it so I couldn't see it, but I went out with a shovel anyway and dug in the snow looking for it. It was definitely gone, and I couldn't remember the last time I saw it for sure.

I can remember thinking how clean and clear that area looked a couple months ago, but I had explained to myself that it looked that way because I had moved a stack of 6x8 beams out of that area. I figured that the rack must have disappeared some time between December 7 when I took down the log gate across the driveway and January 11 when the snow in the driveway got pretty deep. Once the snow gets deep, I pay particular attention each time I get up there as to whether anyone has left any tracks. I haven't seen any tracks this winter. My guess is that the thief took the lumber rack sometime during the Christmas holidays before the snow got very deep. I called 911 and reported the theft, but I don't think I'll ever see that rack again.

I went to work and built and nailed in all the blocking between the joists along the southwest wall. Then I installed the joist hangers on the inside of the fireplace hole. I will leave the hole open temporarily to allow me access to the first floor from the crawl space but I needed to install the hangers that will hold the short joists across the hole before I nailed the subfloor down.

After the hangers were installed, I used two staircase runners that Will Vasquez had given me to build a staircase from the crawl space to the first floor up through the fireplace hole. By then it was time to quit for the week. I left for home about 2:00.

2/29-3/2/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I arrived at 11:45. It was 36 degrees and there was about an inch of new snow on the ground. All the tarps on the roof were OK which made me feel good. I hope I don't have to do any more roof maintenance this winter.

I rigged a block and tackle and used it to lift 11 sheets of plywood up to the main floor. I laid a bunch of them on top of the joists to form a walkway so I could walk from the staircase to the northeast wall where I started nailing down the floor. I got 3 sheets nailed down before the end of the day.

On Wednesday, I nailed 4 more sheets down before lunch. Larry stopped by to check things out and helped me nail down the 4th sheet. After lunch, I nailed 5 more sheets down.

I had to decide how close to get the sheets to the log walls. The problem is how to insulate the space between the joist and the log. Since the plywood hits roughly between the sill log and the next log up, the space I need to insulate has a sort of hour glass shape. This makes it hard to get insulation placed from the bottom. I decided to leave about a 1 inch gap and use vermiculite for insulation and just pour it into this gap. The bottom of the cavity would be easy to seal with a board or with screen stapled to the bottom of the joist and the pressure treated sill. A one inch gap will still allow enough plywood to install a baseboard.

On Thursday, I nailed down 2 more sheets and lifted the rest of the plywood, 12 sheets or so, and stacked them up on the main floor. Finally, I barricaded both doorways and the bedroom window. This is to discourage whoever took my lumber rack or my come-alongs if they decide to come back for more. I left for home a little after 1:00.

3/7-9/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I arrived at 12:15. The weather was beautiful, sunny, and 40 degrees. After moving in, I nailed down one sheet of plywood and cut another one to fit around two of the posts. Then I realized that I couldn't nail that sheet down until I dismantled the high steel scaffold tower.

I knew this was coming and I wanted to put it off until the floor was installed up to the scaffold. That would give me a platform to work from that would make the job easier. Now was the time.

Since I needed a block installed above each side of the tower in order to lift and lower the frames, and since I wouldn't be able to reach the blocks once the tower was dismantled, I needed a way to get the blocks back down without being able to reach them.

I decided to run a 3/4 inch rope over the ridgepole and also over the grid D purlin with a block fastened to one end of each rope. The other end of the rope would be secured down low so that I could unfasten it after the scaffold was dismantled. Then I could pull the block down, remove it, and pull the rope free by pulling it up over the purlin.

One minor problem was that the blocking was in the way over the ridgepole. To fix this, I climbed up on the scaffold and drilled a hole through the bottom of the blocking so I could pass the rope through. Then I installed the rigging as I planned.

On Wednesday, I took a crowbar and some ropes up on top of the scaffold, pulled out the spikes that were holding the 2x10 decking planks in place, and bundled the 2x10s up with a rope and tied them to the rope coming from the block hanging from the ridgepole. Then back down on the main floor level, I heaved on the rope to get the load of boards free and I lowered it to the floor level. It got hung up several times on the scaffolding on the way down so it took a while and I worked up a sweat doing it, but I got it down.

Just then, Larry stopped by with a sack lunch and said he wanted to help me. This was probably the best of all possible times for me to have some help. In order to dismantle that scaffold by myself it would have meant many trips up and down manipulating ropes and loads. The tower was four frames high and each frame is 7 feet tall. So the deck was 30 feet above the ground.

With Larry there to help, the amount of climbing I had to do was minimized. If I dropped something, or forgot something, Larry would throw it up to me. He also manipulated the ropes so I didn't have to continually go down to secure them or release them. In the rigging, I had passed each rope one turn around the main loft beam so that the extra friction would make it easy to lower a load without having to hold the entire weight of the load as you lowered it. This made it easy for Larry to do the lowering while I was up on the tower guiding the load as it descended.

There were many complications that we had to deal with, but we finished the job before lunch. I think it would have taken me all day by myself. As we went outside to head for lunch, a flock of half a dozen gray jays stopped us to have their lunch. I was glad to see them because they hadn't been around for several weeks, if not months. I had a bunch of peanuts in my pockets so Larry and I fed them for quite a while before we had lunch in the trailer ourselves.

After lunch, we went back out and nailed down 5 more sheets of plywood before the end of the day. Larry got a kick out of the detailed plan I had for cutting the plywood. I had built a spreadsheet that figured out the optimal way to cut and install the plywood and leave the minimum amount of scrap. As I cut the sheets, I marked the remnant with an ID number, and then consulted my master plan to make sure that I cut each part-sheet from the proper remnant. I told Larry that I was going to make a small birdhouse from all the scrap plywood.

On Thursday, I got another 4 sheets nailed down and the barricade installed back on the front door before it was time to pack up. I left for home about 2:00.

3/14/00 I went up to the property and spent Tuesday afternoon working.

I arrived at about 11:30. It was about 40 degrees and the snow is shrinking fast. After moving into the trailer, I carried a bunch of 2x4s up that I had brought with me and about 40 lbs. of glue. I also brought a new cordless drill and a bunch of screws. A couple of people advised me to switch from nails to screws, and after thinking about it, I decided to switch. I hope it will help my elbows heal.

Before I went in for the night, I cut one sheet of plywood to fit around the Loft Support Pole and another to fit around one corner of the fireplace hole. I glued and screwed these sheets down with my new cordless drill. It worked great.

I had cooked my dinner and had just taken the first bite when I got a phone call from Dave. He told me that Janet had developed a brain hemorrhage that afternoon and was in the hospital. I finished my dinner, packed everything back up, locked up the site, and left for home by about 7:15.

3/21-23/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I arrived at 11:00. The weather was sunny and beautiful. The snow was melting fast but there had been about three inches of new snow the past week. I got two sheets of plywood screwed down into place. These had to be cut and fitted around posts so they went a little slow.

On Wednesday it was a cold 36 degrees and raining. The first thing I did was to pick up a sheet of plywood and carry it into the building. I guess I wasn't warmed up enough because I hurt my back when I picked it up. It wasn't too bad, but it was pretty stiff and made me move pretty slowly for the next couple days. I brought two sheets into the building, and cut and screwed them into place. This finished the main level subfloor. Hooray! This is a major milestone that I have been looking forward to.

Since the next step is to begin building the loft floor, I have to remove the scaffolds on the southeast and northwest walls and also the CBA. They are in the way of the loft floor. I got the southeast scaffolds taken down before the end of the day.

On Thursday morning, I dismantled and pulled out all the nails from the scaffold parts and stacked the boards and cleaned up the floor. Then I took some pictures of the new floor. Just as I finished that, Larry stopped by and inspected the work. We chatted for a while until it was time to pack up and go home. I left at about 1:30.

3/28-30/00 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

It was a beautiful 45 degrees when I arrived at 10:30. After moving in, I dismantled the temporary loft platform, the northwest scaffold, and the CBA. Then I pulled the nails out and stacked the planks and lumber.

On Wednesday, it was another beautiful sunny day. I started out by sweeping up the floor. It's easy now to imagine it looking like a house in there some day. I made a bunch of measurements of the height of the main loft beam off the floor and they were within about a quarter of an inch. That beam is a 30 foot log and I figured that would be close enough. If any of the joists are too far off, I will shim them individually or grind the bearing down a little on the beam. The numbers clustered around 106 inches, so that was where I decided to put the rim joists on the northeast wall.

Since the joists are 9 inches deep, I drove a nail at each end of the northeast wall 115 inches above the floor and stretched a tight string between them. Then I started preparing the first of two 2x10 rim joists that will go on that wall. The first thing was to get them into the building. I used the rope and block that I left attached to the ridgepole to pull each 2x10 up through one of the big front window openings. That worked very well so I'll use the same method for the TJI joists.

I had drawn the plan for the joist layout for the loft, so I marked the locations for the joist hangers on the first 2x10. Then I fastened the hangers by nailing one side only of each one. Then I measured and estimated the distance down from the tight string where the rim joist would be tangent to the wall log. All these points were in a pretty straight line, higher on the left and lower on the right so I stretched a string across the tops of the joist hangers to correspond with the line of tangents and used the string to mark the locations of the lag screw holes. Tom Hammond had told me that I need a 5/8 x 7" lag screw between each pair of joists.

I drilled an 11/16" hole in the 2x10 at each of these spots and the rim joist was ready to attach to the wall. I found the center of gravity of the rim joist assembly and fastened a loop of #9 wire with a loop on it at that location. I drove a nail part way in on each side of the wire near the top of the joist to keep the wire from slipping off of this location. Then I attached a light chain loop over the top rung of the long ladder and set it up against the wall above where the CG of the joist was to go. Then with a come-along attached to this chain and to the wire loop, I cranked the rim joist up to its position on the wall. I temporarily spiked the joist to the wall at one end exactly where it was supposed to go, and then after relaxing the come-along one or two clicks, I spiked the other end to the wall as well.

With the rim joist in place, I began the tedious work of installing all the lag screws. I used my 3/8" drill with the same " ship augur bit that I used to drill the rebar pilot holes in the wall logs. It worked great although the drill got a little warm. I loosely fastened a lag screw at each end to start with, and then I relaxed the come-along and removed the wire loop. Then I tightened those screws and installed the rest of them. I used a box end wrench to turn the screws in and I scraped my knuckles up quite a bit against the rather sharp joist hangers, which didn't give at all. Then I got smart enough to put gloves on.

Somewhere during the process of this work, I measured and counted the TJIs that would be the loft joists to make sure that I had the right number of the right lengths. I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that I didn't have what I needed. I re-measured, re-counted, checked my original order and the delivery receipt, and recounted how I had arrived at my order. It slowly became clear to my dull brain that I had simply made a mistake in the order.

I need nine joists over the kitchen area that are 20' 8" and I had ordered nine 20 footers. I must have had in my mind that these joists were "20 something", intending to get more precise when I actually ordered them, but somehow the "20 something" must have transformed to "20 footers" in my brain and I failed to check the drawing and get a more precise number. Anyway, there was a little good news. In filling the order, the lumber yard had made up this part of the order by shipping six 20 footers, and three 24 footers. This means that there are only six of them that are too short. Another "positive" was that I had forgotten to order TJI material for the blocking which amounts to 50 feet or more. So, considering this, the loss resulting from my stupidity would not be too devastating in the event that the lumber yard won't take some of those TJIs back.

I decided that my new plan would be to have Mike clear the driveway up to the trailer so I could take delivery of some more lumber, and then order the framing lumber for the interior walls along with the six joists. This would mean that I need to re-install my log gate at the driveway this week. It doesn't look like we are going to get a whole lot more snow this season.

On Thursday morning, I installed the second 2x10 to complete the rim joist across the entire northeast wall. This was fairly routine, since I used all the techniques that worked on the previous one, including the wearing of the gloves. When I finished, I swept up the sawdust and drill chips, admired the work, packed up and had lunch. I was ready to leave by 1:30 except for re-installing the log gate. Five or six feet of the small end of the log was frozen under a couple feet of hard snow so I had to dig that out before I could move the log. When it was free, I was able to lift the butt end of the log high enough to get it over the vertical rebar in the supporting post and get the rebar to go through the hole in the log. This took quite a bit of doing because the log is bent at the butt end and when I would lift it, it really wanted to twist and I had a hard time keeping the hole lined up with the rebar. The log was also very wet and muddy so my shirt and my hands ended up being a muddy mess. I finally got it done, though, and after backing the pickup out, I closed and locked the gate. I drove away at about 2:45.

4/1/00 April fools day. I was half dreaming at about 4:00 in the morning with the number 106 inches in my mind and I went through the mental calculation of subtracting 4.5 inches from that. That is the combined thickness of a sill and two plates. I woke up all the way when I realized that the 8 foot 2x4s I had bought are 96 inches long and they are too short for studs. I am beginning to lose confidence in my brain.

About this time, I changed my mind and decided to delay the ordering of more lumber. I am going to change my work priorities and concentrate on getting the fascia boards fastened to the roof. This needs to be done before the roof can go on and I want to get that done as soon as possible. If the weather is good, I will work on the fascia, but if the weather is bad, I can work inside on the loft floor. I will start on the loft floor against the southeast wall so I can get quite a bit of it done before I need those six longer joists. By the time I do, I expect all the snow in the driveway will be gone so I can take delivery of the lumber.

2000: Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

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