Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/4/11

12/5/11 (Monday) Dave and I agreed to postpone his Camp Serendipity visit for one week because of his work requirements.

12/6-8/11 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I stopped in and visited Claude McVey on the way. Then I proceeded on to Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. where I picked up the new, narrower, bathroom cabinet.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:50. The weather was clear, sunny, and cold and there had still been no new snow. I parked in the usual way, started a fire, carried my gear and the cabinet up, had lunch, and went to work.

The plan was to install the bathroom cabinets, but before that, it made sense to install the baseboard along the log wall first. Here was another example of a problem that I had been mulling over for many years, considering many different options, and now was the time to make a decision. What I had decided to do was to use a plain old 2x4 for the baseboard.

All along all the log walls on the inside, a 2x4 on edge would nicely span the gap between the floor and the second wall log. The floor itself spanned the first, or sill, log so the gap between the first two logs is right about at floor level.

Since the logs aren't straight, the plan was to cut a notch. or groove, all along the log to receive the top corner of the 2x4. That would allow for a reveal of the top of the 2x4 that could vary from zero to 1 1/2 inches. That would be plenty to accommodate the variations in the log.

Up until now, this had been only an idea. I also had some ideas about how I would cut the notch. My plan was to rig up my Skilsaw on some kind of carriage so that I could cut a horizontal kerf in the log which would be the top of the notch. I could then remove the wood below the kerf with a hammer and chisel.

I got my Skilsaw out and started working on some kind of carriage and guide. It didn't take long for me to abandon that idea. Instead, I decided to skip the saw altogether and just use a hammer and chisel. I also tried using a hunting knife, a gouge, and a couple different scrapers, but the hammer and chisel seemed to work the best. I made quite a bit of progress on the groove.

I selected a 2x4 for the baseboard, planed the bottom edge flat so that there was a sharp 90 degree edge that would meet the floor, and then I planed and scraped the two surfaces that would show. The 2x4 I had selected was an old discolored one so this cleaned it up. I applied a coat of varnish to the two surfaces that would show before I quit for the day. I used water-based Varathane. This was the first time I had used that product, which I plan also to use on the inside ceiling boards. This will be a test to see how I like it. The water clean-up sure is nice.

On Wednesday I started a fire, and then sanded and varnished a second coat on the baseboard 2x4 before I did my exercises and had breakfast. That varnish dries fast and I wanted to have 3 coats on before I installed the baseboard.

By the time I finished the breakfast dishes, the 2x4 was ready for another coat, so I applied the 3rd coat of varnish.

I finished cutting the groove in the log and then cut a strip of Fiberglas insulation and stuffed it into the space between the floor and the log wall. Then I nailed the baseboard on and took a picture of it. I was really pleased with how it came out. I'll do that for all the log walls.

Next I went to work installing the bathroom sink cabinet. The water pipes and the drain pipe come up out of the floor, so I had to cut holes in the bottom of the cabinet in order to allow the pipes to pass. When this was done, I trued up the cabinet against the wall and screwed it in place. I used a plumb bob in order to true it up. I had a little trouble hitting the studs, but I finally got it right. It sure would have been smart to have made accurate measurements of where all the studs are before the drywall was installed, but it's too late now. As my dad used to say, we get too soon old and too late smart.

I learned that the new 12-inch cabinet, that goes to the left of the sink, completely missed the studs. The space between studs is 14 1/2 inches and this narrow cabinet goes right between. After lunch and a short nap, I called Terry to ask what to do when there are no studs behind the cabinet. He told me to use screw mollys and attach the cabinet to the drywall with them.

I drove to Plain to buy screw mollys at Plain Hardware. I got Bert and Ernie's attention when I drove back, so the three of us went up to the cabin after I parked and they got their hugs and biscuits.

Then I finished installing all three bathroom cabinets. I had an old bathroom sink I had gotten free at a garage sale and I decided to set it on the cabinets and use it temporarily until we get the proper sink and countertop installed. I have been getting all my water out of the bathtub tap and doing all my dishes and hand washing in the tub. It would be nice to have a working sink. Unfortunately, the riser pipes on the old sink were too short so I couldn't hook up the plumbing. I put longer risers on my shopping list for next week and I took a picture of the temporary sink and the new cabinets.

By that time it was near the end of the day and I decided that that was all the work I was going to do this week. I wanted to spend the rest of the time cleaning the place up and getting ready for Dave's visit next week. I was sort of glad we had postponed the visit because the place was such a mess. I started by putting tools away, and when I looked into a bucket full of tools that the scouts had used, there was the lost hand roller. I had looked in all my tool boxes but I hadn't looked in that bucket. Well, now I have two hand rollers so I can replace the caster from the Mt. Rainier model case any time.

On Thursday morning after my usual routine, I put things away and cleaned the first floor up pretty well. I rearranged the cabinets that were stored in the bedroom to make more room for Dave to sleep in there and I was in the process of getting the bed and bedding out when there was a knock on the back door.

It was Shirley Tutino with a Christmas gift for us. She hadn't seen the place for a long time so she came in and had a look around. She had heard about my Mt. Rainier model and wanted to see it. So we opened up the case and she had a look. We had a nice visit.

By the time she left it was getting late. I had wanted to leave early so that I could stop at Priscilla's and check out a plumbing problem, so I decided to have my lunch and leave without getting Dave's bed set up. We can do that when he gets here next week. I left for home at 1:15 eagerly looking forward to next week.

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