Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/21/14

12/22-24/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Monday through Wednesday.

My schedule was moved up a couple days because of Christmas. On the way, I stopped and played two games of checkers with Uncle Charles. This time I paid careful attention and beat him both times. He is still a formidable opponent.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:45 and found about 7 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I used 4wd and had only a little trouble driving in and parking in my usual place in the hairpin turn.

It was such a beautiful day instead of having lunch right away I shoveled off the concrete stairs. Winter is my favorite season by far and I was glad it had started. This was a beautiful first day of Winter.

After lunch I worked on jury-rigging and reconfiguring the scaffolding so I could work all along under the Grid B purlin. Since I hadn't started a fire and the thermostats were still set at 55 the temperature in the loft was perfect for working. When the scaffolds were set up, I took a short nap and then lit a fire in the wood stove. I turned on the new ceiling fan and went back to work in the loft. The temperature stayed comfortable for quite a while before it heated up.

On Tuesday I was up early, about 5:30, and went back to work on the scaffolds. I decided that the deck I had built was about a foot or two too high. I decided to lower it so I reconfigured all of it except for the 5 feet supported by the cantilever brackets on the 3-tier tower. That would work the way it was because I could step down onto the main deck of the tower.

It snowed off and on all day with beautiful big flakes and no wind, but each snowfall didn't last long and by the end of the day it turned to rain. The accumulation probably netted zero.

At one point, Mike Dickinson showed up with his tractor and cleared off the driveway and the parking area. I didn't go down and talk to him. He was in and out in about five minutes.

After rebuilding the scaffold deck to a more comfortable height, I started nailing up the first course of ceiling boards just above the Grid B purlin. But, as in most other cases, the purlin had to be chiseled away in some spots to provide clearance for the board so that the groove could engage the tongue that was sandwiched between the purlin and the rafters.

The chiseling didn't take too long because there was only about 6 or 8 feet of log that needed chiseling. Once the entire purlin was ready, I installed the first course of 1x8s across the ceiling. It was then time for lunch and another short nap.

When I got up, I nailed up one more board but my body was telling me that I had done enough work up on the scaffolds for the day, so I built a fire in the wood stove and quit work for the day. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on Dave's 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

On Wednesday morning, I nailed up one more ceiling board and then turned my attention to cleaning up the cabin. Ellen and I are planning to spend some time in the cabin over New Years so I want it to be presentable. I picked up a bunch of things, put a bunch of tools away, and vacuumed the first floor and the loft staircase.

The new position of the 3-tier scaffold tower now provides clear access between the dining room and the living room by walking under the scaffold frames. The only obstruction the scaffold presents is that it blocks the loft staircase somewhat. You can still climb the stairs, but you have to step over a cross brace, which is a little awkward. Or you can mount the third tread from the side with the help of a step stool I positioned there. All in all, the cabin will be nicely usable for guests the way it is. And, before I left for home at 1:00, it was nice and clean too.

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