Construction Journal Entry Week of 5/24/15

5/27-29/15 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

I got a late start because I had to take a bus downtown first thing in the morning to get stitches removed from the skin cancer surgery. Afterward I had lunch at home and then went to visit with Priscilla for a while. From there I went to visit Uncle Charles. We played one game of checkers and went for a walk in the garden. Next I stopped in Sultan and bought some caulk for George and Marilyn to save them a trip. Then I stopped at George and Marilyn's, delivered some stuff to them including the caulk, and had a nice salad and dessert. Then I left for Camp Serendipity.

I arrived at 4:30 during a very light rain. I brought the cooler up to the cabin and then brought the wheelbarrow back down to the truck. I had brought a huge bunch of yard waste with me and I used the wheelbarrow to haul it over to the compost pile.

Then I used the wheelbarrow to haul up to the cabin, my bag, my cordless drill, and the chainsaw that I had gotten out of the saw shop.

Next, I hooked up and turned on the outside hose for the first time this season. I then hooked up the hose running into the woods to water Brian, the giant sequoia tree. I turned on the valve and went into the woods to see if the water was reaching the tree. It was not, so on my way back I checked the hose for leaks. I found them right in front of the cabin. It looked like some animal had bitten into the hose, probably a dog, so that water was squirting out several holes in a nice pattern. I turned the valve off and marked the spot where the holes were.

On Thursday morning, after breakfast, I taped up the leaky hose with duct tape. Then I turned Brian's valve on and went into the woods to check. Now there was plenty of pressure up there and the tree was getting lots of water. While I was up there, I filled a bucket half full of water and took it up and watered Andrew.

Next, I got the hand-powered weed whacker out and whacked the weeds and bushes on the upper roadway. This was the perfect time to do it because they were all sprouted and growing but they were still tender enough to be able to cut them easily. They don't grow back much if you cut them at this stage. I was pleased that there weren't many mosquitoes out at all.

After that, I went inside and resumed work on the loft fascia. During the last week, I had figured out a great solution to the problem of how to interface the fascia to the Grid C2 RPSL.

The problem was that the joist that the fascia needs to be attached to is fastened to the RPSL with a face-mounted joist hanger. The joist hanger was nailed to the log with four nails on the side the fascia covers. The hanger sort of wrapped a ways around the log so that a couple of the nails and part of the hanger flange would stick out from under the fascia board. I figured that would look so tacky as to be unacceptable. So I worked out a great solution.

The plan was to relocate the nails and cut away about half of the flange. I wanted to make sure that the hanger would still support the load from the joist during and after the operation, so I started out by drilling four new holes in the flange over to the left far enough to get buried under the fascia board. The flange was a couple inches wide, so there was plenty of room.

After the holes were drilled, I used a big hammer and a length of rebar to bend the left side of the flange over so that it was flat against the log. Then I drove the four new nails through the holes and into the log. I could tell that they were all very solid.

Next, I pulled out the four old nails now that the load was supported by the new nails. Finally, I used the vibrating saw to cut away a one-inch strip of the metal from the right side of the flange. That fixed the problem. Now the fascia board could meet the log without any nails or metal peeking out from underneath.

As it turned out, the fascia board meets the log at almost exactly 45 which made it easy to make the correct miter cut for the board. And, after my previous mistakes, I took extra pains to measure and re-measure to make sure I made the cut right the first time.

Quite a bit of work still needed to be done to make the piece fit because the bottom corner had to be cut away to allow for the log beam below. It also had to be rasped to conform to the contour of the RPSL and to allow for the joist hanger underneath. But after a lot of rasping and chiseling, the piece finally fit very nicely in place. By that time it was time for lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I nailed that last piece into place and then vacuumed up the mess. Since I was on a roll, I vacuumed the entire first floor. I was happy to have the messy work of the fascia all done.

On Friday morning, I cleaned up a bunch of stuff on the front porch and then brought the ladder in and set it up in the dining room. I still had to varnish that small last piece at the Grid A2.5 edge of the loft. I had just enough varnish left in the can to do one coat on that board and the touch-ups needed at the Grid C2 fascia. After cleaning out my brush, I put away all the tools and materials that were lying around from the fascia project. It was a good feeling to have that project done. I took a picture of the final result at Grid C2 and I ran the water to Brian for about an hour.

It thundered a couple times during the morning and rain fell for just a few minutes a couple times but the temperature outside stayed around 80. Inside it got up to 75. It makes a difference with the shade of the trees gone. I switched the ceiling exhaust fan to the summer setting so the hot air gets blown outside instead of into the bedroom.

I left for home at 1:25 looking forward to starting my next project. I think it will be the front porch stoop.

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