Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mistakes, Fool Hardy Notions and Help from Neighbors...

Yesterday's task was to put up the hardest, heaviest, longest and most potentially a widow maker, log. We stripped the bark on this log below. My Dad, being a wise and practical fella, always said "measure twice, cut once".

Unfortunately, we didn't measure it at all. We stepped it out and felt it was long enough to sit on our posts. Nope. After we stripped the bark, we found the log above to be five feet too short (it will become one of our rafters now).


We also spent the day building a ramp to hoist it to the top of the posts.

As luck would have it, the bulldozers who fought the fire did knock down a Ponderosa pine that (we did measure this one) was long enough. So we quickly stripped most of the bark on it (a real rustic look). A neighbor wandered by and saw our ramp and knew that we wouldn't be able to lift a 37 foot log up the ramp to the top (even with a pulley system). We were having some reservations about trying to do this---as there were only three of us to do the lifting.

So the good Samaritan neighbor went and got his tractor. We stood the log on one end and lifted it to the top of the house. We then used the bucket of the tractor and lifted the log ten feet on the other end. Made one huge teeter tooter.

The problem? We had to lift it 15 feet--five feet short. So we had one person stand in the bucket of the tractor and lift one end up on top of the posts. Two of us held the heavy end of the log on top of the house. We secured the heavy end with a chain (it broke) we were holding a round 900 pound, 37 foot log on a flat post, precariously rocking, while one of us quickly drilled holes and put in lag bolts.

It worked!!!

The view from the top of the house....

Don't try this at home kids...

The log sitting on the first two posts...

Funny how putting up this beam makes the addition look huge!! Day off today. We will resume putting up posts next Tuesday. We have 12 more vertical posts to put up. We then will put log beam rafters where we have the log posts for the ceiling. This will be one large shed roof building---with all the logs exposed and visible. There will be 15 foot ceilings...with a recycled panel ceiling visible above the log rafters.

If the thing doesn't fall down, this will be very rustic using only wood from the property and recycled Redwood or Douglas Fir recycled panels for the ceiling. There will be a box constructed of 2 x 6's (recycled lumber) above the panels. Blue jean insulation will be above that. We aren't happy about it, but we will have to use plywood. And then a new tin roof on the plywood.

The new tin and the plywood will be the only departure from our use of recycled material and wood from the property.

We are lucky to have GG guide us as we do it. I wish I had photos of us lifting this thing, but I was grunting, sweating, eyes bulging with tired, wiggly, jello-like arms holding on to a post which was threatening to jump off the edge of the building. Joni was out getting Thai food for us (she didn't want to watch us attempt this---smart woman!).

A day off today. And a hiking and camping trip to Lake Tahoe this weekend. Work resumes next Tuesday.

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