The weather has been rather cool this year. There was fresh snow on Baldy Ridge to our
south as late as 8th May. We did have a hot spell early in the summer, but then it cooled off
and despite there having been an insufficiency of rain and mostly clear weather, the tempera-
tures have been below normal. There were a few days of rain spread out over the summer
and early fall, but never very much, and all too brief. We didn't get any real rain until well
into October. Then, about a week into November, the skies really opened up. They call
them "Pineapple Expresses" because the storm systems come in from the general direction of
Hawaii. They carry a lot of water and they dump the water here in Western Washington
(and BC and Oregon, of course). The less than a week, we recieved eight inches of rain.
Then, seven more inches in the next week. In the week or so since, it seems like it's rained
most of the time, but we've only had about another four inches of rain. At the beginning of
all this rain, we had a bit of wind. The trees were dancing quite extravagantly; but, a couple
didn't have the endurance for the entire performance. We have two cedars and a Douglas fir
down. More grist for the mill...
Since last time, I've created quite a bit of sawdust and wood chips. Mostly chips early on, but it's been primarily sawdust since July. After cleaning out the mortises and fitting the braces or posts, I drilled 1 inch peg holes in the beams with a brace and auger bit. Each joint is held by two one inch oak pegs. I didn't want the auger bit tearing out large chunks of wood on the opposite side of the beam, so I only bored through each hole to the point where the bit's screw point started to show itself on the opposite side. Once the peg holes were bored to that point I turned the beam over and bored in from the opposite side to finish the peg holes. Fitting two braces into a post and then three tenons into their respective mortises in a beam can be fiddley work. Once the three fit ok, I mark the location of the peg hole on the tenon and disassemble everything. I bored the peg holes in the tenons which occupy mortises in the beam offset a sixteenth to an eighth inch. When I drive the pegs, they'll draw the mortises firmly into the mortises because of the offset holes. This is called drawboring. I won't be drawboring the braces where they enter the posts. Instead, I'll wait until the posts and braces are all assembled and pegged into the beam before I bore the peg holes for the brace to post joints.
I varnished the 17 timbers. Every piece got 4 coats of varnish. There are a dozen and a half or so joists which will connect the beam to the south side of the garage. They got varnished, but not four coats as they should be protected from rain by the carport roof. The rafters, however, got at least one or two coats of varnish along their entire length, plus four coats on the portion which extends beyond the beams to form the overhang.
Once the varnishing was done, I laid out all the timbers on the carport, assembled them, drove all the pegs into the beam, then started the peg holes in the posts where the brace tenons overlap.
I then invited four neighbors over to help me stand the bent on it's feet. As I was explaining that we each should start next the beam, opposite one of the posts, lift the beam, then push up our respective post until the assembly stood in the five post tie-down bases, someone asked how much this thing weighed? I did a quick estimate of over 780 pounds, or about 160 pounds each. Of course, that initiated a discussion that there weren't enough of us. I pointed out that the bottoms of the posts would stay on the ground and rotate into the post bases so we wouldn't be trying to lift the entire weight, even initially, and the farther we got the more weight would bear on the post bottoms so that at the end we would be gently easing the bent into the vertical position so as not to overshoot. I tied a rope to the middle post above the braces and the other end to a garage wall stud so we couldn't overshoot by more than four or six inches and suggested we five try picking up the beam six inches to see how it hefted. It went right up on the first try! I was pleased to see it stood by itself on it's five feet. Nevertheless, I wasted no time in inserting bolts through the hold-downs and nailing a couple of joists in place just to ensure that the bent didn't go on a walk-about. After installing the rest of the joists ( one end nailed into slots in the top of the beam, the other end nailed to the side of a stud in the garage ), I finished the wall bracing on the south side of the garage, this consisting of one inch by variable width boards at 45 degrees to the vertical. Next, a 2 inch by 10 inch by 22 foot ledger board went on the side of the garage on which to hang the carport rafters, followed by said rafters. Then, blocking along the top of the beam between rafters and joists. The blocking prevents the rafters and joists from falling over when they have weight on them. On top of the rafters, more bracing: more one inch by variable-width boards at 45 degrees. On top of the bracing, an overlapped layer of 30 pound building paper followed by the steel roofing which had been squatting inside one side of the garage since last fall. Being half the length of the roofing panels on the garage, the carport panels were a breeze, as I could handle one of them by myself, propping it on the edge of the carport roof, then climbing up and pulling it up and installing it single handed. The flashing along the edges and at the roof-wall transition was tedious, but I remembered my lesson from last fall, and did all my cutting and trimming on the ground not up on the roof! Now the roof is up, I have more space to stack lumber out of the rain, and I got the roof up just in time for our annual beginning of September rain, which fell several days before the end of August.
I interrupted the above in July when Isaac, one of Barb's nephews, visited us to help with the house foundation. He and I met in Sequim and drove to AJ's place to rent concrete forms. AJ does concrete and also rents out forms. He loaned me one of his trailers. We checked what was on the trailer, threw on a bunch of "cutters" (The forms are 2' by 8' plywood, 1- 1/8" thick; "cutters" are any pieces cut smaller than full size.), and drug the trailer out to the building site. The plan was to spend five days building forms, let the building inspector do his thing on Wednesday, pour concrete on Thursday, strip the forms Friday, and let Isaac return the forms on his way back home the following Saturday.
We started by losing a day with preparatory details. The two foot stem walls for the lower part of the house weren't too bad, as they were similar to the garage foundation. However, they took longer than I expected and by the time we were ready to start thinking about the eight foot retaining wall, we only had about two days before the building inspector was scheduled. I panicked! I called the ready-mix company and moved the pour back, called the building department and moved the inspection back; then I called the State Employment Services office in town, and asked for a carpenter with concrete experience.
My past experience with the Employment office has been that it takes at least three days before I start to hear anything from them or prospective help. I immediately recieved two calls. The first was Raymond, who didn't have any carpentry experience but has done a fair amount of clean up work. I got his number and told him I'd call back. The second was Jess, who is a carpenter and has done "lots" of concrete form work. The best part was he could come out the next day and he had a friend he could bring.
We took a week to build the forms. Turns out forms for an eight foot wall consist of two eight foot walls, with braces at three heights, every two feet down the length of the wall. Isaac had to leave before the forms were completed. The pour happened on Thursday, a week later than originally planned. When we were all done, Barb and I decided that for the next concrete pour (there will be at least two more) I'll finish the form work before calling the building inspector OR scheduling the concrete.
After the pour, I called Raymond, and the two of us pulled the forms, scraped them and piled them on the trailer. I called AJ to come collect his trailer and forms. He showed up a week and a half later; told me he didn't think I'd manage to get an eight foot wall formed up, poured and stripped in one week; and only charged me for a week's rent.
Back at the garage, I stapled building paper on the south wall above the carport roof, put in the two windows, and nailed up all the boards for the board-and-batten siding. I still have a few battens to install up there. The north wall is complete except for about half the battens. I have the remaining windows installed, most of the building paper up on the west and east walls, and about half the boards on the east wall and maybe a fifth of the boards on the west wall..
The time consuming part of the siding is spar varnishing the cedar boards and battens. I'm putting two coats on every surface, and a third on exposed surfaces. After the siding is complete, I'll put on a fourth coat, sealing the nails and any installation dings or scratches.
I decided there were two items in the garage that I would farm out: the gutters (so they would be continuous) and the vehicle doors (so installation would be quick). The gutter guy came a day earlier than he said he would, and I managed to be in town that day and missed him entirely. I only noticed the gutters when I went looking for the ladder and found it on the ground instead of leaning against the roof eave where I'd left it. Except for the fact that I only got two downspouts one for the garage roof and one for the carport roof instead of the three I ordered (two for the garage roof, it being twice the area of the carport roof ), and the garage downspout was attached to the sheathing with no apparent allowance made for the inch thick board and batten siding, the gutters look right nice, even matching the green steel roof!
I've got the "door wrap" installed for the vehicle doors. The "wrap" is the last three sticks of lumber I install in the doorway before letting loose the door installers. I've been waiting for the doors the last two weeks. Should be here this week sometime. Or, maybe next week. Or, maybe next month...
Or, ... there's always next year...
|o-t-s home page|