Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/20/14

4/23-25/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

I arrived at 12:40 after stopping in Monroe to visit with Uncle Charles. I had a big load with me in the truck and I intended on driving all the way up to the cabin if I could, so I put the truck in 4wd before driving in. I wasn't sure whether the snow had melted back far enough to let me drive up the upper roadway, but in spite of a 30 foot strip of snow under my right tires, I was able to make it up the hill.

I stopped short of Rosie, the rosebush, because Rosie needed to be tied back, and also there was a big pile of tree branches from the tree that had hit the house. That needed to be moved out of the way before I could pull all the way up.

The truck was parked at the foot of the front stairs so it was handy for unloading the small stuff. I unloaded the chainsaw, 4 gallons of bar oil, my gear, groceries, and an artist's drawing board that I had brought with me. I left the truck parked there and went in, hoisted the flag (half staff again in honor of the victims of the Oso landslide), started a fire in the stove, had my lunch, and a nap.

When I got up from my nap, I tied up Rosie, moved the big pile of tree branches, and drove the truck up into a position so that I could use the porch crane to unload a big dresser I had brought with me.

The dresser was lying flat in the bed of the truck wrapped in a tarp. I lifted one end of it up and set it on the closed tailgate. That way I could run a rope under it. I wrapped the rope completely around it in both directions with a crossing that changed directions at the center top. I tied the ends snuggly to minimize the slack. The trick I wanted to pull was to have the hook of the crane close enough to the dresser so that there would be enough clearance to get the dresser swung over the top of the rope porch rail without having to move the rail. I got a little more distance by taking the big shackle I use as part of the headache ball for the crane hook and using it to go around the crossing rope of the rigging and attach directly to the crane's hook.

That rigging worked like a charm. The loose end of the rigging rope was long enough to use as a tether, so by pulling on that, and lifting slowly with the crane, the dresser came right up out of the truck bed, rose smoothly right up alongside Rosie, and went high enough above the top porch rail rope so I could swing it over.

With the dresser hanging up there, I went up on the porch, pulled up the winch control cable, and swung the dresser over the porch rail so that it was hanging above the porch deck. I spun it around so that the top of the dresser was just above a tall sawhorse, and then gently lowered the dresser.

As the top of it rested on the sawhorse, the bottom of it continued on down to the deck. That stood the dresser up at about 45 making it easy for me to push it the rest of the way up so that it was standing upright.

After removing the rigging and the tarp, I slid the dresser on boards across the porch, into the doorway, and then into the bedroom to its final place. It looks great in there and will be a nice addition to the cabin. I took a picture of the dresser in its new location.

Next I went to the crawlspace and got Mother Sow and loaded it into the truck. I had talked with George and learned that he has a friend who reconditions old chainsaws. Since I no longer needed Mother Sow and since it has given me more than enough grief, I decided to give it to George. I'll drop it off on my way back through Skykomish.

Then I backed the truck back down the hill and parked it. I was super happy that the weather had remained dry during the unloading. Showers were forecast and it seemed that they were threatening by the time I finished. I had taken a risk by taking my nap. More serendipity.

On Thursday morning it was 32 and raining. I spent the morning on the porch forming the metal on the first roofing panel. I used the steel bars, vise-grips, clamps, tin snips, pliers, and a hammer to narrow the end of the panel so that it would nest inside the end of the panel below it. It was fairly easy and routine since I had already worked out how to do it.

During lunch, I felt what I thought was a big mosquito buzzing around my head, so I reached up and gently swatted it. It turned out not to be a mosquito but a wasp. So I got a mild sting on top of my head. The wasp was uninjured and flew away. I caught him and put him outside the next day.

The rain stopped during my lunch, so afterwards I hoisted the flag and then took my nap. Then I rigged up my tools and the panel in preparation for bringing them up on the roof and it started raining again. I took another break and worked on a jigsaw puzzle for a while until the rain stopped again.

I climbed up to the peak of the roof with my tool bucket and stopped just short of the ridge. There I tied a pulley to the safety rope a few feet short of the ridge. The pulley had a long rope reeved through it and I threw both ends of the rope down the roof behind me. I would use that to haul up the roof panel. Then I moved the tool bucket to the other side of the ridge and I slid the knot in the rope holding the bucket over the ridge to the other side. I climbed over to the other side myself and used a towel to dry the tarpaper where the new panel was going to go. There was direct sunlight on the tarpaper so it dried quickly. Then I went back down to get the panel.

The panel had a C-clamp fastened tightly to the raw edge about six inches from the top. I tied one end of the pulling rope to this clamp. It was fastened six inches from the end so that it didn't have to be removed when the top end of the panel went under the C-channel at the ridge of the roof. The rope, going over the ridge to the pulley on the other side, would hold the panel snugly up into position once the slack was taken out and the rope was tied off.

So it was an easy matter to get the panel up in place. As I climbed back up the roof to the ridge, I periodically pulled the panel up with me using the rope which went through the pulley above me.

When I got to the ridge, I lifted the panel up and sent it down the other side of the ridge. The rope held it until I got my body on the other side also. Then using the rope to hold the panel, I positioned the panel so that the standing rib was over the raw edge of the panel it had to mate with and I snugged it up against the C-channel at the top and tied the rope off. Then I went up to the ridge and coaxed the standing rib of the panel under the C-channel. That didn't take much doing because the C-channel is pretty flexible and the tension in the rope pulled the panel under the C-channel a little ways.

Then I went down to the bottom of the panel and used a short board and a 2-lb hammer to drive the panel all the way up and into the C-channel. It went in easily with no problem. Then I snugged up the rope some more to make sure it held the panel all the way in place.

Next, I used that same short board and hammer and pounded down on the standing rib all the way along the panel. That snapped the standing rib down over the raw edge below and made a positive latch holding that edge tightly down to the roof. That is the same process I used when installing the roof in the first place, so this was even easier because the panel was so short.

Next I screwed down a half dozen clips to hold the raw edge down to the roof. About halfway through, I broke the bit in my screwdriver. I didn't have a spare bit with me so I had to make a trip back down off the roof to get another bit. I brought two back up with me just in case.

Just about the time I finished installing the last clip, it started raining again so I undid the rope and pulley, took it and my tool bucket with me and got down off the roof. The panel still needs to be screwed down to the roof at the very top, but that can wait. For now, I was happy to have gotten that first panel installed. I took a picture of it from up by the privy.

On Friday morning, I started out by making a video showing the state of the forest before we start logging. It dawned on me that there wouldn't be many more opportunities to do that before the logging operations begin. I regretted not taking pictures of the forest when we bought the property in 1991. Then there was such a thick canopy from so many huge trees that you couldn't see the sky anywhere except for a small hole near where the privy is. Earl Landin had explained to me at the time that we had laminated root rot in the forest and that hole in the canopy would only grow. There is no way to stop the root rot and it was going to slowly and steadily kill all the trees, except for the cedars, which are resistant to the rot.

Next I went back to the giant sequoia grove and measured and judged the bushiness of each one. I recorded the measurements in the progress chart which I update each year about this time.

When I finished, I went back up on the roof and made the measurements I will need to fabricate the next three panels. I still needed to decide whether to buy any new panels, and if so, how many. Back on the porch, I got out one salvaged panel and straightened it the same way I had straightened the first panel. It came out nice so I decided to use it. I also had one unused panel so that made three good ones. After looking at the next salvaged panel, I determined that it was bent enough that I didn't want to mess with it. I decided to buy a new panel for that fourth one. And while I was at it, I'd buy a new section of rake metal so that I wouldn't have to piece that together with two pieces. I shot the final scene of the 12th repair video and left for home at 1:15.

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