Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/27/14

4/28/14 (Monday) Bought one roof panel and a section of rake metal from CP Sheet Metals. It was great to see Curt again after so many years. I was happy to see that he is still actively running his business. I took a picture of him and his daughter and office manager, Renee Fane, before I left.

4/30-5/2/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

On the way, I stopped in for a short visit with Uncle Charles. Then, just after I turned off of Hwy 2, I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a deer that walked out onto the road in front of me. Even though my tires were screeching and smoking, I stopped in plenty of time. In addition, the deer decided to walk off the road just before I got there, so I probably wouldn't have hit her even if I couldn't stop in time. In any case, I was glad I didn't hit her. There usually aren't any deer out during the times I drive so it was very unusual for me to see a deer on the road.

It was 65º outside when I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:30. I drove directly up to the cabin to unload the panel and rake I had bought from Curt, as well as my gear and two drawers from the dresser. I had brought the dresser drawers home so that Ellen could figure out what it would take to remove some stickers that were on the drawers. She found that 409 and a little scraping did the job. I'll do the rest of them at Camp Serendipity when I get time.

After parking the truck down below, and placing the electronic rodent repeller under the hood for the first time this season, I hoisted the new flag I had brought with me, had my lunch, and my usual nap.

When I got up, I went to work on the new roof panel and fabricated the end of it so that it would nest with the one below. Then I cut the third panel to length and started working on fabricating the end of it.

While I was busy bending metal, I got a call from Earl who said he had something he wanted to show me. I told him to come on over.

He showed up in a few minutes and showed me a fairly thick stick of vine maple (we think) with the grain in a tight spiral. Earl had scraped and sanded the wood down to a beautiful smooth finish. He was wondering what it might be used for. It was a little thick for a walking stick. He asked me if I had a need for a short rail somewhere. We looked around and there doesn't seem to be any short runs in the rails I will need.

We went into the cabin and had a nice visit. He told me about the problems he had had with leaks in the plumbing on his solar pool heater in California. I didn't have any advice for him since I haven't worked with plastic pipe very much, and not at all with threaded plastic pipes.

We also talked about the damage done by the falling tree and the up-coming logging operation. He seemed to agree with me that Robert Ferrel is the best choice for a logger.

On Thursday, I started out by bringing the broken-off sewer vent pipe and the ABS fittings I had bought, down and loaded them in the truck. I decided that I would save time at Camp Serendipity by fabricating the new pipe at home in Seattle. The plan is to cut the old pipe into 3 pieces, discard one of them—the elbow with pieces of pipe glued inside--, and then glue them back together in a different configuration with a coupler and a new elbow. That will make a pipe of the same shape but with a female fitting ready to glue on to the existing pipe sticking up.

Next, I finished fabricating the 3rd panel and prepared to climb up on the roof and install the 2nd panel. That went pretty smoothly, except that I stepped on a bead of Vulkem and got it all over the bottom of my right shoe. I had some paper towels with me so I cleaned up most of the footprint mess but there are still some traces on the roof. They will just have to stay.

I forgot to bring clips up with me, so after I got the panel snapped down in place, I had to go back down off the roof to get the clips. More wear and tear on my body climbing up and down like that.

The roof was still in the shade when I finished so I went down and rigged up to pull the 3rd panel up. Then I pulled it up and installed it as well. It fit perfectly and went in nicely. I installed the clips, but I didn't screw down the tops of the panels. I plan to screw down the tops of all four panels when I get them all in place. Those are going to be hex-head screws, which are different from the ones in the clips, and I may have to drill or punch pilot holes for them because they will go through two thicknesses of metal. I figure it will be more efficient to do all those screws at the same time since my rigging and all the tools I will need will be the same for all of them.

By the time I went down off the roof for the last time, it was about noon and the sun had risen high enough so that the roof was no longer in the shade. This was going to be the hottest day of the year so far and I didn't want to be up on the roof in the afternoon. The temperature got up to about 85º in the afternoon.

After lunch and a nap, I worked on some odds and ends in the cabin, including making a rack for varnishing seven dresser knobs. Then, later in the afternoon, I went back up on the roof in order to measure accurately for the 4th panel. Good thing I did. I learned that the length measurements for modifying the end of the panel were different for the raw edge and for the standing rib. Those measurements had been the same for each of the previous panels and I had assumed they would be the same for this one too. Bad assumption. I was lucky to have had the presence of mind to measure twice so I would only have to cut once. Sometimes I get that wrong.

I also tested the existing stub of rake metal to see how tough it is going to be to get that 4th panel under it. I used a flat bar to pry it up and I was delighted to find that it came up pretty easily. It came up over an inch at the end, and it came up about a quarter of an inch down where the bottom of the 4th panel would go. That's plenty of clearance for the panel. I shoved a piece of wood under the rake to hold it up so it would be ready for me to slide the 4th panel under it.

Before I quit for the day, I finished fabricating the 4th panel and I prepared it for hauling up by fastening the clamp for the hauling rope and by taping a piece of cardboard over the top of it to keep it from scratching the roof on the way up.

On Friday morning, for some reason, my body just did not feel like it wanted to climb back up onto the roof. That was an excuse enough for me to decide to do something else. In the interest of safety, I always want to feel strong and steady when I work up on the roof.

I shot the final scene for a short video showing the roof repair status.

Next I hooked up the outside water hose for the first time this season. Then I turned on the valve in order to water the giant sequoia named Brian. I wasn't sure whether the hose running up to Brian was pinched off or not so I wanted to test it.

I went into the woods with a small box of wood ashes and a jug of urine to use as fertilizer for Brian. I was happy to find that water was running out of the hose and pooling around Brian when I got there. I dumped the fertilizer in and then checked out a few more of the sequoias. They have survived at least six winters and I am wondering whether or not I still need to water them during the summer. There is no question about Brian, however. I will water that one regularly using the hose since the tree is struggling to survive under the canopy of a huge tree. But maybe that tree will come down during our logging project. We'll see.

Before I left for home, I did a few more odds and ends, including applying the second coat of varnish to the seven wood knobs we had bought for the dresser. I left for home at 1:00 pretty happy with the week's progress.

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