Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/16/06

4/18-20/06 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I took the string off my manufactured hollow log and discovered that the stovepipe didn't fit inside. This gave me quite a pause. It would be impractical to try to enlarge the inside of the tube; I didn't want to start all over; I could switch to 7 inch stovepipe but I didn't want to do that; or I could use the tube without a stovepipe inside. The last option is what I decided to do. Since it will only be returning "cold air" I couldn't think of any problems using it unlined. I will just have to work the top and the bottom of it in order to fit stovepipes to it. That will be no problem. I loaded the thing into the pickup and took it with me.

The drive over the mountains was gorgeous. There was fresh new snow on the mountains and the trees were just starting to green up. I arrived at the property at 12:30 and was able to drive the pickup all the way to the trailer. There was very little snow left anywhere. I moved in, had lunch, and hauled the hollow log up to the porch deck.

I spread a tarp on the porch deck to catch the chips and then I used the planer to work down the edges of the 2x4s on the hollow log. Then I used the scraper to smooth the whole thing. It ended up looking just like all the other logs I had worked down with the planer and scraper. I was happy with the result.

Next, I rigged up a three-way block and tackle and used it to lift the hollow log up into the loft. I rolled it over to where it will go and stood it up. It was too long but I could stand it up close enough to where it will go so that I could see that it will work out perfectly. I was very pleased with the result. I could see that by cutting it off square at the top, the stovepipe elbow will fit nicely and leave plenty of room in the rafter space to cover the end of the log completely. I wasn't sure if I would have to make a slanting cut or not. Making the cut square will make things very easy.

In the evening, I was happy to hear a lot of frogs croaking. There were so many they made quite a racket.

On Wednesday I spent the morning burning a slash pile I had accumulated before winter. It had only been out from under the snow for a week or two so it was a little hard to get it to burn. After lunch, I carried a steel scaffold frame, a short chain, and a come-along down and re-installed the gate log. I have got the hang of that process now so it went pretty smoothly. Next, I took down the scaffold in the loft, took down the tarps and lights up there, swept up the chips, and vacuumed the entire floor and walls real good.

In the early evening, I got a call from the Boy Scout Senior Patrol Leader who asked if I would put on a knot tying event at the meeting the next day. I happily agreed and then I spent most of the rest of the evening cutting lengths of rope and whipping the ends so there would be enough for 30 boys.

On Thursday morning, I harvested a bunch of wood ashes from the fire ring for use in the privy. Then I filled the bins of a small cabinet I had brought with me with nuts, bolts, screws, nails, washers, etc. I was short of these supplies at home but had a lot of them at the property. It was a project I should have done long ago, so it was good to finally get it done.

Next, I cleaned the chips off the porch that I had made working down the hollow log, and I put away the tarp.

I spent the rest of the morning making short wooden dowels from dead branches I found in the woods. The dowels would be used in my knot tying class for tying hitches to and for lashing. In the process, I fed a pair of jays. They seemed a little harried so I suppose they are busy raising a brood of little birds. I left for home at 12:30.

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