Construction Journal Entry Week of 11/10/13

11/12-14/13 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way, I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:30. There was no snow on the ground and the temperature was about 40. Both Bert and Ernie joined me before I carried my gear up to the cabin. They both followed me up but Bert stayed on the roadway while Ernie followed me all the way up onto the porch. Bert has definitely slowed down lately. They both got biscuits and leftover gravy along with their usual hugs and strokes.

I built a fire in the wood stove and then had my lunch and a nap. Afterward, I nailed up a few ceiling boards and then I installed a permanent doorknob and strike plate on the bathroom door. I had bought all the doorknobs and the cabinet knobs and pulls and I had brought them with me. I am now prepared to install them on whatever schedule seems right. The bathroom one seemed to have high enough priority to get it done right away.

I had also bought three tubes of colored caulk with sand in it. The three colors were "White", "Bone", and "Biscuit". I wanted to test them to see which color worked best to match the brick mortar chinking. I squeezed a small sample of each on a scrap board hoping that it would dry overnight so that I could choose the one that matched best in the morning. I plan to use it not only between the log walls and the ceiling boards but also between the log wall and the granite countertop in the kitchen.

I was pleased to have the water pressure back up to 100% when I took my shower.

On Wednesday morning it was raining lightly and there was a giant rainbow in the distance behind the woods. I took a picture of it but it was so obscured by the trees that it didn't turn out.

I put my test board up against the chinking and it was clear that "Biscuit" was the best choice for the caulk. I took all three tubes up on the scaffold and used them to fill the cracks between the logs and the ceiling boards. The crack above the cap log was big enough to swallow up all of the "White" and "Bone" so that the top and visible layer was all "Biscuit". There was barely enough in those three tubes to finish up the Grid E3 corner. I need to move the scaffold before I nail up any more ceiling boards so I needed to caulk those seams while I could still reach them.

Before having lunch and my usual nap, I nailed up a few more ceiling boards. Then I reconfigured the scaffold tower by moving the platform all the way to the top of the tower. Then I nailed up the rest of the boards that I had varnished.

In a recent conversation, Dave had warned me not to think I was smarter than the chemists who make paint and varnish. He advised following the instructions on the label exactly. So I read the instructions on the can of Varathane I am using and learned that the temperature needs to be above 60 for best results.

Since the temperature outside is not likely to be above 60 for the rest of the winter, I decided to move my varnishing operation from out on the porch to inside where it will be nice and warm. And since I was out of varnished boards, this was now the highest priority thing to do. I wanted to varnish a bunch of boards this week so I could begin nailing them up next week.

I measured and found that there was enough room for a rack of 16-foot boards between the front door and the kitchen. I dismantled the two stanchions that had formed the rack out on the porch and set them up inside the cabin. I lashed one to the Grid B2 PSL and I fastened the top of the other one to the edge of the loft floor using two hurricane ties at about Grid D.2,2.2. I placed one board on the rack and made sure that I could walk around each end of it with no problem. It worked fine.

On Thursday morning, I taped down some heavy paper on the floor under the rack and then proceeded to varnish 20 boards before lunch. I left for home at 1:15 feeling pretty good about making some steady progress.

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