Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/2/14

2/4-6/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles on the way and arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:15. There had been about an inch of new snow since last week but Mike had been in and plowed my driveway and parking area so it was easy to park. After hoisting the flag and starting a fire in the stove, I had my lunch and my usual nap.

When I got up, I went up on the high scaffold tower in the living room and retrieved the riser that was up there. I brought it down and took it outside to the porch.

I figured I needed a safety rope so I rigged one up by installing a big screw eye in the Grid C1 RPSL and using that as the anchor for one end. I tied the remainder of the rope to the outer Grid C1 anchor hook, the outer Grid B1 anchor hook, and the Simpson strap on the 4x4 below at Grid C1.

I spent the rest of the day cutting firewood. There were a lot of branches in a pile on the driveway near the Grid A3 corner and they would be in the way when Robert needs to drive his skidder through there. I cut up all those branches and split some rounds to clear that area as well as to provide me with some ready-cut firewood.

On Wednesday it was 10 outside. I started out by hauling the riser up and putting it on the hanging scaffold deck. I was hoping that it would be high enough to allow me to work on the ridge but it was nowhere near high enough. I needed a platform a lot higher.

After thinking about the problem, I decided to build the second platform on two long 4x4s that I would hang parallel to the gable wall. I got two more of the 5-foot 4x4s that were rigged up to form my hanging-scaffold crossbars and took the four Simpson strap brackets off of them by pulling out three joist hanger nails from each one. Then I re-attached them to the two 10-foot 4x4s spaced 7 feet apart. From time to time I shot scenes in order to make a video.

At some point, I went down to the truck to try to find a tool and I discovered that my water discharge hose was frozen. Deja vu. I went back to the cabin and got a kettle of boiling water and brought it back down with a couple towels in the hopes that I could thaw the hose. Maybe it had only recently frozen all the way shut.

No such luck. After going back up and fetching another gallon of hot water, I gave up on thawing the hose. So I did what I had done the last time this happened and disconnected the frozen hose from the copper pipe feeding it. I put the valve on the copper pipe, after thawing the ice out of the valve in the kitchen sink. That hose will probably have to stay frozen until spring unless we get a thaw while I am up at Camp Serendipity before then. In the meantime, the water will discharge uphill about 50 feet.

Next I went back to work on the roof repair. I carried the two long 4x4s up to the scaffold deck and hung them up to form the basis for the new deck. I attached the lower brackets directly to the anchor hooks on the Grid B purlin. The upper bracket of the outside one was hung from the outer Grid C1 anchor hook using part of an old tire chain. The upper bracket of the inside one was hung from the screw eye, originally intended to anchor a safety rope, using a 1/2" rebar C-hook.

Then I did some scrounging looking for short planks and came up with a 2x10, a 2x6, and a 2x4. I brought those up to the scaffold and laid them across the 4x4s. They made a nice platform and I climbed up on it to see how it would work. I was happy to find that they will work just fine. The only thing is that I needed about twice that amount of surface.

On Thursday morning it was 4 when I got up. That was up from 2 in the middle of the night. I started work by shoving one of the short 4x4s, that I had robbed the brackets from, out the loft window and onto the scaffold deck. Then I borrowed a small sheet of OSB from the scaffold inside the cabin and brought it around and up onto the outside hanging scaffold. The combination of the 4x4 and the OSB made a nice big deck platform that I screwed down in place. That pretty much completed the scaffolding I will need in order to make the roof repairs.

Every once in a while, when the wind was just right, I would get a strong sniff of sewer gas coming out of the broken vent stack. If it gets too bad, I will consider putting that pipe back together sooner rather than waiting until all the roof repairs are done. I'll have to think about whether or not that is even possible.

From my new scaffold platform I got my first real look at the extent and nature of the damage to my roof. There are three dented areas along the ridge cap but it looks like none of them will leak and I don't think anything has to be done about them at all.

The C-channel, which is the next piece of roofing metal below the ridge cap, is largely intact and undamaged. One end of it is bent down slightly, but that can easily be straightened. I will have to remove that C-channel in order to replace the rafters and OSB, or at least remove the screws. They are exposed so that will be no problem at all.

About a foot of the rafters and OSB right up at the ridge are still intact, so I will just have to remove them from the damaged side of the center line and replace them with new rafters and sheeting in the normal way.

On the bottom, the damage is well above the Grid B purlin so it looks like I will be able to salvage quite a bit of the metal and even the OSB there. I'm not exactly sure at this point how I will cut and interface the new pieces. The rafters can just go over the purlin right alongside the existing rafters. That will destroy the 16" spacing, but it won't matter as long as I mark the OSB so I know where to drive the nails or screws.

By some standards, I didn't get a whole lot of work done this week. But I am happy with my progress. I now have good access to do the work and I have a lot better idea of what the work will involve. It all seems doable so I'll keep plugging away at it.

I fired up the truck to leave for home at 12:30, but when I put the truck in gear, it didn't move. The temperature was still about 4 so I think that either my brakes were frozen tight or my transmission wasn't acting right being so cold. After running the engine for a while, and rocking gently between reverse and drive, I eventually got it to move and from then on it acted normally.



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