Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/16/14

2/18/14 (Tuesday) Received an email from Brenda Young at DNR saying that our application for Forest Practices, number 2705552, will be approved or disapproved no later than 3/19/2014. It also included a stern warning not to begin work until we receive approval and a starting date. I forwarded the email to Robert Ferrel.

2/19-21/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

On the way, I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles. It was slow going over the pass because of the recent snow. I arrived at 1:40 and parked in the road because of a big snow berm in front of the driveway. It took me about 20 minutes to scoop the berm away so I could drive in and park.

Bert and Ernie showed up while I was shoveling snow. I had biscuits for them in the truck so they got their hugs and biscuits without having to climb the hill.

There was about 10 inches of new snow on the driveway but I had the truck in 4wd so I had no trouble driving in and up to the hairpin turn once I had the berm cleared away.

There was about 30 inches of snow on the ground, except for the driveway which had been plowed earlier, so I had to use the snowshoes to make the trails. I made a trail to the water hose, up to the cabin, across the upper roadway, to the flagpole, and to the mixer.

After carrying my gear up to the cabin, I shoveled the snow off the mixer, filled the bird feeder, built a fire in the stove, shoveled the snow off the back porch and stoop, and off both the front and back stairs. That was a lot more work than I am used to just getting moved in and I ended up skipping both my lunch and my nap. The place was beautiful though with all that snow.

On Thursday there was about another 4 inches of snow that came down overnight. I shoveled off the back porch, stairs, stoop, and mixer again. Then I went to work fixing the roof.

To start with, I had to make a trail through the snow from the front porch up to the high rock. I wanted to make that trail extra safe because my finger still hurt from falling there the previous week. I didn't want to fall again.

To be extra safe, I threw a rope over the big leaning log that had hit the roof and used the rope as an anchor while I tested the ladder for stability. Once I had the trail tamped down and had tested the ladder, I climbed it from then on without tying myself to a safety rope.

I took a scoop shovel up the ladder and used it to scoop off about 18 inches of snow from the scaffold decks. I tied myself with a safety rope while I did the scooping standing on the ladder. The deck was pretty slippery and dangerous until I got it completely clear of snow and ice.

As I worked on the roof, I carried my camera and I took short video clips from time to time as I worked. I later assembled them into a video showing the repair progress for the week.

It snowed heavily at times during the work and my knee started hurting so I quit early for lunch and a nap. After my nap the weather cleared up again so I went back to work on the roof.

My plan was to saw horizontally through the webs on the rafter remnants at the peak thinking that I could then remove the upper and lower rafter flanges independently. I brought up a saber saw and an extension cord and set them on the deck from the loft window. Then I went up on the scaffold and tried sawing the webs.

It didn't work at all. Either the saw was dull or it just couldn't cut through the glue in the webs. Anyway I gave up on that but I discovered that the flanges had been so damaged by the tree that they could easily be broken apart with a crowbar. And, with one side of the lower flange removed, the web could be removed simply by pushing the bottom over where the flange had been removed and it came right out.

After removing two rafter webs this way, it started snowing again so I quit working outside for the day. Instead I went inside and installed the rest of the doorknobs on the interior doors.

That work went well until I got to the pantry door. I installed a keylock knob on that door and I was a little surprised that there was only one key included with the set. The key went into the lock OK so I figured that I would just have to have some extra keys made.

As soon as I got the knobs and strike plate installed, I shut the door. That was a dumb mistake. The key went into the knob, but it wouldn't unlock it. And now the door was locked shut.

To get the door open, I removed the three hinge pins and was able to pull the door out of the jambs. I was lucky the door swung out rather than in so the hinge pins were accessible.

Then as I was trying to replace the door on the hinges, I had a little trouble aligning the hinges and getting the pins in. In the process of doing this, I inadvertently shut the door again.

So once again, I had to remove the hinge pins and pull the door back out. This time I unlocked the door knobs before I put the door back. Then I removed the two knobs so that I could take them back to Lowe's and either get keys to fit my lock, or get a replacement knob set with keys that work.

On Friday morning, the weather was clear and the temperature was 30, so I went back up to work on the roof. I succeeded in removing three rafter remnants and the OSB and tarpaper that was on top of those rafters. Pieces of the flanges from a couple of the rafters were still attached to the ridgepole and to the steel straps going over the peak, but that will all be easy to remove later. For now the new priority was to cover the opening in the roof that I had just made by removing all that material.

I decided to rig a tarp over the hole in the roof and I didn't have a lot of time left to get that done. I got the long yellow rope that I call the yellow rope of Texas and which I had used in the 4-way block and tackle between the tops of my old crane mast and boom. The rope is 200 feet long.

I got a tarp and lashed two corners of it to the center of the yellow rope. Then I brought one end of the rope up the ladder with me leaving the tarp and the other end down on the snowbank below. Up on the scaffold deck, I threw the rope down over the roof so it fell down on the back porch.

Then hauling on the other end of the rope, I pulled the tarp up onto the deck with me and then pushed the edge of the tarp out onto the roof and over the ridge. Next I pulled the rest of the rope up onto the deck and coiled it up so I could throw it. I threw the end of the rope over the roof on the other side. I couldn't see over the ridge from where I was standing but I threw the rope as hard and far as I could and in a direction toward the center of the roof. I was trying to clear the snow that was on top of the roof at this end of the building.

Unfortunately the rope did not clear the roof because it couldn't slide down over the snow so I climbed out on the berm off the front porch and beat a path up along the berm to where I could climb right up on the roof. I was able to walk over the snow on the roof to where I could retrieve the rope. From there I threw it the rest of the way down and off the roof.

I looped that end of the rope around a tree and then onto the front porch where I pulled it taut and tied it off. The other end of the rope was hanging down over the back porch so I pulled that one taut too and tied it off. That anchored one edge of the tarp draped over the ridge of the roof.

Then I tied a rope to each of the other two corners of the tarp. I tied one to my scaffold and the other one, which was on the other side of the peak, I anchored to the projecting wall logs on the front porch at Grid E1. That held the tarp snugly over the hole in the eave and that will keep rain and snow out of the inside of the roof. It will also keep it off my scaffold decks. Critters can still get into the roof but I don't think they are looking for homes this time of year. I just need to get the roof repaired and closed up before summer.

During the work a Canadian Jay showed up and I regretted that I did not have any peanuts with me. On my next trip down the ladder I got a supply of peanuts but the jay didn't show up again. I guess I should always be prepared with peanuts whenever I work outside, especially when I am working high up.

I left for home at 12:10 happy that I made some progress on roof repair this week.

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