Construction Journal Entry Week of 5/18/14

5/21-23/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

I got a late start because I had to have an "Echo" test done to help diagnose whatever I have. The results of the Holter test showed that I have atrial fibrillation. I'll see my doctor next week to get the whole story.

After having lunch and picking up a new prescription, I headed for the mountains. On the way, I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles. Then I stopped in Skykomish to drop off a book for Marilyn and to harvest some of her rhubarb. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 3:30.

The temperature was a pleasant 72. Inside the cabin, I was greeted with an unpleasant and disappointing dead mouse in one of my three traps. The other two traps were still set so at least there wasn't a full scale invasion. I'll chalk this one up to the damaged ceiling and not spend any time on looking for another mouse hole. I'll concentrate instead on finishing the roof repair.

I hoisted the flag, turned on the valve to water the giant sequoia named Brian, and painted a white swatch on the face of each of the eight storage bins I had made at home and which I had brought with me. Then I tried to take a short nap but found that I couldn't sleep. I got up and went into the woods to check on Brian and the other giant sequoia trees. Brian needed water so I decided to water it for an hour and a half to two hours each day I am up at Camp Serendipity. The other trees seem to be doing fine and I may or may not water them from now on. We'll see.

On Thursday morning, I went up on the scaffold and tried several ways of pulling the tip of the fascia board in at the peak. It was sticking out past the opposing one at the peak about a quarter of an inch. I thought that would prevent me from getting the rake metal shoved under the opposing rake and that if I could somehow make the fascia boards flush, the rake installation would be easier.

After trying to attach screw eyes to the inside of the fascia and to the next rafter so that I could use a wire as a turnbuckle between them, I gave up. I couldn't get the screw eyes in with the tools I had with me. Then I fastened a wire to the middle of a nail and ran the wire through the crack between the two fascia boards so that the nail spanned between the two boards. The idea was again to use the wire to draw the fascia in. I gave up on that too as soon as I realized that there were a bunch of wasps busily starting nests right above where I was working. They hadn't noticed me any more than I had noticed them, but I decided to abandon my efforts to pull the fascia in.

Instead I got a can of wasp and hornet killer and sprayed under the ridge to stop the critters. I had just enough spray in the can to do the job. Then I left the scene but before I climbed down off the scaffold, I took in the tarp that was hanging from it. It has served its usefulness and needs to be put away.

Down on the porch, I measured and cut the new rake metal. I used the old damaged rake as a guide for trimming each end. I decided to try the rake dry to see if I could get it in place and whether it would fit. But then I figured that if it was OK, then I would have to climb all the way back down off the roof to get the tools to finish the job. So I decided to take all the tools with me on the first trip.

I put the tools in the tool bucket and then to carry the piece of rake, I tied a rope around it so that I could tie it to my belt. But then I got what I thought was a brilliant idea. With the rope tied around the rake metal I wouldn't be able to get it installed because the rope would be in the way. Instead, I decided to use duct tape and make an anchor for the rope. That way, it would still be tethered while I installed it.

After making the duct tape anchor and tying the rope to it, I tied it to my belt and took my bucket up the ladder and up onto the roof. It is awkward climbing the roof having to carry the tool bucket in one hand while sliding knots up the rope with each hand and keeping my footing all the while. The rake metal was banging into my legs as I went up.

Just as I got to the ridge, the duct tape let loose, the rake metal fell, and immediately slid all the way down and off the roof. So much for saving a trip up and down the roof.

I sent the tool bucket over to the other side of the roof and tied it off. At least I wouldn't have to carry the tools back down and up when I went after the rake. Then I went back down to get the rake metal.

When I returned, I fixed up the duct tape anchor again and assessed my next move. By now the roof was in full sun and the roof was heating up quickly. It was already too hot to touch. I also could see that in order to work on the rake, I would need some sort of bosun's chair or chicken steps to work from. It would be just too strenuous to work by hanging from the lineman's belt alone.

So I decided to leave my tools up there and take a break for lunch, make some sort of bosun's chair, and wait until the roof was in the shade again. I didn't want to leave the Vulkem in the direct sun so I rigged a tether for the caulk gun so that it could hang it over the side of the roof in the shade. Then I came back down off the roof.

I had my lunch, took a nap, and when I got up, I felt mildly headachy and nauseous. I figured it might be from the new medicine I was taking. Anyway I didn't feel like going back up on a hot roof. I spent some time working on the jigsaw puzzle and I got to feeling a little batter.

Then I made a sort of double bosun's chair by tying two four-foot 2x3s to a length of fairly long rope. It was sort of a two-rung rope ladder with the rungs about 2 feet apart. The plan was to have the two boards crosswise on the roof where I needed to work and the ropes would go over the ridge and be tied to one of my big ropes on the other side to hold it in place.

By the time I finished, the roof was in the shade again so I took my bosun's chair up, installed it, and went to work on the rake metal. I tried it dry and found that I could easily push in the fascia board enough to get the rake started behind the opposing rake.

So I took the rake back out and gooped it up good with Vulkem. I also gooped up the peak of the roof. Then I installed the rake for record. It was hard sweaty work and I had to use a flat bar to coax it over the raw edge of the panel. I was super happy that it went into place and fit pretty well. There was still a small gap between the tops of the two rake pieces at the miter joint so I decided I would make a sheet metal patch to cover that gap before I screwed down the ridge piece which goes over the top of the rake.

On Friday morning, I made a patch piece out of sheet metal but before I could get up on the roof it started to rain. I shot a scene for the next video report and by the time I was done with that, it stopped raining again. So I went back up on the roof and installed the patch. I also shot some more scenes for the video and took some pictures of the finished roofing.

After putting in the last screw, the job of repairing the roofing was done. I was super happy about that. I decided not to take my rigging down quite yet, however, because I still needed to re-install the sewer vent stack and it needs to be fastened to the fascia boards right at the peak. I think that it might be easier to do from up on the roof than from the scaffold below. So I left the rigging in place and came back down off the roof a very happy man.

I had some time left before I had to go home so I applied the last coat of varnish to the cabinet knobs and I used a sharpie to letter in the ID numbers on the faces of eight new storage bins. I left for home at 1:00 feeling very good about the progress in spite of missing last week.



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