Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/14/16

2/16-18/16 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way, I stopped at the drug store to get a prescription and then I stopped at Goodwill to drop off two old chairs. From there I proceeded on to Monroe where I finally beat Uncle Charles in a game of checkers. There was a light rain as I drove over the pass and the rivers were very high because of the rather warm weather.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:35. After moving my gear in, I built a fire in the stove, and then had my lunch and a nap. When I got up I split a bunch of firewood.

On Wednesday I called Robert first thing in the morning to talk about the videos and to find out when he was going to resume work on the big tree. He called me back later and told me he would be working on it at 9:00 that morning. I told him I would be there to record the event.

I had my breakfast, got my tripod and camera and went over to North Shore Drive.

Robert cut two more sections from the tree trunk and I shot videos of the work. He finished by 11:45 and I went back to Camp Serendipity. I had my lunch and my usual nap and then I spent some time splitting firewood.

Next I scribed both of the stoop base logs for flattening the bottoms and then, with the chainsaw, I ripped the slabs off to flatten the bottoms. I shot some video of this work.

On Thursday morning, I chose the orientations of the two logs for their positions in the stoop. I wanted good sound wood under the step, and as it turned out, that choice put the chainsaw tooth scars on the inside where they wouldn’t be seen.

Next I chiseled the bottoms so that the logs lay flat on the porch deck without any rocking. Then I placed the inner deck slab on the logs and worked on positioning it for scribing the notches in the base logs.

To my dismay, the left (as you face the front door) log was barely big enough. The notch would be less than an inch deep. That was unacceptable.

The problem was that when I measured the diameter of the log, the bark was still on. Then the gwizard had cut away some of the outer wood that had started to get soft. And the final straw was that the slab I had cut from the bottom to give the logs a good bearing surface had reduced the diameter by another inch.

I thought about what to do but I couldn’t think of any really good alternatives. The best one was to use the logs as is and install gussets to keep the slabs rigidly in position but I didn’t like the idea. I decided to put the decision off until next week. I left for home at 12:50 wondering what to do about this new problem.

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