Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/3/16

4/5-7/16 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday. I made no stops during the trip. Uncle Charles passed away since my last trip so there will be no more checker games with him. I will miss him.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:45. Virtually all the snow was gone so I easily drove up and parked at the hairpin turn, and for the first time this year, I didn't put on my Sorel boots. After bringing my gear in, raising the flag, and starting a fire, I had my lunch and a nap. Then I went to work staining the stoop parts. I got about half of the job done.

On Wednesday I started a fire in the stove to take the morning chill off, raised the flag, had breakfast, and went to work finishing the staining job. Then I tackled a fairly big job of unloading a bunch of debris from the truck and hauling it over to the compost pile. Our yard in Seattle had accumulated a huge load of debris, from the normal cones to branches brought down from windstorms. I had raked most all of it up, both from the ground and from the roof of the house, and it nearly filled the box of the truck. It took several wheelbarrow loads to get it all hauled away. I finished the work with a little time to spare before lunch.

I went up to the drainfield and checked on Paul, the giant sequoia. It seems to be OK although the lower leaves are sort of pale. The central stalk is about an inch and a quarter long and looks healthy as do a few of the top branches. I found a lump of snow and used it to water the tree. While I was up there I startled a squirrel who was in the privy, and a small snake that was trying to avoid me.

After lunch and a nap, I went down to get the 6x6 pressure-treated gate post that was lying on the ground by the electrical boxes. The loggers had taken it out of the ground and it had been lying there covered with snow over the winter. Now that it was exposed, I didn't want to tempt thieves by leaving it in plain sight, so I carried it up the concrete stairs and stored it under the back porch. I'll replace the gate with its post when the loggers finish phase 2 of the logging project.

The next project is going to be the installation of log treads on the back staircase so I began work on that. Using the same long 2x4s that I had used for the front staircase, I erected the two gauge rails for the back staircase. The inner one has one end resting on the porch deck and the other end screwed to some short boards that are screwed into the log wall. The outer one also has one end resting on the porch deck and the other end is screwed to a pair of boards that are screwed together making a stanchion that is screwed to the newel post.

After a considerable amount of work and fiddling around, I got the rails to each be level and at exactly the same elevation. I can make all necessary measurements from them now.

On Thursday morning, using the gauge rails, a carpenter's square, a plumb bob, and a tape, I made careful measurements of the total rise and run of the staircase for both the inner and outer sides. I also measured the riser height for the one log tread that is already in place at the bottom of the staircase. That measurement concerns me because it seems like the tread is going to need to be lowered. I'll need to use the measurements to do some calculations in order to be sure. I'll build a spreadsheet to do the calculations when I get home. I left for home at 12:40 glad to be taking on a new project.

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