Construction Journal Entry Week of 9/11/16

9/13-15/16 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

It was a beautiful 70 outside when I arrived at 12:20. I had moved my gear in, hoisted the flag, had my lunch, and was just starting my nap when Earl knocked on the door. He was a little unsteady but he said he was about due to take his meds. He said he was having a little more trouble controlling the tremors and had even crashed his motorcycle but he was dealing with it.

We had a delightful conversation, as usual, and this time I presented him with a Camp Serendipity mug. He seemed happy to get it. I showed him what I was doing with the newel post and the stair rails. He offered some suggestions and advice which I appreciated.

After he left, I did some more scraping on the newel post. Then I turned on the valve to irrigate Brian and Paul and took the wheelbarrow into the woods up by Paul. I began hauling the firewood rounds, that I had bucked out of the snag, out of the woods and down to the cabin.

I used a loop of rope to choker each of the rounds and to skid the round through the dense vine maple thicket to where I had the wheelbarrow parked. I did the skidding in several stages since there was one big log across the skid trail at one point and a big rock outcropping at another point.

I would skid the rounds closest to the wheelbarrow landing until it was clogged up. Then I would go to the next pile in the woods and successively skid those rounds one stage closer to the wheelbarrow. After moving a lot of wood, it was time to quit so I loaded three rounds into the wheelbarrow and took them down to the cabin and stacked them in my woodpile. It is good to know that I probably have enough wood cut now to make it through the winter. I just have to get it down to the cabin.

On Wednesday Dave called first thing in the morning and we had a great conversation including reminiscing about his visit last week. He went into more detail describing the four different bear encounters they had had at Whistler the day before they came to visit Camp Serendipity. He also told me about the breakthrough he had made in developing the electronics for his latest clock.

I spent the rest of the day harvesting firewood. The method I used worked very well so I stuck with it. I kept pulling the rounds through the woods in stages and hauled wheelbarrows full down to the cabin as they accumulated at the last stage. Since the farthest rounds came from the butt of the log, the rounds kept getting bigger and bigger. After about the second wheelbarrow load, the rounds were so big that I could only haul two at once, and even at that, they made a heavy wheelbarrow load. Fortunately, most of the wheelbarrow run was downhill so my main problem was preventing a runaway at the steepest part.

I took a lunch break at noon but I put my nap off until I had all the firewood moved and stacked. But before I went in for my nap, I cooled off in the crawl space by collecting old cans and bagging them up for recycling. I was sweating like a pig when I started but it was so nice and cool in the crawl space that I cooled down right away.

My long-range plan is to build all the railings for the three staircases, the two porches, and the loft edge. After that, the next project will be to insulate the floor, but before that, I want to clean out the junk that has accumulated in the crawl space and do something about covering the floor of the crawl space. I figured that the way to get the junk cleaned out was to haul at least something out of there each week and an easy place to start was with those cans.

Over the years I had saved the rectangular cans that flavored coffee comes in and I had used them to store small items like nuts, bolts, screws, and nails. The idea was that being rectangular in shape, they would pack nicely on shelves taking up the least amount of space. So I had these things all over the place. They were overflowing on the shelf above my workbench, falling down onto the bench whenever I pounded on something too hard.

But ever since I got the parts bin from Earl, I have been gradually transferring the contents from the coffee cans to the parts bins. That left dozens of those cans empty on the shelves. Those were the ones I started collecting and putting into the recycling bag. I also transferred the contents of some of the cans into bins that were already set up for those items. I also threw some other metal cans into the bag that were empty and just lying around.

When I finally went in for my nap I was nice and cool and dry. After my nap I spent the rest of the afternoon scraping the newel post.

On Thursday morning, I resumed scraping the newel log and finished the job. It is really a nice looking log with a lot of protruding knots. It is also riddled with small circular holes which I am sure were made by powder post beetles. I hadn't seen any frass under the log but I figured they just might not be active right now. That is no problem though because I know that they can be easily eradicated by Board Defense.

The instructions for applying Board Defense say that you get the best results if you soak the wood in clear water for an hour or so before spraying on the insecticide, so after I finished scraping, I got a bottle of water and soaked the log.

Then I went in and worked on the jigsaw puzzle for an hour before I went back out and sprayed the log with Board Defense. Then I had my lunch and left for home at 12:45 feeling very good.

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