Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/8/17

10/10-12/17 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I met up with Bob and Pat Burton for lunch at the Squirrel Tree restaurant. This was their more-or-less annual trip to the mountains to see the autumn leaves. They said this year ranks among the very best they have seen. I agree. We had a delightful conversation during lunch including a fair amount of politics. The waitress took a picture of us.

After lunch the Burtons followed me to Camp Serendipity and we continued our visit. I took a couple pictures of their arrival and one of them inside the cabin. It had been two years since their last visit so the new features to them were the front and back stairs and the front railings. They seemed to like them. Inside the cabin, I lit a fire in the stove first thing because it was a little chilly in there. The place warmed up very quickly.

I also found two mice in traps and threw them outside. I explained the urgency of getting the baseboards installed. We talked for a while at the dining room table and then we went up into the loft. The most captivating center of conversation seemed to be the 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle I am working on up there. The picture is of the Sistine Chapel ceiling and I am 93% finished putting it together. I explained some of the systems that I have used in the process. Since I am so close to the end, my system now is to go strictly by the shapes of the pieces with very little help from patterns or colors.

Bob and Pat left at about 2:30. I went down to see them off, and when they were on their way, I unloaded a bunch of yard waste I had brought with me and then I carried my gear up to the cabin and moved in. Since I had already had lunch, I proceeded on immediately to my nap.

By the time I got up, it had started to rain. I brought in a bunch of firewood and then spent the rest of the afternoon working on the puzzle.

On Wednesday, Dave called first thing and we had a great conversation. Then after breakfast, I went to work on the baseboards. The first thing I did was to remove the two wall-hung heaters from between Grid C3-D3 and Grid E2.5-E3 so that I could run the saw in its carriage against the log walls.

The second thing I did was to remove the remote valve control for the water discharge to the creek. The cables would be in the way of the saw so I removed the entire assembly by undoing two screws and then laying the cables back onto the floor.

Then I ran the saw along those two walls and cut the kerfs up as close as I could to the columns and the corner. The saw carriage seems to baffle the blast of sawdust coming from the saw so the sawdust mess isn't too bad. When the kerfs were cut, I swept and vacuumed up the sawdust. I wore a respirator all the time, though.

After lunch and a nap, I decided to work on the Grid E wall first so that I could replace the valve control and the bigger of the two heaters sooner. I used the bulldog with the wood chisel bit to chisel out the notch below the kerf along that wall. It worked very well. I have honed the skill it takes to run that machine efficiently and accurately.

My baseboard 2x4s are 8-footers and that wall is longer than 8 feet. The shorter piece of baseboard that I had previously made was just about right to extend an 8-footer. But to get the joint under the heater, I chose to use that short piece as it was and cut an 8-footer to fit the remaining space. When the notch was ready and the two baseboards were ready, I quit for the day.

On Thursday morning, Robert called first thing and updated me on his plans for doing some more logging at Camp Serendipity. The temperature overnight had been in the mid-20s, so after breakfast, I winterized the crawlspace by installing the vent blocks, draining the porch hose, and flipping the flapper valve in the ceiling fan ductwork. That valve makes the hot air that is drawn from the ceiling get blown out a register in the bedroom rather than being blown outside.

Then I went upstairs and caulked the notch and nailed the Grid E baseboard in place. I was very happy with the results. I cleaned up the chip mess, harvesting most of them for my curly-fry stash that I use for starting fires in the stove.

After vacuuming the floor and the wall above, I reinstalled the valve control mechanism and I replaced both heaters. I think I may be able to do the chiseling and install the baseboard under the smaller heater without removing it again. If not, I will remove it a second time. I took a picture of the newly installed baseboard and left for home at 1:00 feeling good after a very pleasant week.

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