Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/7/18

10/9-11/18 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I got a late start and, after a gorgeous drive over the pass, arrived at 2:15. I brought a lot of stuff with me, but I took only one bag up to the cabin to start with. I found a mouse in a trap in the crawl space and disposed of it. Then I hoisted the flag, built a fire in the stove, and then took the wheelbarrow down to the truck to get the rest of my gear. While I was down there, I pumped up the tire on the wheelbarrow.

All the rest of the gear fit in the wheelbarrow, so I brought it up to the cabin in one trip. Then I had my lunch and a nice nap. There wasn't enough time to get any work done, so I relaxed and read until dinnertime. Life is good.

On Wednesday I tried freeing the stuck arbor on the hole saw by using an impact driver as was suggested by a YouTube video. Mine must be stuck extra tight because it didn't budge after dwelling on it with the impact driver for quite a while. I gave up for a second time.

The top rail for the back porch is smaller than the bottom one so the mortise/tenon joints will be 2 1/2 inches in diameter instead of 4 inches, which is what they are on the bottom rail. I have another arbor for the smaller hole saws, so I used that and a 2 1/2-inch hole saw to make both mortise holes for the top rail. I also used it to mark the big end of the rail for the tenon. The small end of the rail is 2 1/2 inches in diameter so, with some smoothing, it will serve as that tenon pretty much the way it is. I got started forming the tenon on the big end before I went in for lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I went out and finished making the tenon. Then I got the rail installed between the two posts. That took a little doing.

On Thursday morning, I aligned the two rails in what will be their final positions, and then I used a plumb bob, with my fancy handle, to mark the underside of the top rail for each of the baluster holes. After all the marks were made, I took the rail back out of the posts and clamped it upside down on top of two sawhorses with the hole marks exactly on top.

Then I used a 7/16-inch spade bit with the copper tube gage around it to drill all the baluster holes in the rail. I used my DeWalt corded drill because it has a bubble level in it which helps make the holes plumb. After all the holes were drilled, I re-installed the rail in the posts. I have to take it back out once more to install the balusters, so I'll use that opportunity to spray the rail with Board Defense and stain it. Since the lower rail is already treated, but not stained, I haven't decided whether to take it back out just to stain it, or to leave it in place and stain it where it is. It's a fairly hard job to take the rails out and re-install them, so I'll leave that decision for later.

I left for home at 1:00 happy that I had made at least some progress toward that final inspection.

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