Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/30/18

1/2-4/19 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

On the way, I stopped and had lunch with Marilyn. Then I proceeded on over the pass and stopped in for a visit with Earl. The weather was clear and still so the views out his windows were spectacular. I took a picture out the window.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 2:00. The ground was frozen and there had been no new snow so I was able to drive in and park in 2wd. The temperature was 25 and the skies were clear.

I carried my gear up in one trip, hoisted the flag, built a fire in the stove, moved in, and then put on my work clothes. I went back down to the truck and unloaded a huge load of fir boughs that had blown off the big trees in our yard in Seattle. I stacked them all on the compost pile.

Back up at the cabin, I split two big firewood rounds which gave me more than enough firewood for the week. Then, since the weather was perfect, I went into the woods and dug out two more big rounds from under the snow. Then I used a stout rope and skidded the rounds, one at a time, over the snow and down to the cabin. The snow was frozen stiff, so the rounds slid nicely over it. Earl had told me that it was going to rain the next day, so I was glad I took advantage of the good weather to harvest those two rounds.

On Thursday morning, sure enough, it was raining cats and dogs. The temperature, though, stayed at 25 all day so ice was accumulating on every surface including all the tree branches. It was not good weather to be working outside. In fact, when I went out to hoist the flag, I found that the pulley at the top of the pole was encased in ice and I couldn't move the rope or hoist the flag if I wanted to. I gave up.

Dave called toward the end of my breakfast and we had a nice long conversation. After we hung up, I swept and scooped the ice off the back porch and stairs. Thin sheets of ice slowly slid down the roof and broke off. Then, since they were so thin, they sailed in every direction as they fell so a bunch of it fell, and was still falling, on the porch and stairs. I got ahead of it though. The last of the ice slid off about the time I finished sweeping it away. From then on, the water came off simply as rainwater which fell straight down and didn't get on the porch. I could see that ice was still accumulating on the trees and I wondered if this was going to be a damaging ice storm.

Then I split two more rounds of firewood that were under the eaves, so I didn't have to work in the rain. After that I took the backer blocks that I had prepared and placed them in the joists. I'll screw them in later once I get them all placed.

I had a late lunch and a rather long nap. I didn't feel like I had much energy when I got up. As a low energy job, I gave some thought as to how to make the back-stair rail that will be up against the building. That one won't need balusters and it can be anchored directly to the cabin wall. It will be much simpler than the others, and in my new mode of tackling the simplest jobs first, I made a plan for how to make the railing. I decided to buy a ready-made rail, so I measured to see how long it needed to be. It needs to be 12 feet long.

On Friday morning, there was still a light freezing rain. The temperature outside was 26. I decided that I wasn't going to use any of the candidate rail poles that I had out on the front porch any time soon, and they were in the way. I moved them to the Grid 1 end of the porch up against the outer Grid 1 wall resting partly on the protruding log ends. That got them out of the way and still under the eaves where they will stay dry.

Then I rearranged the sawhorses on the porch and spread a tarp to set up a saw shop. I had two long strips of plywood which was enough for making 19 more backer blocks. Since the cuts only needed to be made in the short direction, I decided to use a hand saw instead of a Skilsaw. It takes a little longer, but I enjoy it more. There isn't as much noise and I don't have to wear a respirator and the sawdust doesn't get all over everything. It stays in the tarp.

After cutting the 19 backer blocks, I folded up the tarp, carried the sawdust away, folded the tarp back up and put it away. Then, while I was down on the roadway, I checked my stash of scrap wood and found enough half-inch plywood to make all the rest of the blocking I need. I carried the plywood up onto the porch to cut up later.

Then I went down to the crawlspace and filled a garbage bag with stuff that needed to be thrown away. Then I had my lunch and left for home at 12:45 happy that I made at least a little progress toward passing that final building inspection.

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