Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/1/19

12/6-8/19 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Friday through Sunday.

On the way I stopped in for a nice visit with Earl and Patty. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:15. The weather was a dreary 30° with just a little snow on the ground left over from last week. I carried my gear up to the cabin, hoisted the flag, built a fire, and had my lunch and a nap as usual except that my nap was unusually long. So long in fact, that I didn't get any work done for the rest of the day.

On Saturday the temperature outside was 27° and it was snowing beautifully when I got up. Unfortunately, the snow stopped just about the time I went out to hoist the flag to half staff to commemorate Pearl Harbor day.

After breakfast I went to work on the loft railings above the dining room. I started by tightening the second balustrade, as I had done the first, by stringing a come-along between the posts and drawing them together. They were about 1/4" apart because one of the posts was not plumb.

With the posts drawn tightly to the top 2x4 rail, I fastened the rail to the posts with screws which held them in place nicely after I removed the come-along. The entire balustrade was now very sturdy and strong.

I had already fabricated the 2x6 top rail for that section of railing so I placed it in position and screwed it to the railing through the top 2x4s from underneath so that no fasteners showed on the top of the rail. Then I stopped for lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I split and stacked the firewood from the remaining three big fir rounds. Then I went back up into the loft and fabricated the 2x6 rail for over the staircase. In the process I discovered that I had made an error in figuring the materials and the 2x6 that was designated for this section was way too short. I had simply used the length of the 2x4s in that section to figure the length of the 2x6, but I forgot to add the width of the two 4x4 posts and the inch of overhang at each end. I tried to figure out how to re-assign the 2x6s that I had to make it work out, but it just wouldn't work. I will need to varnish another 6-foot piece someday.

In the meantime, I was able to reassign a 12-footer to make the piece I needed for over the stairs with enough left over to make another section on the other side of the loft.

On Sunday morning, I started out by replacing five light bulbs. They seem to go out in bunches. With that done, I finished making the 2x6 rail for over the staircase by sanding the ends nice and smooth. Then I screwed the rail in place from underneath. There are no fasteners showing on the top of the rail and it is glossy smooth. I think it is beautiful. I took a picture of the two rails after cleaning up the construction mess. I left for home at 12:50 happy with my progress.

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