Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/29/19

1/1/20 (Wednesday) I painted a rack of 14 rebar balusters at home in Seattle.

1/3-5/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Friday through Sunday.

I stopped and had a nice visit with Earl and Patty. Then I proceeded on to Camp Serendipity and arrived at 1:30. The weather was sunny and a warm 50°. I brought up the rack of balusters I had painted in Seattle. Then I started a fire in the stove, hoisted the flag, went back to the truck and brought my gear up, and finally had my lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I took the dining room ConvectAir heater apart to see if I could find what was wrong with it. I also looked at the owner's manual and learned that there is a reset button on the heater. I tried pushing that, but it didn't move. I cleaned the heater and put it back together, but it still wouldn't heat. I decided I needed to call the manufacturer.

On Saturday I worked on the heater some more but still no luck. I called the manufacturer and learned that they were closed until next Monday.

Next, I went up to the loft to begin building the last two sections of the railings. I started by removing and coiling up the big rope that had served as a temporary railing for so long. I stored the rope in the crawlspace. Then I moved a bunch of stored items, including all the flooring for the loft, and got it out of the way so I could work on the railings. I got the rails and the balusters and brought them up to the loft.

I discovered that I had cut the two 2x4s to the exactly correct length, so I didn't have to cut them at all. I selected the orientation for each of them, clamped them together for drilling and then measured and marked them for drilling the holes - three times. Due to math errors, the first two times didn't come out right, so I was extra careful on the third try, and that came out correctly.

With the 2x4s marked, it was time for lunch. Robert called during lunch and told me the terrible news about the Dickinson's sons. The older one had been killed by a falling tree when he was harvesting firewood about a week ago, and then on New Year's Eve, Josh had his hand blown off by a big firework he was handling. He was still in Harborview Hospital according to Robert. What a pair of tragedies.

After taking a nap, I got a cup of water, my hearing protector muffs, and the drill, and began drilling the holes. The cup of water was for cooling the bit off after each hole. Then after cleaning up the sawdust from the drilling, I assembled the balustrade and placed it between the newel posts. Then I fastened it by screwing it to the floor and to the newel posts.

On Sunday morning I started out by replacing a broken light fixture in the crawlspace. Unfortunately, I dropped one of the screws and couldn't find it. I didn't have a screw like it, so I found one using my inventory of parts that was too long. I cut it to the right length with a hacksaw and filed the burs off the end with a chainsaw file. Not the best tool for the purpose, but it worked.

With the light repaired, I went back to work on the balustrade. I cut the top 2x6 to length, sanded the ends and edges smooth, and screwed it in place on top of the balustrade. Then I varnished all the ends and other places that needed a touch-up, and then took a picture of the balustrade.

It snowed heavily all morning so there was about 3 inches on the truck and the roads when I left for home at 1:15. Chains were required, or all-wheel drive, so it was slow going over the pass and a long trip home.

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