Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/16/20

2/23-25/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Sunday through Tuesday.

I had called Earl before I left and told him I would be up to visit him. But when I got to his place, his door was locked and his phone didn't answer, so after three attempts to call him I left for Camp Serendipity.

I arrived at noon, brought my gear up to the cabin, and saw that I had a message from Earl. I called him right away and he apologized for missing my calls and forgetting to unlock his door. I told him that after I got a fire started in the stove, I would go back, and we could visit. I started the fire, hoisted the flag, and went back to Earl's.

We had a nice visit and I showed him one of the flat quarter turns that I had brought along so that he could see the quality of the rails I had bought. After our visit, I returned to Camp Serendipity and arrived at 2:00. Then I had my lunch and my customary nap. When I got up, I didn't do much except haul a bunch of firewood up to the back porch.

On Monday, Robert called first thing and told me that he would stop by for a visit later. He showed up at about 9:00 and we had a nice visit. He told me about his recent health problems, and we talked about what to do about his jammer. By the end of the conversation he had decided not to fix it but instead to salvage some parts of it and cut the rest of it up for junk. He decided that he is just too old to ever do the kind of logging again that would require it, and he knows of nobody that would want to buy it.

After he left, I started sanding the rails with 220 grit paper to prepare them for the last coat of varnish. After lunch and a nap, I sanded the rail fittings and then replaced the wire wheel on the bench grinder on the front porch. The old one had begun throwing pieces of wire, so I got rid of it.

Next, I used the calculations from a new spreadsheet I had prepared for the handrail side of the staircase to cut the 16 longest balusters. My paint rack holds about 18 balusters and I need 31 for the handrail, so I decided to make a batch of 16 followed by a batch of 15.

After cutting the balusters with Dr. Dick's rebar cutter/bender, I used the new wire wheel to brush the rust off them. Then, before I quit for the night, I used a buck saw to buck up the branches I had brought from Seattle.

On Tuesday morning, I washed the 16 balusters in paint thinner using my dipping tank. Then I used Dr. Dick's rebar cutter/bender to bend the ends of all 16 balusters. Then, I loaded them into the paint rack, painted them with a coat of primer, and set them in the utility room to dry.

I took a picture of the drying balusters, packed up my gear, had my lunch, varnished the rails and fittings, washed out my brush, and left for home at 1:15 happy with the progress for the week.

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