Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/8/20

3/13-15/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Fri through Sunday.

On the way I stopped and had a nice visit with Earl and Brenda. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 2:00. The temperature outside was 26 degrees but the weather was clear. I parked at the hairpin turn and brought my gear up to the cabin over the shrunk but frozen snow on the upper roadway. After hoisting the flag and building a fire in the stove, I had my usual lunch and a nap. I didn't get any significant work done for the rest of the day.

On Saturday the temperature was 24 degrees outside when I got up and it stayed that cold all day. I started work by trying to figure out a method for marking and cutting the flat quarter-turn so that it will fit between the end of the rail and the newel post. That is a very expensive piece of wood and I don't want to screw it up. The problem is not easy because of the angles and curved surfaces and the fact that nothing much beside the newel post is fixed in place.

I made several templates using paper and cardboard, but nothing worked. Eventually I devised new method for clamping and scribing the quarter-turn directly with no need for templates. The quarter-turn was clamped to a short board with its flat bottom on the board. That short board was in turn clamped to the bottom of the rail which then located the quarter-turn in the correct plane.

The quarter turn was then aligned with the newel post so that it needed to be translated along the axis perpendicular to the axis of the rail in order to meet the newel post correctly. The translation would be scribed as would the intersection of the other end of the quarter-turn with the plane of the square end of the rail. I took a picture of how that clamping would be done although the 2x4 stand-in would be replaced by the final rail.

Once I was satisfied with the new method, I dismantled the whole thing and took down the 2x4. I clamped the 2x4 next to the good rail and checked and fixed the hole locations in the good rail. After I was sure it was right, I drilled the baluster holes in the rail. Then I installed the rail and marked it for mitering at the top.

I cleaned up the drilling mess and had my lunch and a nice nap. When I got up, I hauled down 6 maple rounds in the sled. Then I split and stacked the firewood. The maple split nicely with an axe since it was frozen solid.

Back in the cabin, I mitered the rail with a hand saw. This took a considerable amount of nerve, but it came out perfectly. I installed it on the balusters and was super happy that it fit so well. I took a picture of it.

On Sunday morning the temperature outside was 14 degrees. After breakfast, I took the ashes outside and dumped them. One thing about maple firewood is that it makes a lot of ashes. Next, I removed the rail and worked on deepening and smoothing the knuckle notch. Then I replaced rail and was very happy with how it looked. I left for home at 12:30.

Go to Next Journal Entry
Previous Journal Entry

Index to all Journal Entries
Go To Home Page

©2020 Paul R. Martin, All rights reserved.