Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/21/21

3/21/21 Bought mirror closet doors for the cabin. I tarped the package containing two doors, the railings and hardware, and tied it down in the bed of the truck so I could haul it up to Camp Serendipity in the morning.

3/22-26/21 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I was careful and cautious driving over the mountains because the wind was really pressing against the mirror doors I was carrying. But the traffic was light, the road was good, and I made it safely. The drive was beautiful because of a fresh snowfall at the higher elevations.

I arrived at 11:50, carried my gear up in one trip, hoisted the flag, and had my lunch. The tax accountant called just then and informed me that our taxes are ready. Next, I tackled the hard job of wrestling that package of doors and dragging it up to the cabin. It was heavy.

I backed the truck toward the hairpin turn as far as I could go, but Josh had not plowed the driveway out very far. I opened the tailgate against a big snow berm and untied the door package. It was still wrapped tight in a tarp and my plan was to drag it over the snow on edge with the tarp serving as a sled runner.

I draped a stout rope over my neck with the right end tied to the front end of the package and the left end held in my left hand. I crouched down and tightened up the rope and then I was able to stand up straight and lift the end of the package off the snow using the stout rope as a harness. Then I could drag the doors forward about 10 inches and set it down again and take a 10-inch step. In this way, little by little, I dragged the doors over the snow to the hairpin turn, around the corner, and up the hill to within 40 feet of the porch.

I had previously unwound the porch porch crane cable and the control wire and brought them down the hill as far as they would go. They reached 40 feet. When I was able, I attached the crane hook to the rope around the doors and used the crane to drag the package as I lifted it. It worked great.

Those last 40 feet got very steep and dangerous because of the huge berm that had fallen from the roof. But with the crane doing the heavy lifting I had no problem getting the doors all the way up to the legal landing.

At this point I re-rigged the crane so that it was attached to the center of the package with the package hanging on edge. I lifted it all the way up and discovered that the package was too wide and would not clear the railing.

I lowered it all the way back down and re-rigged it so that I lifted it flat wise. In that position it cleared the railing fine and I got the doors up on the front porch. I dragged them inside the cabin and unwrapped the tarp. Then I rewound the crane cable and put the crane back the way it was. That whole process took from 1:00 o'clock until 3:00 o'clock. I was very happy to have pulled it off. Then I took a very welcome nap.

On Tuesday I slept in and while I was still in bed, Robert called. We had a good conversation. After breakfast I practiced the piano and then made some measurements and a detailed drawing of the top of the closet door opening.

After lunch and a nap, I went outside and checked on Paul, the giant Sequoia tree. Then I ripped and planed three 1x6s for use as the finish boards on the inside of the closet opening.

On Wednesday after practicing the piano I cut the finish boards to length and then sanded them so they were ready for varnish. Then I cleaned all the baseboard material and was pleased with how smooth they were. They didn't need any sanding, just a dusting.

Next, I varnished all the baseboard material and the closet finish boards. After lunch and a nap, I spent the rest of the afternoon writing.

On Thursday Dave called first thing and gave me the good news that he would be in town on Monday and that I could join Bill and him for breakfast at 8:00 o'clock at the Sheraton as usual. After we hung up, I had my breakfast, practiced the piano, and then did an experiment by squeezing a bead of silicone onto the remnant of the bathroom cove base to see how well it sticks.

Next, I lightly sanded all 16 boards: the baseboard material and the three finish boards, and then varnished all 16 boards with the second coat.

After lunch and a nap, I made a miter box from remnants of the boards I had just cut, and I set the angle to 23 degrees. In a perfect world the angle should be 22 1/2 degrees to make the turn around bull nose corners but somebody on YouTube said that 23 degrees works better so that's what I did.

On Friday morning after practicing the piano I installed the finish closet jamb boards. Then when I placed the header over the top of them, I realized that I had made a mistake measuring the opening and that I was 1/4 of an inch off. I need three 1/4 inch shims to fill a gap I hadn't planned on. It will be no problem to fill the gap except that I don't have any quarter-inch plywood. I'll bring some from home next week. I left for home at 12:50 very pleased with the progress on getting the closet doors installed.

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