Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still doing rafters

While you can see the end of the line (on the left of the photo), we are still working away at rafers on the high/southern side. We've decided the simplest and most accurate way to cut the half circle notches out of the rafter - so they sit on the beam and hold on well-- is to use a saw and chisel. Typical notching; you make a series of vertical cuts, then use the chisel to cut out the waste between the cuts and clean up the notch.

First you do one end:

Then back down to the other end.

It still takes quite a while as each notch is unique and we have to get the rafters to be exactly level to each other.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Plugging for Work

Well, people ask me how we make money living up here in the woods, and I generally say, 'I do some internet work', which means I do a bunch of updates and management for my buddy (and boss) Tom. His office is in Minnesota, but he's taken me on as an employee, and we've been working on a new way for people to buy their dental insurance online without needing to go through an agent's office.

We've finally got the website up and running, and since it sort of finances this whole project the blog is about, I thought it wouldn't be terrible to do a bit if cross-referencing.

If you're looking for dental insurance, check out the application and price at:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peculiar Vegatables

Adding compost to the garden yesterday and turning over the top layer, I discovered some old parsnips that had been missed. They got a little crazy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Listeroid - Diesel Generator - Up and Running Smooth!

While I've had this machine for about two years now, and had it going in the past, there was always a list of stuff going wrong with it, most of which had to do with getting it set into the ground properly.

Pat came to visit, and after debating about what we should do with our time,

we started working on it. That brought over one of our neighbors, Michael, who can't stay away from fun projects. Here we are fixing the alternator in place so the belt won't wear improperly or simply come flying off.

Another step (besides getting the head gasket back on and all the surrounding parts) was to cut up an old tire and putting it between the 4x4s (that are bolted to railroad ties in the ground) and the machine.

Once we got that done and turned down the speed, the thing just purrs along.
And, generates electricity!

It's an efficient, bullet-proof pretty good looking machine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rafters on the High Side

We've begun putting rafters on the south side, the north ends of which are the highest point of the house. Because of the fluctuations of the upper beam, we sometimes have to take wood out of the rafter, and sometimes out of the beam. Actually, every rafter has a notch in it, just sometimes it's a big one.

Here's Melissa checking the depth of one of the notches in the upper beam.

As we're working away up there, Jack has started to come up on the roof too. Here's the rest of the window frames in the clearstory as well. Note the salvaged/recycled wood used as extra blockers, and for the window frames.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Windows in the Clearstory

I've been rough framing the window openings in the clearstory section between the upper and lower beams in the center bent. It's a complicated bunch of work, as in some respects, I have to take into consideration stuff that will be total 'finish work' right now, and then on the other hand, it's still really early and rough work.

Plus, as you can see from this first one going in, the beams aren't perfectly level, as they are trees, and so there's some taper (and twist) to them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thought the rafters were done

Of course, there's a bunch of other details that go into the rafters besides just getting them all up there.
Here you can see the 'laddering' that holds the outside 'barge boards', the last rafter that 'floats' out on the edge.
Here are blockers at the high side, holding the rafters straight and vertical.

The ends had to be cut plumb, before we put the 'fascia' board on.

and then the blockers in the middle. The little strings are marking which spaces will have skylights, which will be a different sort of blocker.

Monday, January 05, 2009

At least the rain is productive

With the holidays, the rain, visitors, and a touch of flu, there's not much to put up here other than more of the same in the rafter department.

I did find a good sized mushroom though:

it's a short stemmed russala. Not any good for eating, but grows pretty big!

cleaning up the free granite

Got a good batch of free kitchen counter granite off of CL the other day.   First I had to pull off the 3/4 inch plywood that was glued ont...