Friday, February 27, 2009

Working on the french doorway

After struggling with the back door framework, I got a little smarter and realized I have to get all the brackets to be square. So we bolted some scraps to the new (taller) brackets -- because Melissa figured we needed more stem wall to hold in the gravel -- and then squared them up with each other.

Here you can see the scale (with the drill) and how the tall brackets will come out of new concrete.
Then we got a 80lb bag of mortar and started putting the rocks in... and only got this far.

Turns out we don't remember how to estimate how much mortar we need. Well, next trip to town we'll get enough.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Working on the door buck

I started working on the framework that will be the back door the other day. Building up from the bolts in the concrete that had a board already locked in to hold back the gravel inside the house, I had to do a bunch of careful measuring and planning to get the two sides to be square to each other.
This picture makes it look a lot more fragile and out of balance than it is.

These are scavenged 2x6s that will be the buried in half of the door buck. I'll put nicely treated 2x whatever (15-20") glued together redwood that will be the surface you see as you walk through the door. They will get screwed onto this form that will be buried in the wall. It's all about square, and sturdy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sprouts and Knife

Melissa got some alfalfa sprouts to start up, and they taste just right! We made grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado and sprouts, on whole wheat. Hippy sandwich!

I finally finished a small side project: making a new knife handle for my sister-in-law's broken knife. I made it with chunks of madrone left over from the pegs in the timber frame, and some small pieces of brass.

it's not perfect, but it's not bad either.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Evening out the gravel floor

Melissa has taken her keen eye to the gravel inside the house and started adding and taking out spots to compensate for the subflooring we're going to do. Turns out when I put the gravel in last spring(?) I was shooting at the wrong height.

While we were moving gravel around, I put some chunks of insulation around the little trap door box we have in the floor of the second bedroom. (I'd already done it on the kitchen trap door storage box)

Readers may remember that I put a bunch of not flat rocks under the gravel of the floor to take up space, instead of using all that expensive gravel. Well, a batch had to come out, as we were going lower than originally planned. Can you say 'doing work twice'?
Here's the pile of removed ones. It got bigger after the photo was taken.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mud and Gravel bed

Well, since it was raining again today, and I needed to have the Lister running for battery juicin', I decided to haul wet, silty mud from where I had dumped it when I dug out the house spot up to the base of the generator.
Then I hauled about 8 buckets of gravel up from the house spot to cover the mud, all with the idea of adding mass and weight to the railroad tie base of the generator.
As it was running, it was sort of shaking the mud and gravel into place, and I was walking on it to get it tamped down.
During this operation, my add-on exhaust pipe cracked off, so now I get to fix that again. Then it's veggie oil tank, and then a tight shed to keep off the rain and keep in the noise.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Facsias are On!

The final step in the roof rafters is putting on the long horizontal front bits, the fascia. Here's the front:

and here's Melissa showing how strong the back is:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Even more Rafter Details....

Still crawling along on the roof. We cut the high side ends plumb:

Then drilled holes in each blocker/soffet for the air gap venting:

Then stapled screen along the inside of the holes to keep the bugs out:

Then used some store bought goop to fill in cracks and gaps. (I'll go back tomorrow and trim these flush):

and so we're almost ready to start laying the 'decking'... but we need to find a good handful of dry days.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Quiet Night, Quiet Game:

Hook and Ring- no batteries, no timers, no worries.

When I was in the Bahamas a while back, I saw this game at a beach-side bar and of course I fell in love with its simplicity. It's a ring on a string, with a hook as the target. The one I saw in the Bahamas had the hook on a post, which allowed for more complex tricks, but I couldn't wait until I was sitting around my finished house with the posts outside to play. I set it up in the yurt.

The aim,

The toss,

and the hook. Yay! tons of fun.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Still working in the Rain

It has been raining for a couple days now, so no construction work, but I still manage to get out and wear myself out. First thing this morning I went out and took down a big old dead tree just a little below the yurt. It'll probably be the last firewood cutting for this winter. Now I get to split and stack it. Firewood: warms you 5 times. once when you cut it down, once when you move it, once when you split it, once when you stack it, once when you burn it.

Also, during the last rainy weather (3 weeks ago?) I spent a bunch of time clearing out the small brush down the hill from the yurt, to take down some fire danger. Since it's just more woods back down there, and there's no wind that comes from that direction, I decided it'd be a good idea. Now you can see quite a ways down there.

And, speaking of fire danger, I took a few small redwoods out from just north of the house today as well. We'll use the trunks in the construction, but all the branches have to be picked up and hauled somewhere. I'm hoping to get my neighbor's big chipper.

into the world of piston! Lister 6/1 piston cleaning.

Once again diving into an area I don't know enough about, I've pulled the cylinder off the Lister to see if there's something w...