For the past two days, I’ve had one item which has topped my agenda: Finishing and testing out the cider press I’ve been working on. A good friend, Adonica in the picture above, heard about my project and … [ Continue Reading at: http://itfarmersblog.com/?p=2502 ]
I only have a few major components to finish before I can call my shed complete, but before I totally enclosed the second story, I figured it would be a good idea to add a ladder and some light. I decided to use some left over 2 x 4’s as the ladder base, with 2 x 3 rungs. After nailing the whole thing together, I added some railings that I made from some left over facia boards. I plan to hang a piece of plywood on some hinges and attach those to the railings to produce a very accident free ladder system.
When the ladder was complete, I hung the first of three large lights. Hanging a light by yourself can be very frustrating, so I cheated a bit by using an extension cord as a pully system to hoise the light into place. Once I was happy with it’s location, I tied the cord around a nail to secure it in place, and used the screw gun to permantely attach the light. After adding three lights, I ran some electrical wire and installed an On/Off light swtich.
After turning the light on, I saw that the light switch was made in America, which made the accomplishment that much sweeter.
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I finally got enough other work done to begin constructing the first door for my shed. I built the basic frame, and with Davies help attached it to the hinges. At this point, I decided to take a break. I had an idea for how I wanted to build my doors, but these doors would be like no other, so I decided to take a few hours and think about it while working on another project.
After clearing some brush I decided I was going to go through with my somewhat radical plan. The doors would overlap each other, and fit together like doors in an air lock. Why did I build these odd looking doors ? Mostly because I could, but this design eliminates the vertical gap that usually separates two doors. Without the vertical gap, less air will leak through in the winter.
So there they are, my unconventional doors. Whatcha think ?
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I’ve been playing around on the tractor quite a bit lately, but I knew it would soon be time to get back to work. The shed still needs sheeting to cover the back portion, but that will have to wait. My priority at this point is to get the plywood on the roof covered with a layer of tar paper, which will protect the wood from the elements. After the tar paper, I can take my time and save up for some shingles to finish the project.
For now, the name of the game is to attach the weather treated boards to the top of the building, in place of fascia boards. I’ll then attach the drip edge to cover these boards, and only then can I lay down the tar paper. I’ve decided to use weather treated boards since I’ve seen so many buildings in my short time that require work in this area. Once water passes beyond the outer board, it will start eating away at the roof and internal supports. I’ve got a mind to stop this decay before it ever gets a chance to gain a foot-hold.
In an effort to save myself some work, I decided to paint the boards before cutting and attaching them to the second story. This should save quite a bit of time moving around a heavy ladder, and standing 20 feet in the air with a bucket and brush. I will still need to climb the ladder, but only to seal up the area where the two boards join. I’ll be sure to give this area several heavy coats in an effort to completely fill the crack, and prevent all water from entering.
When I opened the paint can, I was a bit surprised by the color that presented itself to me. I was expecting a dark brown, but what I saw was a pinkish purple. Since I’ve had my fair share of time with a brush in my hand, I knew the paint would likely dry in a different color then shown, but I couldn’t help but worry about what my family or neighbors would think if my new shed had purple trim. Thank goodness it did dry brown, and I was able to put those worries to rest.
Hanging the boards was real exercise in teaching myself how to do something I had never tried before. The first interesting lesson was finding the correct angles to cut the boards at. My simple answer to this problem was by finding a small piece of wood that had a square corner. I placed one edge of the board onto the base below, letting the other edge extend past the roof. I then used a pencil to mark the angle of the roof. The next step involved lining up my mark with the board, and tracing the opposite edge that was previously flat against the board below.
Once I had that mastered, I began the second phase of learning: attaching a lopsided board to the side of a building while balancing on a board less then two feet wide. I devised a rope system to hold one end of the board in it’s desired area while I was able to line the other end up to it’s correct placement. Once I figured out this rope system, life got a whole lot easier, and I actually made some progress.
So here is where I left off last night, after moving the scaffolding to the rear of the building. It’s starting to look pretty cool, and I can’t wait to see the whole structure complete with trim, and dual opening doors. It will be nice to be able to work in my flat bottomed workshop rather then constantly looking over the edge of the scaffolding, but I’m sure once this shed is complete, my work will just be beginning. I can already hear whispers from Saint Nick and the elves already planning their winter run…….
I made a great deal of progress on my shed over the weekend. I’ve finally completed a fix on the edge of the roof where the overhang was too short, and I got the front portion of the sheeting cut and placed. I’ve called it stubborn progress as it took quite a bit of will power to keep working after the sun had zapped a great deal of energy out of me. I worked slowly, kept a bottle of cool water nearby, and constantly rewarded myself by looking at the progress from a distance.
In order to secure the sheeting near the peak, I had to place the ladder shown against the scaffolding and climb to the top. I tied the ladder to the interior roof joists for added insurance. Maybe it was a bit paranoid to tie it up, but I’ve broken a few bones in the past, and even though the heights don’t bother me, the idea of spending another summer in a cast does.
So now I’m looking at my ever shortening to do list, and it’s starting to feel like I might just be able to pull this off:
1.) Finish the back portion of the sheeting, and roof eaves.
2.) Place drip edge around the perimeter of the roof, and lay down a layer of tar paper.
3.) Place the rubber roofing on the flat portion.
4.) Install the roof shingles.
5.) Cover the base of the roof overhang with OSB.
6.) Add some brown trim
7.) Run a more permanent electrical connection via a buried line in steel tubing.
8.) Add interior insulation to keep me warm while I’m building furniture in the winter.
For now, I’m looking forward to a day free of soreness. I’m not used to climbing up and down a ladder all day long. Oh well, the permanent result is definitely worth the temporary sacrifice.
My father often pushed me to learn as much about everything as possible, and he also stressed the importance of having a particular skill set that was specialized. In my teenage years, dad taught me many different skills from basic use of construction tools, up to and including hanging dry wall and spreading the “mud” which covers it’s seems. I discovered the fine points of attaching electrical wires to plugs and switches, and connecting PVC pipes together to form water inflow systems. All of this knowledge has helped me greatly through the years, and I’ve got a mind to pass on many of the things I know.
I gave Jessica a basic introduction to my camera, and asked her to take some pictures of whatever she thought was cool, or neat. I also asked her to take some pictures of how the whole structure was put together. Jessica seemed to think the whole idea was pretty fun, and I could tell by the smile on her face, but what she doesn’t know is that I’m conspiring to teach her the basics of photography.
On the top of the shed, I’ve left a 4 x 4 foot landing where I hope to place a small dome for a telescope. For now, I’m leaving that part of the roof flat, and I’m planning to cover it with rubber roofing.
So here is the front of the shed with the majority of the roof intact. Now that the sun doesn’t directly fall on the second story, the wind blows through and produces a very nice breeze on hot days. I hope to place large opening doors on the bottom and second story, so I should be able to keep this natural air conditioning intact once the building is complete.
So here’s today’s helper, Jessica. I had asked her to hold the carpenters pencil that I use to mark cuts, and just like a pro it found it’s way behind her ear.