Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn Update

It's been a while since I last posted.  Summer has come and gone and we are already past the Autumn Equinox. 

So, where were we...?

Barn Raising

When I last posted, we had just got the first wall of the giant garage/barn/workshop erected.  We've made some decent progress since then, as you will see.

Here we are working on the walls two and three.

I had the chance to re-acquaint myself with carpentry skills and put on my carpenter's belt which has been hanging in the basement for most of the summer.

Snapping a chalk line to guide the placement of the purlins.

Lifting 14 foot 2 X 6's is a piece of cake! I'm getting so strong since I started working out at CrossFit Leominster.

Fraternizing with the supervisor!

Erecting the third wall.

Attaching the corners together.

Always a good idea to check for level and plumb.

We got the third wall up just in time for the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

And she stood up well, as you can see!

The last wall is the one that faces the front, and will have 2 giant garage doors, and a regular door that I have learned is called a "man door".  Each of the big doors has a very heavy header - each header consisting of three 2 x 12 LVL planks ganged together.  Because of the extra heavy weight, this wall was constructed in 2 parts.

Here is the first half going up.

Securing the wall to a stake.

Here is the last section to go up.

Exterior sheathing.

With 4 walls up, we are now ready to tackle the roof.
The roof trusses were delivered, unloaded, and left in a stack.

We've been working on assembling the trusses.  The plan is to assemble them into 4  groups of 5 or so, and when they are all ready, we will hire a crane to come lift them onto the building.

So here's some action shots of the assembling process.

Here goes the first one.

Marking for the placement of the second truss.

Securing it to the first.

I did not want to buy a backhoe, but I must admit that she has been a very handy tool.  She is very strong, and we have used her for so many heavy jobs!  Here, we use chains to help her pick up the truss. 

Here I am hooking the chain to the clevis on the backhoe's shovel.

and here, I am taking the chain off!

We continued along in this fashion, lifting a truss into place, and securing it to the group.

And here is what we've got so far...

Weight of the Mechanical World

In our household, Dean takes care of all things "mechanical", so we say that he carries the weight of the mechanical world on his shoulders.  Taking care of our cars is among the many mechanical concerns. 

This week, the truck's brake lines croaked due to rust, and Dean's Jetta lost one of it's struts - also due to rust.  Both of these need immediate attention, and so garage construction is on hold for a bit while Dean deals with these.

At least he has a level, clean surface on which to work.  The last time a car needed fixing, he was working in the dirt.

Another re-do

We have done a couple of indoor projects on the days when the weather is not conducive to outdoor work.

One of these projects was converting a recessed can into a pendant light.  We were not happy with the way the recessed can lit this area, so decided on a re-do.

There are a couple of ways to approach this converting a can to a pendant light.  One is to buy a kit where the whole pendant assembly screws in where the light bulb would go as seen here.

The other way is to use a conversion kit that then allows you to use any standard pendant lamp.  This was of course the more challenging approach, and required some of Dean's special problem solving skills to make the whole thing work.

Removing the light socket.

The new mounting bracket.

And we lived with it like this for about 2 weeks - cuz the weather dictated outdoor work - and Dean was thinking about the next steps...

Another rainy day, and we did eventually get it finished.

And we like it!

Added benefit:  It prompted us to clean up the mess that has been congregating on this counter top since we moved in!

We are using a 2 watt LED bulb in it, and we are very happy with how it lights the counter top.

Computer Nook

I managed to finish the painting in here, and found, painted and assembled the computer table.  Now we have a nice neat little office area.

The Master Bathroom

Another rainy day and I got Dean to help get some work done in the upstairs bathroom.  I had finished painting the walls, and was ready to try my hand at some electrical work, and needed his  help to install light fixtures.

We were on a roll, so decided to hang the mirror.  This is from an old antique dresser, that we picked up at a yard sale years ago.

And while we were there, we went ahead and installed this old bureau that is going to be the base cabinet for the sink.

I just picked out a really beautiful slab of stone from Merrimack Stone that will be the counter top.  They are coming out next week to measure and make a template.

Looks like someone is ready for cocktail hour!

Until next time then...