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Starting to cool off for Fall

Posted by on 19 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: Construction, Gardening, General

There has not been too much work done here this summer.  Too many instances of ‘life’ happening.  Highlights so far include.  Better growing season, Strawberries growing strong, got a newer tractor that works with the older implements, strengthened up the shed, framed for windows, and got the back half of it’s roof re-decked.  The shingles come next week.
The crib did get new windows on the South side, and we’ve gone down a few times to work out the trim.  The upstairs has been getting cleaned out, and parts of the center bin are getting removed.  I think once we get some time to work on once specific thing, a lot of changes will be seen.
Not too worried about progress.  It seemed that last year the “winter’s coming panic” got a lot of work done.  Hoping to do that again this year.

Vacation did happen again here.  Trip 3# in a row to Walt Disney World.  We’ll get some reviews and pics uploaded soon.


Posted by on 18 Jul 2011 | Tagged as: Construction, General

So after a hot a blistering weekend, I checked the forecast for the upcoming week.  Instead of the little icons the weather usually has:  Sun, sun/cloud, clouds, rain, lightning bolts.   They actually had an icon that looked like FIRE!

Yes, it’s that hot here.  Surface of the sun grade heat.  The heat index, or “feels like” temp has been starting at 110.  118 I think is the highest I’ve seen so far.  And it is not a dry heat.  This is full out steam room, how the vegetables feel on the stove humid and hot.  How hot is that….

  • Besides the feeling of your’re going to die when walking outside…
  • I can’t ever remember not being able to use the air conditioner in the car in normal mode.  If we turn of the re-cirulation mode, it gets warm and humid in there.  It’s been on re-circ for 3 days now.
  • If your dashboard vents aim towards the window, water will condense on the outside of the window and stream away constantly while driving.
  • Sunglasses fog up when leaving the house or car.

I will say, that while being in the mid one-teens yesterday, there was a nice breeze.  So, you immediately soaked your self in sweat when walking outside, but the evaporation causes a cooling effect.  It was quite nice feeling.

Progress?  None!  Too dang hot.  I’ve been removing cedar shake shingles and replacing the decking on the shed with plywood.  It’s about half done, and since I was working in bursts anyhow, I was trying to tuck the upper edge of plywood under the last remaining row of shingles to keep rain from pouring straight in.  Needless to say, there are plenty of holes, but I don’t care at the moment.  It’s hot and not raining.  It’ ain’t leaking right now!  It’s going to wait a few days.  Just before the heat, I did get some trim on the windows, and here’s a pic.


Finally figured out the windows

Posted by on 22 Jun 2011 | Tagged as: Construction, Gardening, General

img_20110616_162933After finding the new bottom windows a while back, I’ve been looking for the perfect fit for the top row of windows.  I finally found something the right size, and cheap. Barn sashes – recycled plastic frames and plexiglass panes.  These also fit snugly in the stud bays and were about an inch short of the hole I wanted to fill.  The difference was made up by adding a 1×4 to the bottom sill and that got my top edge aligned.

I was on limited time on the day these went in.  I need to remove the top 2 boards and get some solid sheathing in there.  img_20110616_162854 Then finally, I can finish off some trim around the windows and get siding up on half of that wall.  Hurrah!

Also on the to-do list is to re-shingle the shed, and get the old center bin removed so my grand living room can start shaping up.  We have been eating lots of peas and strawberries from the garden.  The potato bushes are coming up, and there seems to be a good crop of Bok Choi as well.

Items checked off

Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Construction, General

The day started well enough. Reagan left early for the book sale at the local library, and ‘us men’ got to sleep in a little bit. We got up about the same time, and I made breakfast. Mason started to wonder toward his computer, and I interrupted him by saying “Saturday morning cartoons, let’s go.”
I actually have no idea what is on during a Saturday morning. We have had no TV feed for over 5 years now, no cable, no satellite dish. I do have a digital antenna hooked up to it, but only check local stations during bad weather alerts, the Olympics, and the president’s inauguration.

Besides having a DVD/Blu-ray collection, we also use Netflix. The streaming service is also quite nice, and we happen to get at it via a Roku device. We have done several entire TV series with it. This morning, we turned on Phineas and Ferb, which is a newer Disney cartoon. Funny, and every once in a while has a song that will stick in your skull for days.

After 30 minutes of that, I got the truck warmed up, grabbed some supplies and we headed to the farm again. I’ve had one goal lately, that I hardly work on. Now, this corn crib is solid. We have been standing in it with some high winds and there no movement. However, I do like to overbuild. The frame work of the front wall only exists where the bins used to be. The rest of it exists to hold up the siding. The goal was to create a beam that ran horizontally across the wall at 8′. This would tie the bins wall into the rest of the wall, and also tie the wall to the main support studs. By laminating a beam out of 2×6’s, and mounting it on the wall, it would be straight and well reinforced. I prototyped a few versions on a new table saw and figured out the best way to construct it. And in short time, this big support was mounted and I dang near tried a Spiderman impersonation to see if I could stand on it. At some point, I’m planning on adding beams that connect across to the balcony to the loft. While made of new lumber, I plan on wrapping them, hopefully out of old barn wood for that old barn look. I also got another item crossed off my list. Since the upper part of this wall existed to hold up siding, I was sister-studding some 2×4 studs around the top windows with 2×6’s to match up with the rest of the wall. I got the last 2 of these done also.

Then home, shower, grilled burgers. 🙂 Tomorrow is Jefferson clean up day. Time to place bets on how long before your trash becomes someone’s treasure.

Signs of life

Posted by on 13 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Construction, General

Spring might have sprung. So far, we have seen 70 degrees here a few times. Trees are budding, and there are lots of birds around. Even the grass is green and growing. What’s all that add up to? Farm work.

Last year I found some old shingles and plugged up the holes in the shed roof. Those old cedar shakes are so brittle, that just as many holes opened back up over this last winter. It’s time for a proper roof. The plan is to strip off all the shingles, lay down plywood to cover the gaps between the existing boards, and shingle. It’s a big roof, the back half alone is 18×42. I didn’t quite dive into this yet, but got out there for some prep work.2011-04-09-15-58-34

The shed itself is pretty strong. There is no rotting, things seem straight, and there is nothing sketchy about it. The only weakness it has is the middle of the side walls. The post and beam framing goes up to 8′, and then the only thing above that is an overlapping seam of siding at 10′ I can push on the middle of this wall and getting some good flex out of it. Obviously the goal here is to strengthen that up. And if I was going to do that, I’d do it all around and make sure there were no weak spots. I decided to add studs all around the shed, and pretty much got it done in one afternoon. What amazed me, was that the shed was still straight. I only found 1/4″ of difference along the entire East, West and North walls, and I think that was because part of the foundation settled in one corner. Studs were fitted below each rafter, much like conventional framing. And I started on reinforcing that West wall. Just three 2×4’s took out half of the flex. Once finished, it should be rather solid.

2011-04-09-15-57-52I returned on Tuesday night, bringing the tractor back to it’s summer home. I quickly hooked up the rototiller to it, and got to work on the gardens. Another amazing thing, is that these strips were rather devoid of grass and weeds. They looked far better then how we left them last year. I tilled about 7 of the little plots we use and Mason helped clear out the grass over the strawberries and some sunflower remains. It got a little on the dim side, we we held off on any planting. Rain is in the forecast, so a quick trip out there for some seed planting might be called for today.

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