Saturday, April 29, 2017

Building the deck for Ben's tool shed

Made good progress today .
First task of the day was to shift the load of lumber that had been dumped at the end of the driveway . Ben's little trailer came in handy .
OK we have a problem here , seems that middle post on the near side , the one we had to pour ourselves wound up too high . Can't quite figure out how I messed that one up . Only explanation is that when I marked and cut the Sonotube to the tight string between the two end posts I used the remnant of the tube instead of the one I measured .
So a bit of fussing was needed to make it all work , getting the bolt holes in the timber all in the right place also took a bit of fiddly work .
We wound up taking a big notch out of the timber to accommodate the higher middle post
It's OK , it all worked out fine in the end and our carrying timbers are all level and even .
Trimmed the joists to eleven foot nine inches .
And started nailing them onto the rim joist .
Far side is done .
Slid the whole mess over to center it on our carrying timbers , and attached the other rim joist .
A bit of jiggling and a couple thumps with the blunt end of the axe gets us an even twenty feet when measured corner to corner both ways , so we have a square deck .
After toe-nailing the joists to the carrying timbers , we start laying out the OSB decking .
Mark the boards sixteen inches on center and start to nail the deck sheathing down .
After a late lunch brought to us by Ben's wife Jodie , we carry on with the decking .
 Nail gun does a quick job of buttoning it all down .
Job done for the day . In next week's episode we build the walls .
Finished up the day making some noise .

Monday, April 24, 2017

Setting frost posts for Ben's tool shed

Saturday it rained pretty much all day , and it has been gray and wet for most of the week , so I had little hope of getting much done when we arrived on Ben's property on Sunday .
Rolled the frost posts covering the holes we bored last weekend aside , only to find . . . . .
. . . about two and a half feet of water in the holes , fortunately Ben thought to bring his dad's hand pump that made easy work of getting most of the water out of the holes .
After pumping them out , we got to enlarging the holes enough to fit the cast cement posts as the auger we used last weekend was not wide enough . Ben works for a land surveyor , so he brought his transit from work , and we were able to get the bottom of all the holes level with each other . Unfortunately the photographer was distracted and got no photos of the transit in action .
So the procedure was to stand the post up and walk them over near the hole .
Then with a three foot pipe thought an eye bolt set in the top of the post we picked the 230 pounds up . . . just barely
and lowered them in to the hole . . .
We must be good as we make it look easier than it is
Here is the video of the process . . . and I am certainly feeling it today
The middle hole on the right side row only went down about two feet due to a massive rock we were not about to mess with , so that kept us from using a frost post in that one .
So we set a Sonotube and mixed a couple bags of concrete instead .
Note the old geezer is doing all the work and the skinny guy is just standing around .
After about three and a half hours of work we got the six posts in and they were all mostly in line and tops were level with each other .
Two six by six timbers will go across those lengthwise and then we can build the deck for the shed on top of them .
Finished the afternoon off with a little bit of target practice . Not so steady a hand after all that huffing and puffing . Annie did better at it than either Ben or me .

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Digging holes in Richmond

My friend Benjamin bought twenty acres of land up in Richmond last fall .
The plan is to build a house on it this summer . Here is a shot looking south on the property.
This is the goggle maps aerial view. The property has about 900 feet of road frontage. The driveway is the black line . The proposed location of the house in the larger yellow square . The black oval is the septic system already installed last December . The smaller yellow square is to be the tool shed/ workshop . The idea is to build that first before building the house .
Last week we got together and made a list of materials we'd need for the shed . On Saturday we went up there to sort things out and bore some holes to put in the pre-cast tapered frost posts as a foundation for the shed . Those four foot tall pots are 230 pounds each .
We laid out the twelve by sixteen footprint of the shed .
And with a rented power auger we bored holes in the clay soil .
First couple of feet were fairly easy going , After that it was just mud the consistency of wet cement , then at about three feet it turned to hard packed clay .
  I guess that is as far as we are going . As the grade slopes a bit on the spot it can be filled in around the pots later
In about two hours time we got six holes drilled about as far as we could . The hard clay stopped us going much further, and ground water from recent snow melt just filled the holes . So we will need to wait for that to dry up a bit . Some more hand work will be needed to enlarge the holes to be able to set the posts . But we got done what we could and set the frost posts across the holes so no one would fall in inadvertently .

So we took some time to scout out the property a bit , here I am coming up on the septic system that was put in last fall .
This one looking from the driveway to where we were digging the holes .
Opposite view looking up the driveway back towards the road
Took a walk around the back side of the property to the open fields that meet the back boundary line
Nice open hay fields
Looking south east over the fields