Saturday, June 30, 2007

Little bit of progress:

Didn't make a whole Lot of progress today, before the rains came, so here are three 'virtual' shots of the shop. First looking across from the main double doors toward the windows.

The tables and cabinets represent my benches and tools. (yeah I could sketch-up it, but i know my old software and why spool up on sketch up when I could be building the shop?)

the window on the left is a 32x44" vinyl clad, and the far window is 32x66" a replacement 'drop in' which I'm putting on its own wall. with 10' walls to the sill, I have the luxury of keeping the window above the bench and still have a decent view.

here is a shot from the 'far' corner of the shop looking across to the three doors:

funky, huh? the blue section in that image shows where the loft ends, and that far half of the shop will be open to the trusses above.

oh, and for those who prefer a real life view:

and the matching view from the cad program.

if the rains end by morning, the boys and I are going to either attempt to build the trusses again, or put up some walls, either way we'll make some progress!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Non-shop update

Saturday's Masonic event went very well. I was a videographer, who helped transmit the Grand Master's investiture of his grand line officers on the Masonic Care Community's cable system. Seating in the chapel is limited, so we pipe it over to the admin building for 'overflow' seating. My best friend Stu is the head of the technology committee (who are we kidding he IS the technology committee most of the time), and when he put out the call, I was more than happy to help out.

Today was graduation day for James' girlfriend Gabrielle:
(note to self, tomorrow when you have a moment, insert photo here)
I've got tons more images, but that's the only one that doesn't need Major editing to look decent.

I did do Something shop related today, I zipped over to the blue borg (Lowes)and picked up some hardware and a couple more carpenters pencils.

thanks for checking in, more later, I'm off to bed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Best laid plans....

Well folks,
tonight was an exercise in frustration. Grizz stopped down. We surveyed the flooring, decided that a little adjustment was in order and fixed the one corner before moving on to truss assembly. We started laying out the parts for putting trusses together. Last year before closing up shop with John, I pre-cut enough truss parts for 9 trusses, which is what the 16' long barn requires. My barn, however is 20' long, so I'm going to have to fab up a few more parts. That was where we Started. We ponka'd (installed with framing nailer) two boards down which will eventually wind up as the sill for the walls. Then we measured out 29 3/4 on one wall , and 52 1/4" on the other wall. Setting those marks allows us to use the wall parts as bracing to build the trusses. Or try to.

We laid out the 4 short rafters, two with birds mouths and two without, each cut to the appropriate angle. We then took a 10' 2x4 and traced the cut line to make the long chord of each truss half. That's when things started going 'wrong'. No Injuries (this time, the Vorpal Staplegun (Vorpal is a Dungeons and Dragons term for really nasty) stayed away, so we were safe, only using the framing nailer and circular saw. the long chord of the truss assembly runs from the ridge joint to the birds mouth on each half of each truss. My plans show a board which gets sandwiched between three gussets, connecting the shorter legs, forming a triangle. Two relatively 'flat' triangles combined with the floor of the loft work together to hold up the roof, while still allowing access to the loft.

I traced the line across the board we tried to use, and Grizz made the cuts. If things had gone right, we should have had at least three or four trusses completed by sundown. IF.

it turns out that when I cut the gusset parts, I mis-measured, so I have 22 incorrect gusset parts. guess I break out ye olde checkbook and get another couple of sheets of 7/16 plywood. I could use some in the pile here, but they're earmarked for the roof itself.

I got a wonderful email from my cousin Emily. It seems that I'm Not just writing this to myself, I actually have an audience. (hooray!) (I was beginning to wonder) Thanks for checking in Emily! I sure do hope Lew is watching. Knowing him, tonight he is laughing at the keystone Cops routine.

I have been tapped to help out at the Masonic Care Community in Utica tomorrow for the incoming state wide officers. That will pretty well negate any chance I have of getting any decent sawdust created. ah well, I can always get out the floor jack and level the piers, IF I get home in time to do anything. Sunday afternoon is shot as well, so I've resigned myself to the shop being delayed a week. Not that I'm on a timetable, but I really want to get it dried in 'soon' so I can start moving tools up to the shop from the storage unit.

I think I'm going to try and get at least four sheets of ply and move them plus my table saw up to the house Sunday. I'll have to put the saw Back down in the storage unit Sunday evening, but at least I'll be able to cut the truss parts before heading off to Gabrielle's Graduation party.

speaking of fabrication work and trusses. The plans call for rafters/trusses 24" on center. I'm seriously considering making 5 more trusses total, and putting them 16" on center. That will help compensate for any higher snow load. Last winter we got hammered by a few northeasters, and in some spots we had 10' of snow AFTER it settled a bit.

Sorry there weren't any pictures tonight, just too ticked off to take any. Not much to show, since we mostly just moved wood from one pile to another while scratching our heads a lot.

More tomorrow, after I get home from the Masonic event.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Major update time

Well folks
I've been remiss in my blogging, but for a good cause.
Saturday went pretty well, all told. I got most of that 'punch list' done. Grizz and I bought hardware, I got the propane refilled and bought more landscape cloth, which I late returned.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Left to right, that is Grizz, Sean and yours truly. The three of us were scratching our heads looking at the site and discussing the options to level it off when Don the rock guy called. An hour later, we had this backing in through the side yard (borrowing the neighbor's lawn)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
approximately 5 yards of gravel dumped roughly in the center of the shop site.

the LOML was shocked to see the pictures of the stone delivery. I guess she didn't expect an 8 wheeler like that in our back yard.

This was a multi-wood forum project, with Grizz from the WWA and Family Woodworking and my friend Sean from over on Woodnet helping out in a Huge way. Both guys brought tools and while we didn't use them all, the framing nailer was a great help, once we got better nails. 3.5's would jam occasionally but 3.25's worked just fine.
Sean took over the site prep and with my help we went from lumpy/wavy ground to 'screeded' stone, level in both directions. While we were doing that, Griz's circular saw reciprocating saw and sawhorses came in very handy, cutting those extra truss parts and joists.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

That's Sean, aka the Rockmeister/framer/all around great guy. After smoothing out the stone, We ponka'd the rim joist into shape, and got creative when it came to squaring up the frame. I don't have a maul or sledge hammer, so I suggested that Sean use one of the concrete piers, three hits and it was square.
By the end of the day, this is where we wound up:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Somewhere in the middle of hanging the joists, I realized that I miscalculated the number of joists required. We wound up 1 joist short, which I didn't realize until Sunday after my lumber guy had delivered 10 2x8x12's which I had forgotten to order, but will need sometime next week.

That took a trip to Lowes and some adjustment to the materials list. they were Out of 2x8x12 PT, so I got a 2x10x12 with correct hanger instead. makes the entrance to the shop just a tad stronger than the rest of the floor, darn.

I briefly toyed with the idea of leaving the frame directly on the stone, but 'slept on it' and decided to put the piers back into action after all. Sunday went very smoothly, thanks to James and Adam, my two stepsons. With their help (thanks guys!), we got to this point:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Another new friend Mark from over on WOodnet came by as well, and despite him stapling his own hand with Lori's newfangled staple gun, we got a lot accomplished by dusk. Not 5 minutes after Mark stapled his hand, Lori did the same to her own! Ouch. both are recovering nicely, thanks for asking

Sean was back on Monday night, and we got more insulation installed and a few sheets of plywood installed as well when the insulation ran out.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday evening, I picked up two more rolls of insulation and then installed them. Rain was fast approaching, so I called it quits with the deck looking like this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tonight, I'm not out there at all, I'm very tired tonight, so I'm going to avoid power tools and get some shuteye. Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Twas the night before shopbuilding...

Well, there are now 4 large pallets with various stages and types of lumber products sitting on them. Unfortunately, life got dramatic this evening, and I was unable to go pick up those niggling little last minute things... like nails, construction adhesive, Ice, soda, things like that. SO... guess who is getting up at 4 with the DW and running to walmart, then the hardware stores. One in hopes of getting the hurricane ties, or similar, and the other for several items I know we'll need, but working 10+ hours every day this week didn't allow me to pick up.

On the plus side, I got a bunch of photos and properties done this week, I know another section of Sillycuse like the back of my hand, and I'm on to other areas on Monday.

I'm on my office laptop, and I didn't bring in the mouse for it, so I won't have any photos tonight. Suffice to say the bill for the lumber was a nice one, but If I did my calculations correctly, there should be a minimum of my usual three plus trips to the hardware store for any given project. I've 'suspended' that rule for the duration of the shop buildup. If I need something I go get it, period. Hopefully other than the fasteners, I should be pretty well set for the weekend.

The shopping list for the lumber for the shop expanded to include enough 2by4 and 2x6 to deforest a small stand of trees. Not really, but this is the 'biggest' thing I've ever built, so bear with me.

I was going to put stone down and then the piers, but unless the stone guy calls tomorrow morning, I don't think I'll get stone down before the piers. If I don't, I'm not too worried about it. I am using the piers to keep the pressure treated wood out of the potential water zone. We occasionally get 'lake Bulken' out back of the house, and the shop is in the path, but that only lasts a few days or a week at the longest.

The stone was/is to help with drainage and keep the grass under control. I'm still going to put down landscape cloth under the piers, and eventually I'll shovel stone under the shop from the edges as needed. One of the things I'll be buying tomorrow is some roundup weed killer, We'll spray that down just before we put the cloth down, and hopefully take care of the grass under the shop that way.

The budget just didn't allow for any major terraforming, with machinery, so instead we're going to jack the deck up, level the rim joists and then put the piers in. The rim joist will be secured to the piers by gravity and shims, as well as 4x4's and connectors. I figure that however many thousand pounds all that wood, plus the contents of the shop tools etc... should keep the piers from going anywhere. As for the fact that the piers may sink into the lawn. so be it. I can always jack up the shop and reset them like the camps I visit down in Pocono. If that happens to often, We can jack it up one last time and pour concrete pads for the piers. This summer into fall at least I don't expect there to be much trouble. Winter into spring will be the issue.

to do list for the morning is as follows:
  • get Lori up for work
  • grab another hour or two of sleep
  • stop by the storage unit, unearth table saw from pile of stuff, get it ready to move to the house.
  • meet grizzz at hiawatha fasteners, buy nails, screws, joist hangers and hurricane ties or equivalent.
  • stop back at the storage unit, partially disassemble tablesaw, to get it back to the house.
  • stop at blandings, get propane tank refilled, buy a few more tools, more landscape cloth, construction adhesive
  • brew coffee
  • find, set up fly for tablesaw in case of rain.
  • set up mitersaw station

that should be enough to be dangerous.

lots more pics etc. once the day is over. Thanks for looking. I suppose i'm writing this for my own gratification, as noone has left comments or let me know they even read this. (hint hint, comment away if you're reading along at home folks)

g'night it is just after midnight, and the alarm will be screaming all too soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Progress, some of it even forwards!

Howdy folks,
I took ten minutes this afternooon and called the building inspector's office about renewing my building permit. They have a couple of questions which I predict I'll be able to clear easily next week on Monday. Basically they wonder who exactly is building the trusses (I will be) and who Dano is.

This is a new inspector, different than the one I explained things to two years ago, so I expected something like this. I just need to show them what I'm doing and I should be good to go. I also need to show them where I will be putting the shop on the property. (I seem to recall doing this before but they prior inspector didn't seem to interested in that).

The good news of the day is that with the setbacks, I only need to be 5' from the property line (I thought it was 6') as well as only 5' from the existing shed. That means that I won't need to move the shed after all, which is a very good thing indeed. I need to be 10' from the house, and 5' from the property line. I'm going to double check clearances, but I believe that I'm 11' from the house as I laid out the 'closer' site on the diagonal, and 6' from the existing shed. It will 'just' fit. It it won't fit there, Worst comes to worst, we'll just drag the shed over and make room.

I just discovered Tom Smith's blog about his shop. K and T Woodworking Blog

I'll have to do some catching up with Tom's blog, if the rest is like his 'top' page, It ought to be a good read, eh? (he's from Alberta). I wonder if he Curls.

Two days down at work this week, and I'm just a bit frustrated, the rain has just put me way behind my goal of 30 properties cataloged per day. I hope to get ahead more tomorrow. I've put in 11 hours each of the past two days, I think I'm going to pull a 10 hour day tomorrow and then just an 8 on Thursday, starting early has been nice, so that is one thing I'm going to continue to do. Funny thing, I was never one to be an early riser, but I'm enjoying the 'morning' light when I'm photographing.

Enough about work.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Big deliveries this weekend!

Well folks,
My checkbook is now lighter. I stopped down to my favorite lumber/hardware dealer in Bridgeport and about three hours later had these dropped off.

My plans are from
and while Dano designed these plans to work with 4x6 PT and to sit on grade, after consulting with the lumber yard, I decided that a little upgrade was in order because of the weight of my woodworking tools. SO, what you see there are 24 2x8x12's (and 4 2x8x8's which aren't visible in this shot) and 8 sheets of 3/4 CDX plywood. which will rest on these:
The 2x8's will be doubled up around the rim and then I'm going to use joist hangers for the inside joists, plus blocking between the joists every 4'

The piers will go over crushed stone, though honestly I think the piers will be enough to allow drainage beneath the shop (they're 10" tall) If we get more water than that, I've got bigger problems to deal with.

the two young men who delivered the lumber were amazingly quick at unloading. I managed to 'help' them on just a couple of the 8' joists, but then I just got out of the way. They were pulling 3 of the 2x8x12's off of their flatbed at a time. Now I'm no lightweight when it comest to moving stuff, but those kids were amazing.

closer view of the PT. That stuff is good and 'wet' still, and Heavy! The 8' boards are on the 'back' side from this vantage point, still on that pallet. Funny thing about those pallets, they were used to ship 'rollers' to my former job in Rome. I brought home 5 of those last year intending to salvage them for something. I think they're doing a fine job keeping the supplies out of the grass just as they are! I'll probably break one of them down this coming week to make some saw ponies (short sawhorses) for the project. That wood in the pallets is weathered after sitting outside in the elements all winter, and just good for 'utility' projects now. Not that weathered and 'utility' projects don't have their place.

There is a close up of the CDX. As the budget allows, I would like to put down a better wood floor someday. For now, though that will more than suffice.

Blandings Hardware is a prime example of a vanishing breed, the small town shop where the owners are supportive and service is superb. The big box stores have their place, and for some things I'll stop in and pick them up. Lumber however is not one of them when I have such high quality service and excellent products available for a comparable price from Blandings. With perhaps one exception, everyone who works there knows me by name, how many staffers at the "Borg" (Big Orange Retail Giant) know their clients that well?

Not that staffers at the Borg are not nice folks too, but I'd rather keep my local yard in business. In about a week the rest of the lumber and sheet goods will be delivered (it will take me about that long before I will be ready for them.
Thanks for checking in!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Shopping trip and thoughts on Shop Power

Welcome back,
I had a busy 4 days at the 'office' this week, and while it wasn't quite the 'last thing I want to do is type on a danged computer', it was close. A lot has happened in this 4 day week, and yet Nothing has happened this week.

A big thank you to everyone who has chimed in on my shop project with all the kind words and support! Unfortunately, the yard looks pretty much as it did the other day. I still haven't got my permit renewed, and it looks like I won't for at least another week yet. I'm going to go ahead and have some lumber delivered tomorrow just the same. I am going to stage the PT near the eventual shop site on top of those pallets. The 6 sheets of plywood will go in the shed, which I'm going to have to dun out tomorrow if it doesn't rain. (if it rains, only the PT comes home)

As you can see, I made a fastener run to the local Hiawatha Fasteners. I picked up two sizes of drywall screws, plus two sizes of pan heads for use with the Kreg Jig, and then some silver coated 2" deck screws. Honestly, only the deck screws are for the shop itself, the rest just kind of jumped in the basket. $35 invested in the shop. I would have picked up some nails, but I wasn't sure yet which size to buy. Since I"m working in Sillycuse the next few weeks, I could drop some serious cash there, considering it is 'on the way' . I'll need to see what kind of nailer I can rent/beg/borrow before I buy too many nails, though. The deck screws are going to secure the flooring to the joists, every 6" to 8". I think for that job I'm going to 'hire' my middle stepson, as well as pick up a new tailed drill if I can find one I like on sale.

Jimmy (Wooder) on the WWA asked about power, which caused me a bit of concern. I knew I would need power, but hadn't figured out the particulars. A flurry of posts on FWW entitled "Electrical Question" resulted in my feeling Much better about supplying power to the shop. To sum up, with my likely tools, I'm going to be 'ok' at least initially with pulling 60 Amps out to the shop, the house's load is such that I can pull the shop power and not have to upgrade the house power (yet). The line drop over the distance from the main box to the shop is a concern. Marty of The 'Birth of a Shop' mega thread fame, expressed concern about the health of my tools if I choose to 'rough it' (live off of extension cord) until I can afford to truly pull power out to the shop.
Marty, you'll be glad to know that I'm rethinking the location of the shop. I chose the 'far' corner of the yard for the sake of it being comparatively drier than this spot.

pardon the unique items I chose to block out the rough site of the shop, but dark was fast approaching and I just grabbed whatever was handy. That spot just meets setback requirements from the far property line, the House and the existing brown shed. I'm going to have to check with the Codes inspector if that site will work or not, but IIRC it should work well. I'm 11 ft from the house, which in my mind is the most important clearance. It is 6' measured diagonally from the corner of the brown shed as well as.

I'm seriously considering moving the existing shed, as it is only resting on several concrete blocks. I'm thinking that jacking it up and sliding a couple of runners under it and dragging it about 10' or so to the north, which would then let me get the same 10' from 'everything' clearance from the house and the lines. I'm also considering joining the two structures with a 'breezeway for more storage. if I built a 4' wide by 10' deep connection, I could use that for my compressor and DC storage. I just need to figure out if I can do that and still please the Code. The more I think of that the more I like it. I hope I can pull that off. It would avoid the problem of a lean-to which would eat up more yard space. Honestly, that 6' clearance would be a waste 99% of the time. I'll still need to move the existing shed a few feet no matter what, unless I put the shop toward the center of the yard, which I'd prefer not to do, but it may come down to that. If I put the shop there, I'll definitely have to have a load of stone brought in, In the other end of the yard I could get away with just bricks, but that corner of the yard is the 'wet' one, and more drastic measures are needed.

Luckily It looks like affording 'more' shop is going to be easier. My new job just took an interesting turn, one which has a double edge to it. On one hand, I am now authorized more hours for OT including weekends if I want to work them, but certainly 'overtime' during the week. Lori and I will have to work out what days will work best for doing that, but I'll be putting in lots of time no matter what for the foreseeable future. The downside of course is that I won't have as much time to devote to the shop if I'm in the field working. I've set a goal, however, which should net a nice tidy sum by the middle of July, and again in August with my company's bonus program. Basically the more building records I produce, the better I get paid. I'm going to be 'making hay' while the sun is shining, or until the Overtime Budget shuts down. (basically all summer). Luckily I'm more inclined to pull 10 or 12 hour days for a good cause, and a better shop and fatter bank account qualifies. If I need a day off every now and then I'll take one, but I'm going to 'stay out' until I hit my goal every day. Lately I've been staying until I get 20 per day. My new goal this next week is 25 to 30 properties per day if I can swing it.

See y'all tomorrow, with more pics!

Thanks for looking!