Sunday, May 13, 2012

Get with the times

This is another catch up post but chockablock full of building goodies. I left you all hanging on the detail while we were madly framing and stacking bales. Today, I'll go back over the framing period and **sometime soon** I'll get up details of our bale stacking.

So, to backtrack: we'd assembled and erected 2 walls in the lounge / study area. Sol got back a few days later and we started by skinning the E-W lounge wall with 7mm structural ply. This will form a large part of the diagonal bracing for the whole building. With about 5 bazillion clouts in it (all to engineer's specification...sheesh), it aint moving a millimetre.

count the clouts...
Next, we got onto constructing the wall betwixt bath and bed rooms. Standard procedure is to measure up the space, draw out the stud / noggin configuration and calculate the member sizes from there. Then we cut the lengths, removing the dodgy knots and uber-curvy bits and lay it all out on the floor. That way, you can see any obvious whoopsies before sinking a single nail. Stud frames this size soon take on a fair bit of weight and the bed/bath wall needed some sturdy ropes over the rafters to get it vertical. Ditto with the previous lounge/study wall. We purposely left out a few key studs, nogs and jack studs to allow room for the drill to screw and bolt this baby to the steel posts. I tells ya - drilling or screwing into 8mm thick steel with a battery drill is sloooooooooow work. Just ask Dana...:)

nearly ready to lift
and now in place
Anyway, Sol and I next moved on to building the wall between bedroom and pantry/linen cupboard. This time we had to leave a big hole in the wall to allow the whole shebang to fit around the eastern bed head column. Once she was flying, Sol took off for a few more days and Dana and I continued with the boxing on top of the rock walls. This carpentry was pretty straight forward but I/we did forget a few times to either put insulation in the boxing BEFORE attaching the top lid, or remember to put insulation in but forget to lay the pallet strapping under the boxing before locking the whole thing down. I hate doing things twice...

watch out for that rock
have we remembered everything?
I sure hope so
phew...all present
So too does Sol. His original coil nailer had been playing up on the early sheeting and he'd taken the plunge on a new one. Getting the bugger to nail to the right depth took a few hours of nailing, adjusting and nailing again. Meantime I just kept on boxing. After lunch that day, we moved on to the wall between pantry/linen and the outside world. Measured and cut, Sol got the thing attached and I finished off the *new and improved* window bucks in my study. A few stout applications of the universal adapter saw these babies wedged firmly between roof structure and wall boxing. Another item never going to move again!

pantry wall skinned

they staying for good now
The final part of the puzzle before our lovely carpenter retired to the mad pre XMAS rush of his other jobs and businesses was the walling around pantry/laundry/kitchen. We made these in 3 parts - laundry/entry, laundry/pantry (both N-S) and then the E-W wall to the kitchen. Of course, I had misplaced the dimensions of our fridge, so I got Dana to measure at home and text me the sizings. Fridge nook will now happily accommodate our food preserving cold box and a few brooms, etc to boot.

the belt adjusting's the new craze
We were also in a bit of a rush. We'd made the decision to pull the pin on city life a bit early. Running two dwellings, two larders, two gardens and two separate lives had been taking a large emotional and financial toll. Dana was packing boxes every night and running up with a full car every weekend. I was toiling on the tools all day and writing/blogging/bucket-washing/reading by night. So; movers organised for the big stuff, 3T truck booked for the garden stuff and helpers booked to clean up; we took the plunge and relocated to the shouse.

bucks galore

getting pretty solid looking

Sol fixing my f**kups
Although we spent a lot of time organising our new abode (well, new for Dana...I'd been camped there for quite a while), we still found a few hours here and there to keep on with the big build. Best of all, Sol had left his compressor and air tools behind for us (what a guy) and I wanted to make best use of them before he repo-ed his gear and we had to resort to hand nailing again (like it used to be done in the good old days!).

John's study takes form

like a forest...

...that gets filled in
The final bit of today's story is the-workshop-that-never-was. A few months earlier, I'd booked in the building inspector to check off on our framing. Delays from slab finishing, house moving, life in general (and my eternal underestimation of the time and complexity of bespoke building) had meant that we were becoming unlikely to get the framing ready before inspection. Blowing out the inspector was one easy phone call. Blowing out all of the good souls who'd agreed to put aside a December weekend to help us stack our straw bales was a little harder. However, common sense prevailed and we rescheduled our baling workshop for the indefinite future.

Dana's study shaping up

the devil is in the detail

sticks and more sticks
Further common sense is that I've written enough for now and will leave the rest of the framing detail for the next post. Until then, ciao...


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