Friday, April 17, 2020
So in with the windows. Four nice basement units that open and with screens! One in three to go. Thanks to my friend Jerry for the suggestion and lead on these from Menards. I was going with just some ol' unframed thermo panes. These will open and let in some air as well as the light. Simple 2x4 frame and then some aluminum trim. Will flash the top with steel that matches the shed color when it gets here
View from the outside of the shed. The windows face the south so the flashing will have a 8 inch overhang to cut down on the direct rays of the sun heating up the workshop in the summer. I hope.
Three inches of fiberglass insulation on the two interior walls.
Then cover the insulation with 1/2" OSB. This will be painted and make a nice place to hang tools.
Notice the clean space. This workshop will never look like this after today as I start the process of placing the machines and tools.
One more set of shelves to add and then can start the process of moving tools and machines into the area. Plan to spray foam the two outside walls and the ceiling. Then after I decide on the machine placement I will wire up the outlets.
Will be going back to work on Cabin #6 now and post a picture or two of the finished workshop after the machinery is in.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
So with the post and beam system up it was time to stud in the 40 foot wall. I like the look of the braces so I will use 2x4's for the wall and this way the post and beams will stick out 3 inches after the 3/4" sheathing is nailed on.
The 10 foot sliding doors for this wall are made out of insulated garage door panels. The Amish around here use them around the perimeter of their green houses to stop the frost. At $.95 a square foot pretty good price and make a nice looking door. With the rail system I got I had to cut out a pocket on the inside of the door and put in a 2x6 piece to hold the adjusting screws coming down from the rollers. I assembled the doors on sawhorses but lifting them up by myself was going to be a challenge.
Nice door! My new continuous rope come along did the trick again. Once I had it up and off the sawhorses I could roll it into place on a couple of broom sticks.
Getting the rail attached and level was the next problem to solve and went quite well. The corner area and framing for the door made a perfect place for a time capsule and I took full advantage of the space. I just put screws in to hold the cover piece and will note that so maybe in 10 or 15 years it can be opened to read about what was going on in April of 2020 and more can be added. Like a living time capsule.
Last but not least the passageway door for the workshop. This will be used only in the heating season otherwise the door and two 10 foot sliding doors will be open to keep the air flowing and make the space more open and usable.
And as an added bonus I got 600 square feet of new storage space above the workshop.
Next up will be the wiring, lights and four windows in the South outside wall.
Thursday, April 9, 2020
So with the distraction of the wall gap taken care of it was time to get back to the 6x6 post and beam construction. There will be four panels in this wall section. The two end ones will be 10 foot wide openings where the sliding doors will go. The two center sections will be studded in, insulated and sheathed over. There will be a diagonal brace on two of the posts in the center section. My first thought was to just saw the brace pieces to a 45 and screw it in place with good ol' GRK's. But then what fun would that be? So I decided to mortise and tenon the joint and house them it to boot!
The first step in the process is to layout the tenon. This requires some careful attention to detail and direction. The housing depth will be 1/2". It might be hard to see but the small notch at the bottom right of the layout shows it. There is also a light pencil line just above the bottom cut. This will be the drop down of the tenon and cut later in the process.
Now after making several cuts with the skill saw and (because of its limited depth) finishing the cut to depth with the hand saw it was time to chisel the cheeks of the tenon to a 2" thickness. A width gauge comes in handy for checking the thickness. This allows you to insure the tenon will fit the mortise without having to lift and handle the brace piece. One down 3 to go.
With the tenons cut it was time to move on to the mortises. Lots of chisel work and a new way of thinking. Step one here is to cut the depth of the housing and then layout the location of the tenon, keeping in mind the side of the timber that I wanted the surfaces to match up and be in the same smooth plane for sheathing. This is rough sawn timber and the thickness of the pieces vary a bit. Two inch diameter holes were drilled 4 - 1/4" deep and then squared up with the corner chisel. Then the 45 degree ramp was cut to the bottom. When it is all done it looks like this and you have a new respect for the barn builders that did this many times in the process of building a big barn 100 years ago.
Four hours later, a test fit and some fine tuning and we are good to go. One brace done and one to go. I will be keeping the inside of this wall in the shop exposed as a reminder to the work of the barn builders and their skills. Notice how the housing of the end of the brace provides a positive stop and would multiply the strength of the brace. Although unnecessary for this project I just wanted to try it.
Here you can see one of the 4 panels. The post with its mortise and 15' 2x8 ceiling joists sitting on the wall ledger and top beam.
There was just one more thing to do. Before assembly I would place a dollar bill and business card in the mortise as a time capsule. Some day when they tear down this shop to open up the space in the shed for more parking they might find it. Ike, my Amish neighbor would say, "now that the fancy work is done it's time to get back to work Dick"
And that work would be to get the 80 pound 3/4" 4x8 OSB sheets of flooring up onto the ceiling joists. This would require a two step ramping, C-clamp and the scaffolding. This better work because 25 sheets will have to make this trip. Over the next few days as I make my way to the other end of the shop.
Whala! This sheet clamped in place awaiting a final push to send it over center and laying on the ceiling joists ready to position and nail down. One UP and 24 to go!
Next up? Building and hanging the sliding doors.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Thirty+ years ago I built a nice 30' by 63' pole shed and began the process of storing my "valuables". The shed and the process served me well during the warm months but in the winter it became "The Freezer" and after working on projects wearing gloves and standing by a small propane radiant heater on a 25 pound tank it was time for a change. This project has been in the works for a few months but now with the Covid -13 shelter in place rules seems like a good time to make it happen. I will be partitioning off a 15' by 40' section of the shed to be used as my new heated workshop area.
The process began with clearing a pathway along the wall for the scaffolding that will be needed to install the 40' long double 2x8 ledger for the ceiling rafters to sit on. This ledger will be attached to the 6x6 posts that are below the frost line. This is necessary because the floating slab floor lifts up during the winter freeze.
Here you can see the double 2x8 ledger in place and now I am raising the end wall frame. This is going to be pretty much of a one man project so using a lot of "low tech" mechanical lifting devises will be employed. I am using my new continuous rope puller here. The beauty of this is that unlike the standard cable come along that has a limited 10' pulling distance I can use any length of 1/2" rope. And I have plenty of rope!
Another design feature (and benefit) of the workshop will be that none of the load from "valuables" being stored above will be placed on the pole shed 2x6 bottom chord roof trusses. By using 2x8's the workshop ceiling rafter system will float above the bottom truss chords. The ends of the 2x8's coming from the ledger will sit on a post and beam system made of rough sawn 6x6's that I had from some pine logs I bough a few years ago. In the picture you can see the 5 posts and the 4 ten foot long header beams layed out on the driveway.
You may be asking why 6x6's? A couple of reasons, first there will be two 10' wide sliding doors in this wall and spanning this distance would require a double 2x10 plus a lot of 2x4's and second I already had the 6x6's. Cutting the joinery for these would also be somewhat therapeutic! So I will cut thru tenons on the top of the posts and slot the ends of the top beam. In the picture you can see the thickness gauge being used to check the thickness of the standard 2" tenon.
After the posts were cut it was time for cutting the beams. Since this is rough cut timber I decides to make the out side surface where the sliding doors would be mounted to be flush. To accomplish this I would loft the posts and beams on sleepers and then make the layout for the beam cuts.
OK so just when I was getting into it I became distracted by one of the drawbacks to my floating slab. The frost in the ground, in the winter has a nasty tendency to expand (like leaving water in a bucket outside in the winter). You know what happens, right? As the ground freezes it expands. Well over the years the ants, yes ants had been building nests on the back side of my shed. I had been doing battle with them for years. Never seeing any ants inside the shed I was content. Little did I know what was going on between the concrete slab and the bottom rim treated 2x6. They had hauled in dirt from their nest building and placed it in this tiny gap. Over the freeze thru cycles of several years and their annual nest building Mother Nature had now given me a 1" gap and bowed back wall. So now would be the time to correct it. I began by removing (with forced air) the dirt particles. The wall did not spring back as I had hoped. Another remedy would be required. WABF (Wild Ass Brut Force)! Pictured above, looking down at the floor and rim board you can see the gap and some of the particle material.
The WABF fix started out with my Kabota lawnmower but that proved to be to lite. I had to use my truck as the blocking point and then jack the wall back tight to the slab. Concrete screws secured it in place for now. Dirt will be packed in to hold it and then the screws will need to be removed because of the way floating slabs work. If the screws are not removed then the heaving slab will break the rim board and/or buckle the wall tin !
Here you can see the gap that was left on the outside when the wall was pushed back into place. Those ants will be treated to a generous portion of ant poison this year I promise.
That's if for now. More to follow in the days to come.