Sunday, August 31, 2014

Roof Rafters 18

Are you tired of seeing new posts that start with "Roof Rafters..."? Look at it this way: You cannot possibly be more sick of roof rafters than I am.

Before I could shift gears from the dormers to the roof rafters on the west and east ends of the JayBee, I first removed the ladders and the scaffolding from the living room area...and reveled in the fact that the dormers are done.




Then I turned my attention to end rafters. Aargh...remember these?


I installed the last rafter on the west end of the JayBee, and began installing blocking between the end rafters.


I wish I could say the west end was completely done once the blocking was done on the west end...


...but, alas, I still have to trim the rafter tails. While I was on a roll, though, I started installing blocking on the north side of the JayBee.


And, from the inside looking out.


Also see:
Roof Rafters 1
Roof Rafters 2
Roof Rafters 3
Roof Rafters 4
Roof Rafters 5
Roof Rafters 6
Roof Rafters 7
Roof Rafters 8
Roof Rafters 9
Roof Rafters 10
Roof Rafters 11
Roof Rafters 12
Roof Rafters 13
Roof Rafters 14
Roof Rafters 15
Roof Rafters 16
Roof Rafters 17
Roof Rafters 19
Roof Rafters 20
Roof Framing Wrap-Up


This time of year, caterpillars of all types keep showing up in my work area.


At one point while I was installing blocking, I saw this creature crawling up the wall toward me.




Yikes! What is he, exactly? I knocked him off the wall, down onto the ground. When I later climbed back up into the rafters to install the next block, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if that creature has crawled back up here?" Not so funny. Either the same one had, indeed, crawled back up, or there was another one up there. I knocked it to the ground. Later, I felt something on my hand; when I turned to look, there was one crawling on my hand! Still don't know what they are!

When I was putting things away for the day, I noticed this spiderweb inside a cinderblock. Sitting near the table saw, it has caught a lot of fine sawdust. If you look closely, you will see that there are actually two webs stacked in this tube.


I put a new tarp over the JayBee's west end today. Here is George frolicking on the tarp--as he loves to do!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pantry Cabinet 8

After much experimentation, I decided I will paint the JayBee's kitchen cabinets a light green color. I am mixing a custom color of milk paint, and I have mixed it to be thinner than paint but thicker than a wash--so the wood grain bleeds through a little. I started by painting all the adjustable shelves that sit in the back of the pantry cabinet, and then adding three coats of poly whey. Here is one of the shelves.


See how well the color coordinates with the tiles I will use as a backsplash over the kitchen counter and stove?


I next focused on the insides of the doors because I was anticipating a houseful of company--and I needed a place to get my spices put away. (They had all been sitting on my kitchen table since I brought the pantry cabinet into my house and displaced my spice cabinet.)


In addition to applying all the coats of paint and poly whey, I cut shelf liners to fit each of the various shelves.

I got the insides of the doors done before company arrived--so the spices have a home. Painting the rest of the cabinet will wait for future rainy days.


Also see:
Pantry Cabinet 1
Pantry Cabinet 2
Pantry Cabinet 3
Pantry Cabinet 4
Pantry Cabinet 5
Pantry Cabinet 6
Pantry Cabinet 7

Dormer Wrap Up 2

I installed the nailers along the diagonal valley rafters in the south dormer today. Here's a look at all the nailers (on the right) down the southeast valley rafter.


When I put the sheathing on the outside of the dormers, each valley rafter forms a tiny air pocket where it crosses over the top plate on the wall.


I filled each of those air pockets with insulation while they were more accessible--before applying the sheathing.


Half of the sheathing done on the south dormer...


The south dormer is now done!


Also see:
Dormer Wrap Up 1


For those following the adventures of my cats...

It has not been George's summer. He has crashed to the floor of the JayBee twice after climbing into the rafters. He has been scared out of his wits numerous times when the neighbor's dog randomly comes running through the yard. Yesterday, the DOG ran up the driveway and excitedly circled George--and George did not wake up from his nap! I was up in the JayBee's rafters at the time. I thought that George had to be dead not to wake up with a large dog bouncing and breathing heavily around him. But, then, I saw his paw twitch and I realized he was just sleeping very soundly. He looked like this...


I was afraid the dog would jump on him, so I was yelling at the dog and yelling at the dog's owner. George still didn't wake up. Two or three minutes after all the commotion was completely over and all was quiet, George woke and sat up. He must have then smelled the dog because he ran off to hide!

Finally, last night, George ended up getting sprayed by a skunk. He has enough stink on him that, if you pet him, your hand stinks afterwards. Poor guy. It's tough getting old--and not being as on top of your game as you once were.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dormer Wrap Up 1

I have been working on the finishing touches on the two dormers. I am installing nailer boards on the four diagonal rafters.


The top edges of the nailers are sloped at a different angle than the top edge of the diagonal rafters--to catch the edge of the roof sheathing I will install on the dormers.


My brother caught me up in the dormer rafters.


I am also installing blocking between the dormer rafters--before installing the plywood sheathing on the outside of the dormers.


The north dormer is now done!


Halfway through installing the blocks on the south dormer...


All the south dormer blocks are now done.


Also see:
Dormer Wrap Up 2

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rainy Day Project: Rocking Chair 1

August in Maine is usually dry, sometimes dangerously dry. Not this August. I have lost a lot of building time to rain. I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs, though. One of the projects I have been working on is a rocking chair that I plan to use in the JayBee.

A lot of tiny houses save space by making all the furniture built in to the tiny spaces. Often in the living area this means the seating is a bench with a cushion. This would never work for me! I'm no longer young, and I see a chiropractor on a regular basis as it is; I need to have seats that are comfortable and provide good back support.

Below is a rocker (minus its cushions) that I've had for years. It has a smaller footprint than most rockers (so will be easier to fit into a tiny house), and it is comfortable. As you can see, the chair has seen better days. Unfortunately, the caning had been stained the same color as the wood on the chair (something you are never supposed to do!), so it had become really brittle. The stain has been shedding off the caning for years (making quite a mess, thank you very much), and the caning was broken in a number of spots. The chair really needed a makeover.


First, I removed all the caning from the back and sides. This takes a long time!


Then, I removed the worn out and torn upholstery in the seat.


I installed new cane webbing in one side of the chair...


...and in the other side as well. If you approach this step with patience, it actually goes pretty quickly.


I installed new cane webbing in the back of the chair. At this point, I left the caning alone to let it dry completely before trimming the edges.


The springs were in really good shape but, on their own, they moved around a lot, so I used lacing (from my rug-braiding supplies) to stabilize the springs by tying them to the sides of the chair.


I covered the springs with a piece of canvas.


On top of that, I layered some batting, some memory foam, and another layer of canvas. (I already had the canvas, memory foam, and batting, so none of these things cost me anything.)


I added some jute trim around three edges of the seat. (I also added a layer of canvas to the underside of the chair.)


Then I built a padded bumper for the front edge of the chair. The seat and back cushions will be covered with the same fabric as the bumper.


Finally, I trimmed the edges of the cane webbing in the back and sides of the chair. This step took a long time!


If it keeps raining, I guess I will have time to sew the chair cushions. I'll post a rocker update when the cushions are done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Roof Rafters 17

I trimmed up the rafter tail ends on the north dormer today. At first, I thought it was going to be a quick job because I had the routine down after finishing up the south dormer. Turns out, though, that maneuvering a ladder along the slippery hillside on the north side of the JayBee is really difficult. At least I got the job done.


After I trimmed the rafters, I took a slew of measurements so I can cut some sheathing to cover the wall side of the dormer.

Also see:
Roof Rafters 1
Roof Rafters 2
Roof Rafters 3
Roof Rafters 4
Roof Rafters 5
Roof Rafters 6
Roof Rafters 7
Roof Rafters 8
Roof Rafters 9
Roof Rafters 10
Roof Rafters 11
Roof Rafters 12
Roof Rafters 13
Roof Rafters 14
Roof Rafters 15
Roof Rafters 16
Roof Rafters 18
Roof Rafters 19
Roof Rafters 20
Roof Framing Wrap-Up


When I heard some bald eagles making quite a ruckus, I looked up and saw three other raptors flying around. (Only caught two of them in this photo.) Not sure exactly what these are; they look bigger (and certainly differently colored) than bald eagles. Looks like the eagles have some competition. This is exciting. When I first moved here, it was rare to see bald eagles. Now, not only are there a lot of bald eagles, I guess there are also other raptors moving in.


George came into the JayBee this afternoon while I was up in the rafters and talked up a storm. At one point I said, "I hope you're not thinking about climbing up here." (Remember, the last time he did that, he ended up falling instead of climbing back down to the floor.) Well, I turned around, and this is what I saw--George climbing the ladder.


When he got to the top of the ladder, instead of climbing up onto the scaffolding or ceiling joists,


he immediately started trying to find a way back down.


He actually tried to go down the slick side of the ladder, instead of hopping down the rungs--which basically meant he slipped and fell to the bottom! Goodness, this cat is going to end up breaking a leg! He seems to have survived this latest fiasco okay.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Roof Rafters 16

How does a woman who has received a diagnosis of severe carpal tunnel in both wrists, and already knew she has severe arthritis in both thumbs build a house by herself? The same way she has been doing it all along--one step at a time, with judicious use of clamps and such to make it as easy and doable as possible.

Further progress on the south dormer...



Today I managed to trim the rafter tails on the south dormer. What a struggle! I was out there in the bright sun, the air wasn't moving at all. I had to move the ladder inside, then outside, then inside, then outside. Several times, I had to retreat from the sun and sweat just so I could breathe. Finally, I was done. This may not seem like much, but I had been worried that I wouldn't figure out a way to cut all the rafter tails to the same length, so this feels like quite an accomplishment.


The JayBee has a new cover! All that dragging of the tarps back and forth over the ridge board and rafters had popped quite a few holes, and rain was starting to leak in. Did I remove a layer or two in the process? No; I couldn't scare up the energy to do that. I wore myself out just getting the new layer up there. So, there are now four layers of tarps that I'm dragging back and forth.


Also see:
Roof Rafters 1
Roof Rafters 2
Roof Rafters 3
Roof Rafters 4
Roof Rafters 5
Roof Rafters 6
Roof Rafters 7
Roof Rafters 8
Roof Rafters 9
Roof Rafters 10
Roof Rafters 11
Roof Rafters 12
Roof Rafters 13
Roof Rafters 14
Roof Rafters 15
Roof Rafters 17
Roof Rafters 18
Roof Rafters 19
Roof Rafters 20
Roof Framing Wrap-Up


Every time I move a tarp around, George (and sometimes Bear) comes running over so he can crawl under it. Even when it is baking in the sun!