Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bed Area 3

We have now had a few days without new snowfall! This gives me real hours of the day to work on things, rather than simply moving snow around all day.

I think it would be nice if more of my projects went smoothly, start to finish. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. This morning was a case in point. I went out to the JayBee this morning thinking I was going to quickly finish driving screws into the walls around the bed area. While I was trying to figure out why the two walls at the head of the bed just were not coming together as they should, it suddenly became clear. I had drawn one of my guidelines on the floor in the wrong place! This one line affected both walls. I sat for a moment, discouraged, and pondering whether I could make do with things as they were. In the end, I decided the mistake would not do; I had to start over. That one line being off by almost a half an inch on one end was affecting lots of things related to those walls, the bed, and the closet. Thankfully, I hadn't fully installed those two walls yet. I unscrewed them from the floor and set the small wall aside. I had to shorten the longer wall by almost half an inch, and reposition a couple of the studs. This did not take as long as I feared. Before noon I had the walls rebuilt and the whole bed area framed in.

Then, I sat on a stool like I was laying down on the bed, and I looked out the windows.

::: contented sigh :::

On to staining more shingles. Fun, fun.

Also see:
Bed Area 1
Bed Area 2

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bed Area 2

Here is the first bed area wall installed. This wall helps define the southwest corner at the foot of the bed.

The second wall is at the head of the bed. It also defines the very narrow closet that will be behind the head of the bed. The closet will hold my table and chairs. Since the back end of the closet would be inaccessible from the closet door end, I have other plans for the space. Part of the wall is purposely short so I will be able to install bookshelves up between the loft joists and over the head of the bed. I will leave the lower part of the back end of the closet accessible from under the bed.

I was working on the third and final bed area wall when I had to quit early. My drill/driver's battery completely died. I've ordered some new batteries, and I hope to finish up the third wall over the weekend.

Also see:
Bed Area 1
Bed Area 3

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bed Area 1

The apparent simplicity of these drawings of the walls around the bed area in the JayBee belie the amount of thinking and re-thinking that has gone into them.

Every fraction of an inch around the bed area of the JayBee is vital and, since the walls around that area are not load bearing, I have decided that I should build them out of 2x3s instead of 2x4s. I have an old stash of 2x3s that I can use for this but, wouldn't you know, they are stored out in the garage. Have any brilliant ideas how I can get to them?

I ended up wading through the thigh-deep snow up around the west end of the JayBee and then behind the huge snowbank. From the garage, I threw 2x3s up over the snowbank.

I crawled through the snow back to the driveway. From there, I retrieved the 2x3s, wiped them down, and moved them into the JayBee. Exhausting!

I thought I might start building walls today but, surprise, surprise, I was greeted by more snow this morning. Snow moving comes first!

Also see:
Bed Area 2
Bed Area 3

Anatomy of an Ice Dam

Due to the huge ice dams on the old house at the moment, some water has been leaking inside the house from time to time. I knew from the forecast that last Sunday would actually get above freezing. I didn't want any more snow adding to the ice dams and water damage, so I decided the snow just had to come off the roof. Sunday began with a new batch of snow--of course.

The first accessible rung on the ladder was over five feet off the ground. I ended up carving out foot holds into the snow so I could climb the ladder.

The upper part of the ladder has become part of the ice dam, so the ladder felt very secure.

I like looking at the JayBee from up on the roof. Doesn't it look like a dollhouse?

Good view of the river from up here.

Once I cleared the snow off the roof, I could clearly see that the ice dams are up to three feet wide. The upper edges are one to two inches thick, so they easily trap water that has run down the roof, rather than letting it drain off.

The outside edges of the ice dams are ten to twelve inches thick, further trapping any water that tries to drain.

Case in point. When the sun came out and starting melting ice and snow (it got up to 35 degrees on Sunday--yippee!), puddles starting forming. The water backs up underneath the asphalt shingles, so the shingles are actually part of the ice dam. As long as the weather stays cold, there is no good way to get the ice dams off the roof that won't also take the shingles with it.

By the time I was done cleaning off the roof, the sun had melted the remaining snow. Those ice dams are not going anywhere any time soon, however.

Once I climbed back down to the ground, I had to move a lot of that snow again, of course. Five hours of shoveling on Sunday. Enough!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Don't Worry; I'm Fine

When I don't post to this blog for a few days, I start to get phone calls. "You haven't posted. Are you okay?" Even though it is not beyond the realm of possibility that I could be stuck in a snowbank somewhere, I am not. I am fine. Everything here is fine. Buried under snow, yes. More snow on the way, yes. But fine.

I continue to spend part of every day moving snow around. I was shocked to find this fresh snow when I stepped outside yesterday. By sundown the previous day, the plow guy and I had cleared out all of the snowfall from the prior storm. If more snow had been forecast to fall overnight, I had missed hearing about it.

I have cleared the snow off the roof of the JayBee a few times. With my new, lightweight roof rake, I can stand on the hillside to the north of the JayBee (see the stomped-down path in the foreground below) and clear the entire north side of the JayBee's roof.

I know I have thoroughly documented the tall snowbanks this winter.

When I was up on a ladder the other day, I decided to capture a different perspective. The banks still stand six to seven feet tall, but I have been regularly knocking the tops of each snowbank back over the back side. The result is that these snowbanks are ten to twelve feet thick from front to back. Quite a stunning amount of snow.

I have been thinking a lot about this line from the song Joy Parade: "I will live what this life's about, with or without." I feel like it has become my mantra.

Most of my JayBee-building time has been spent staining siding shingles. No pictures, though. After awhile, a pile of stained shingles looks the same as any other pile of stained shingles.

Since I plan to install trim boards on the outside corners of the JayBee, I began working on them. The tricky part will be cutting the tops of the boards to fit around the roof rafters that support the corners of the eaves--like this one, for example.

I decided to experiment with scraps of trim first. It's a good thing, because these first two pieces I cut...

are not right. At least I didn't ruin two nice 10-foot pieces of trim in the process. Back to the drawing board.

I also decided to begin framing the bed area in the JayBee. Even with moving out and staining eight or more bundles of shingles, the bed area in the JayBee was still crowded with shingles.

Until today, that is. I moved the shingles from the bed area to the kitchen area.

Now I have some maneuvering/constructing room.

Other odds and ends...

Even though it has been exceptionally cold and windy for an extended period of time, the birds have been singing a lot. And the robins are positively fat.

More tracks heading to and from the JayBee, even though I see no sign of critters inside the JayBee.

More Kennebec River winter shots...

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Blizzard that Wasn't

I woke up the other morning remembering that I'd had a dream about melting snow with cedar-colored stain. Not so surprising, I guess, since snow and stain are playing a prominent part in my life at the moment. I also remembered that, in my dream, I'd had some brilliant new idea about how to use metal flashing. Unfortunately, I cannot remember just what the brilliant idea is!

I know other states, and even southern and downeast Maine, received a lot of snow from the blizzard over the weekend. Not so here, where we only got two inches or so. For us, a big to-do about nothing. The wind continues to be insane, though, so I have to keep limiting my outdoor-exposure time.

What really struck me today was the river. Normally, it looks all smoothly white. Today it looks all ruffled up--like herds of animals played a soccer game on it or something. That's how strong and gusty the wind is; it is leaving its mark all over the river.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Window Trim 6

It snowed all day yesterday. Even with the sun and blue, cloudless sky today, it was frigid cold--below zero with the wind chill. Another blizzard is in the forecast for the weekend. Yippee!

A couple days ago, I installed the flashing above the east end bumpout window.

Today was the day to implement my plan for flashing the north side window. I really did not want to try to wrestle a ladder behind the JayBee in waist deep snow. I decided instead to install the flashing by hanging out of the north window.

My plan worked so much easier in my mind than it did in reality. I could reach to hammer the nails that were in the middle of the flashing, but I had so much difficulty reaching the far ends. I tried a dozen different ways of hanging out those windows, but the windows were in the way. I told myself to leave the last few nails and housewrap tape until spring, and I thought I had given in to that idea. But...I just could not be denied! Finally, after much rigamarole, I finished.

Also see:
Window Trim 1
Window Trim 2
Window Trim 3
Window Trim 4
Window Trim 5
Window Trim 7
Window Trim 8
Window Trim 9

Every moment I have not been creating the flashing, I have been staining siding shingles. I have gotten much more creative in how I stack the shingles for drying, so I have been able to stain three to four times as many shingles per batch.

I have boxes of stained shingles stacking up all over the place.

After I finished the flashing on the north side window today, I climbed the hill behind the JayBee and shot this picture over the roofs, overlooking the river.

It was strange to look down at the JayBee--and see straight through it to the snow on the south side.

These mysterious tracks were leading to/from the JayBee. They don't look like cat tracks. Hmmm.

Where do you think this weekend's snow will go?