Saturday, March 12, 2011

Major Hurdles

As with anything, there's a wrong way to do it, a passable way, and a best way.  Building a house is full of such examples.
The 'Ridge Pole' is the spine to the house.  It holds up the summit of the roof.  The wrong way to do it is to toenail short pieces between trusses and hope the roof decking holds the whole thing together.  Good luck.  Passable, and present in the vast majority of homes built since WWII, is a small 2x4 or 6 that holds premade trusses together.  The strength comes from the trusses, not the ridge pole---the ridge pole just holds the trusses in place.  This is OK, except trusses are mass produced out of short pieces held together with gusset plates.  If one piece fails due to fire, rot, termites, or careless handymen installing a can light, the whole thing fails.
The best way is a big, solid beam supported on the ends and maybe even the middle, and instead of trusses you have rafters hanging off it with collar ties adding even more support.
Big solid beams are heavy.
I've been anxious about this stage since I started.  It was a challenge with the first cabin, but at least it was downhill from the woodpile, and the framing affered some steps so I could do it incrementally.  The beam was 4"x12"x22' and I was 8 years younger.  This one's 6"x12"x24'.

Getting the beam from the driveway at home up to the building site was hard and involved further abuse of my old truck.  Moving slowly and carefully I got it to the base of the cabin.  The jinn is built from some 4"x6"'s and tall enough to get the beam over the wall.  Pulleys and a come-along made slow but safe work out of lifting the beam---my guess is 500-600 pounds.
After the beam was over the top of the wall, I could slide it a little at a time up the gable frames. 

It slid easily enough up to the top.  Then it was a matter of turning it, lifting it, and dropping it into the bracket, all 28' in the air.
   There's been roadblocks lately---huge snowstorms, storm damage at the cabin, AnnaMarie's health issues, work stuff, etc.  All the pent up frustration was drawn upon to set the beam in place. 
   Good weather's coming.  The time change will give another hour daylight.  We're slowly figuring out AM's health issue since the car accident.  The ridge pole is in; work accelerates because you can hang stuff from it, tie a safety line to it, and measure off of it as needed.


Tina said...

Amazing. It must feel good to get something like that up and working. I'd expect hammering things into place is good for frustration :)

Continued prayers for AM.

Brenna said...

We were all entertained and intrigued by von Danniken, but his hypothesis that we needed alien help is actually pretty insulting