Saturday, October 10, 2020

Building A Barn

Three years ago . . . 


I built a 12 X 16 foot tool shed for my friend Benjamin .


Then his brother in law built a nice house for him a couple years ago.

He then bought an old Ford 8N , I wonder where he got that idea ?

For which he built a shed . Came out pretty good too considering it was his first solo build .


Then last year he got the notion that a barn would be a handy thing to have. So he got some foundation pads and crushed rock laid out , and started pecking away at the sills .

Then he shouldered a bigger challenge .

Which made progress slow to a crawl . Lots of pondering and questions back and forth via e-mail so I figured it was time to make the hour drive up to Richmond and see what all the fuss was about .

Of course just looking it over was not enough so we labored on Labor Day . Spent a couple hours checking it for square and level and tweaking things a bit here and there . Then we did some heavy lifting . Just don't let my spinal surgeon see that .

 That there monstrosity we were moving was one of Ben's creations made out of sopping wet green hemlock . . . .

 . . . in order to make lifting equally wet and heavy hemlock beams into place on top of the posts he had previously installed .

They did work pretty slick once positioned as needed .

Trouble was moving them was a royal PITA but it made lifting the hemlock beams into place a breeze

Took some finessing to get some beams to fight right .

Well , its not like we are building pianos here anyhow

By the end of that day we got all six beams up in place . No small task considering they were probably three hundred pounds a piece .

 He then ordered some much lighter 2 X 8 X 12 kiln dried spruce and made some progress on his own . Built two tripled up beams and got a couple rim joists up . Which only resulted in more questions .

So last Sunday we made the journey back up to Richmond and after some adjustments set about making some headway .

 I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for that sort of monkey business .

But if its gonna get done right . . .

Tripled up , glued and spiked 2 X 8 X 12 KD Spruce headers , so much lighter than that wet hemlock .

Even so , the look on my face says it all .

Its strange but that guy looks frightfully like my own father .

Never mind that . . . . get to work .

And that's right when I smashed my finger into the head of another protruding nail as I was looking into the sun and could only make out the profile of the spike I was trying to drive home .

By two PM we got all six tripled up beams and the rim joists up in place so while Ben went to get us some lunch . . .

Annie and I got thirty two more common joists trimmed to size and ready to be installed .

And that's why I hurt at the end of the day .

Making headway quickly now .

By three thirty we had them all up .

Satisfaction . . . that's enough pain for one day .

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Chimney cap

 The coolie hat chimney cap I built for my PROPANE TANK WOOD STOVE lasted all of two years.

Galvanized sheet metal . . . yea POS . . Time to solve that problem .
A scrap piece of expanded stainless steel sheet I had left over from another project gets rolled into a cylinder .
An old aluminum non stick wok that lost its non-stikedness minus its handle
Three bent up L's pop riveted to the pan and bolted to the expanded SS sheet cylinder
There , that should last a bit longer than a couple years .
Hows that for rolling in dough Mr Filthie-cus?

Friday, September 25, 2020

Wire clamp tool

 Yea you can use hose clamps but that means you have to have the right size at hand. And those are quite bulky so they snag on stuff. There is a slicker way to do the job .

Wire will work but it has to be tight.


To accomplish that you use a tool like this one that runs about $70 on line. . .  yea a bit steep I say.

This is the general idea on how it is used.... I figure I can build something like that
Find a scrap  five inch length of 1/16th wall half inch aluminum pipe and jamb a thinner piece of copper tube inside it to take up some slack .
A scrap piece of 1/4 SS dowel cut to about inch and a half . Make a slot in one end  and it will become the tip of the tool.
Drill and pin the SS tip with a roll pin . Then mill out a slot about two inches long in the tube .
The Harbor-Fright mini-mill comes in handy occasionally .
A five inch length of quarter inch threaded rod drilled and pinned with another roll pin and a wing nut completes the job .
A 24 inch piece of SS safety wire bent into a U and double wrapped around the joint , then the slotted tip of the tool goes in the U of the wire, and the two wire tabs are wrapped over the first roll pin , around the second one and twisted together . Then wind up on the butterfly nut to draw it tight while being careful to line up the wires correctly on the joint .
When it is good and tight, flip it over to set the clamp , trim the wire tabs off and press the ends down into the hose .
Et voila !!
Except when you are a hack like me and your cross hole on the threaded rod is not quite centered so the end sheers off after a couple uses .
No problem , a carriage bolt with the head cut off and a properly centered hole works better anyhow .
A nylon washer makes the wingnut turn easier . Grind the SS tip on a bevel so it can get closer to the hose .
There, now I can mend the splits in my garden hoses. And I was even with it enough to remember to slip on a piece of heat shrink tube before clamping the joint together . Does make for a slick repair job .
Here is a video showing how to use the tool