Barn Raising

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All hands on to raise the final exterior wall.

And here we have ourselves a bona fide building! Blessed with yet another bluebird summer day, we framed up and raised the remaining three exterior stud walls, and also began work on our first interior wall which will enclose the workshop and tractor bay. The Barn is really taking shape.

While it looks mighty impressive, we’re actually a touch behind schedule, thanks to a couple of minor setbacks. Early today, as Colin and I assembled headers for the garage doors (two 2x10s on end over a flat 2×6), the nail gun went belly up. Compressed air leaking, apparently near the trigger. Terry took the gun apart and fiddled a little, to no avail. That’s when I found out about an agreement that I admire very much. Here’s the potential problem: a broken tool cripples the flow of construction, and you lose even more time struggling to fix it, or arguing who should buy a new one. To avert this catastrophe, the owner (Colin) promised before construction began that he will pay the contractor (Terry) for all tool replacements, immediately. A terrific display of foresight and trust. So today Terry simply ran to the nearest store, bought his dream nail gun on Colin’s credit card, and returned in 45 minutes. It must be said, with over ten years of daily use, that old nailer didn’t owe him anything.

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Santa came early this year !

 

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Terry back on pace with his new nailer.

The second bit of drama occurred just after lunch when we broke the fourth wall. (Pun intended.) Terry was in his zone framing up a window, and he’d shot a couple nails into the header through the adjacent stud when he realized the header was cut wrong. I think we’d inadvertently set the chop saw at a 1° angle and let this piece of header go through before we realized our mistake. Colin immediately set about removing the nails so he could access the header edge, shave off the excess material, and re-frame the window correctly. Now, in a battle between a steely nail shot from a brand-new pneumatic gun and a soft piece of lumber, the nail wins big time. Colin had to dig way into the stud with a cat’s paw, scratching around half an inch deep until he caught the nail head. At this point the nail pulled out easily, and perfectly straight, but left a mess of a stud behind. No sense trying to replace the stud… we worked around the missing section to reassemble the frame. Fortunately there’s plenty of redundancy built into the system.

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The damage.

Cole came by in the afternoon and lent a fourth pair of hands to the operation. We needed all the strength we could find to raise the final wall, by far the heaviest due to its 40-foot length and three hefty header beams. Then we got a head start framing up the interior wall before evening commitments encroached, and at 5:30 we called it a day.

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Connecting the perpendicular walls.

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Artsy shot, framing Colin, Cole, and Camel’s Hump between studs.

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