Saturday, September 24, 2011

17-24 September, 2011 Roofing, firewood cutting, and ???

Another busy week it seems like.  Susan and I finished the shingling on B&V's cabin.  We completed this side then about 90 percent of the other side before evening then finished the other side early the next morning.  Rain was in the forecast so we wanted to get it finished.
We kept Barbara and Victor busy running shingles up to us!

Our first crop of blackberries.  We planted these vines two years ago and finally they're bearing fruit.  Not much yet but they're going the right direction anyway.

The lawnmower hit a big clump of weeds and came to a sudden stop.  When it did the starter rope got jammed in the housing so I had to take it apart to repair it.  The rope was getting frayed anyway and I wanted to make some other changes as well. So ... 

I took the motor off it's original mower and installed it on another mower we had laying around.  The first mower had front drive but it was always causing problems.  It was a heavy beast to use so I switched it over to a lighter frame and the rear wheels wouldn't adjust to different heights.  Some of the internal baffles had come loose as well which meant it wouldn't throw the cut grass out like it should.

The green mower's engine did not have a power-take-off so I had to cut a place for the PTO shaft to clear the new frame.  A few minutes with a hacksaw and a couple of files did the job nicely.

I had to switch the upper handle over as well.  The engine stop cable is a different length and wouldn't function on the handle on the green mower. This frame is lighter and the wheels adjust making it easier to mow new areas.  Once the motor was mounted I took the top off and fixed the starter rope.  I needed to shorten it past the frayed area and re-wind the recoil spring.  As most thing do, it ended up taking longer than planned.

We spent an evening fishing on Marl Lake.  We didn't catch any fish but we did enjoy our time in the kayaks.  They're a fun, yet practical watercraft.

Ahh ... pancakes for breakfast.  One of the benefits of using the wood stove in the mornings is that we cook breakfast on it instead of using up propane.  A 100 lb. bottle of propane last us on average, six months.  We use most of it when canning.  Anytime we can do our cooking n the wood stove it gives us that much more time before we need to refill the propane tanks. 

Susan had a project going to organize our DVD and VCR collection.  We still have some stored in various places but our favorites are in the cabin on shelves.  We picked up some metal shelves the right size for DVDs and VCR tapes a couple of years ago with the intent of using them for that purpose at home.  We finally got time to make the switch.  Naturally we needed to modify them a bit which I'm in the process of doing here.  I'm pop-riveting the shelves back-to-back in this photo.  The electric drill is being run off the solar power system so we don't have to use the generator.

Kid's movies are on the bottom two shelves at kid height.

The adult sections (sorry, no "X" rated videos here!) occupy the rest of the shelves.  Susan organized them alphabetically except for some seasonal (Christmas, etc.) movies which have their own section.  It was quite a job getting it done.

Once we had the shingles all put on B&V's cabin the next step was to install the wood stove.  Barbara made a base out of filed stone and mortar and we installed the stove on it.  I don't like having the bend in the stove pipe.  It would take a lot of work to move the pipe now that the roof is finished (I offered before we shingled the roof) and they don't want to move the stove forward so they're going to try it like it is for now.

I had several things to do to get the truck ready for another season of wood cutting.  I made a frame for the back of the bed so that we wouldn't have to worry about wood falling out while traveling.  I used more old bed frame pieces welded together for the back frame.  I also cleaned battery posts and changed the oil and filter on the truck.  It gets driven very little (less than 200 miles a year) so an oil change is good for several years.

Victor took the topper off his truck and we made some sides for it so that he could haul more wood.  We used left-over roof sheathing and ripped down a 2X4 for the stake pockets.  They're just a tad high for his truck.  It's a half-ton and if we fill it to the top of the sides the truck will be overloaded weight-wise.

On this trip we got "poof wood." (You put a match to it and, "POOF," it's gone!)  It's wood that burns well but fast and doesn't put out as much heat as fir or larch.  The good thing is that it's easier to get to.  Since fir and larch are the most desirable woods people concentrate on them first.  We put the "poof wood" in either end of the wood shed to be burned in the fall and spring and have the fir and larch in the center of the wood shed so it's available in the coldest parts of winter.  I should have been cutting a month ago but with the cabin construction and my sprained ankle we're just now getting around to it.

The lake in the center of the picture is Marl Lake.  It's about ten miles away as the crow flies. This was taken on the way home from cutting the firewood. 
This is the load we got.  I've already started unloading and splitting the back row.

That's me operating the splitting maul behind the blue tarp.  I actually enjoy splitting firewood.  You can work off a lot of aggression and stress with a stack of wood and an eight pound maul!

Axe handle repair time.  I have a difficult time keeping wood handles tight in any of our tools.  Our humidity is so low that the wood dries and shrinks and the axes, mauls, sledge hammers and other wood handled tools get smaller and smaller.  I usually end up replacing wood handles with plastic/fiberglass handles.  This axe was purchased like new at a yard sale for a very low price but the handle was loose so I'm replacing it with a fiberglass handle.  The epoxy bonding agent they send is never enough to fill the hole so I add BB's to take up space and add extra weight to the head.

This is another yard sale axe.  It already had the fiberglass handle but the epoxy at the head had come loose and fallen out.  I've used JB weld to repair these before but didn't have any this time.  I did have some general purpose epoxy (much cheaper!) so I tried it.  I'll keep you posted on how well it works.  I put a couple of scrap metal pieces in there to take up space and add more weight to the head.

Susan is putting roofing tar on suspected leak points on the roof.  We had high hopes for the metal roofing when we installed it but it's had a constant problems with leaks.  I've had several "real" builders look at it and we've tried everything they've suggested to fix it but we keep getting new leaks.  Susan found and fixed some problems this time that look like likely causes for the leaking.  Now we're waiting for the next rain to see if the repairs did the job.  If we can't get the problem taken care of we'll take the metal roofing off and go back to shingles.  We can always use the metal on outbuildings.

The cat and I decided to take a break from wood splitting.  It was up in the high 80's and we thought what was left would be better if tackled in the morning when it was still cool outside!  The nap was actually the cats idea but it wasn't hard to talk me into it!

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