Reports from August 2003
8/17/03 8/24/03 8/31/03
Log for the
Week Ending August 3, 2003
Site work for the new driveway and barn got
underway bright and early Monday morning. The new driveway goes
along the southwest side of the house and about 200' to the back corner of
about the site work and excavation here.
I needed to be around to keep an eye on the excavation and to be available
for questions, I decided to get to work sanding the hull paint off the
starboard side, intending to complete it so I could move the staging to
the other side.
here to read more about sanding the hull.
Log for the
Week Ending August 10, 2003
There was little activity on the barn this
week. Mostly for my own purposes, I spent some time on Tuesday staking
out and marking an accurate slab location, taking the time to get the
corners square. Mostly, I wanted to see how it was going to look on my
new gravel base, and where exactly I should place it. Plus, by marks
will give the concrete guys a guideline for where to set the forms with a
minimum of fuss. Later in the week, I received word that the slab would
be formed up on Monday (August 11), so hopefully there will be more
exciting news for next week's log.
on Tuesday, I gritted my teeth and got the remainder of the paint sanded off
the port side of the hull. Over a few hours' work, I sanded from about
4' aft of the stem all the way to the transom, including the transom
itself. (The boat is now officially unnamed, as I sanded off the cheap
vinyl lettering on the transom.) With all the old hull paint removed,
I can now ignore the exterior of the hull and concentrate on grinding out
the interior. Although there's much more sanding to come on the
exterior, this is it for the time being. Smoother sanding and fairing,
along with any needed repairs, will come later. Please note that that
horrible-looking rough edge at the top of the transom is simply the cutline
in the leftover deck tabbing. It was too thick, and I was too tired,
to grind it away when I finished sanding the transom.
here to see a couple more pictures of the completely-sanded hull.
My sanding was interrupted frustratingly
close to the stern when the power went out for some reason.
There I was, covered and immersed in blue paint dust, and no power to bam
had (to run my water pump in the house). I made the best of it, and
fortunately the power came back on about an hour later. I decided I'd
just finish the sanding job at that point, and pushed myself until it was
done. Hooray! I removed the staging from around the hull and
made preparations to begin working on the interior grinding in earnest.
Log for the Week
Ending August 17, 2003
Early in the week, the builder I
hired to help with some of the more major portions of barn construction, Bob
Emery, arrived to arrange the formwork for the new concrete barn slab.
Despite a minor problem with the site fill, he managed to get the forms set up
by Tuesday afternoon, and scheduled concrete for Friday.
The slab was poured successfully
on Friday and, as of this writing, awaits the beginning of framing starting
Monday the 18th.
here for more about the barn slab.
The interior of the boat is a
mess of old, peeling paint, sloppy old tabbing, and bulkhead remnants. All
of this must be removed before new construction can commence.
that end, I realized I needed some heavy-duty demolition material.
From McMaster-Carr, I purchased some 7' grinding discs in 16 grit for my
7" angle grinder. I figured these ridiculously coarse discs would
power quickly through the remaining tabbing and other material inside the
boat. This paper looks like someone glued gravel to a piece of backing
Needless to say,
I was surprised to find that plywood end grain and 1/4" thick
fiberglass tabbing are a little tougher than even that! Donning my
respiratory and hearing protection gear, I climbed into the boat for a sort
of trial run, hoping to watch the grinder effortlessly zip through the
remnants of the old bulkheads and tabbing. Wrong! I was
astonished at how well these areas stood up against the onslaught of
circularly-whizzing rocks. It took extraordinary effort--and a lot of
time--to get even a part of the stub of the aft bulkhead sanded away.
Clearly, some other form of stock removal is needed.
and somewhat dejected, I retreated and made attempts to come up with a
better solution. I might be able to cut a bit closer with my Sawz-All,
but with difficulty--that's why I didn't cut closer to begin with. The
tabbing is so thick--and impossible to access in many acute-angled
areas--that buzzing through it with the edge of a grinder hasn't seemed to
work too well so far, though I may try a modified version of this
approach. Something like a Dremel tool would be hopelessly useless
here--anemic and underpowered when facing the sort of tabbing that is in
place. An air-powered angle grinder or die grinder might work here,
but I have no air tools or compressor. (Yeah, yeah...on the list...)
Log for the Week Ending August 24,
The barn framing began Monday morning with a
lumber delivery and the usual amount of pre-cutting parts and laying the
whole thing out. By Tuesday afternoon, both side walls--the long
ones--were framed up and looking great, albeit still flat on the
ground. (A crane will be used to lift all the walls--and trusses--into
position later.) After a day away from the site on Wednesday, Bob and
Lee were back and continued with their hard work on Thursday and Friday,
completing the rough framing early Friday afternoon. Now we wait...for
the trusses to be delivered. That's scheduled for Thursday of next
week; a crane will be needed to raise the walls and trusses, and with luck
that might happen next Thursday or Friday.
here to read a detailed account of the barn framing that occurred this week.
The barn will of course be insulated, and
early in the week I made a few calls to some of our local insulation
contractors in an attempt to get their price for the job. All along, I
had more or less figured that I would install the insulation myself, but I
wanted to conform or refute the claim I had heard which stated that it was
often less expensive (or at least very comparable) to hire out the work,
since the insulators get their materials for so much less than I could
I tried a few well-known
contractors. One called me back later in the day to tell me that
sorry, but they were so busy that they wouldn't even bid the job. The
other one I called never even bothered to return my call, so I figured it
must be the same situation there. I didn't bother following up again
and made plans to do the job myself, as I had originally
anticipated. To that end, I priced out the materials I
needed: 1900 ft2 of R-19 for the walls, and 1200 ft2
of R-38 for the ceiling.
I also priced
out most of the rest of the materials I will need in order to more or less
finish the barn--electrical supplies, conduit, insulation bundles, lighting,
raw materials for building benches, etc. I drew up an electrical
schematic and made lists of the other materials I'd need. I'm looking
forward to diving into these projects that I'm doing myself; I'll be glad
when the barn frame is up and standing and I can really dig in. The
excitement about my new shop is starting to rise for me!
made some inroads into the interior hull sanding and preparation, having
worked out a system that seems to do the trick and cuts through the thick
tabbing securing the remaining bits of the old plywood bulkheads and other
structure. In a couple-hour period on a hot Thursday afternoon, I
cleaned up the after third of the interior of the hull.
here to see more about the process.
also rinsed off the outside of the hull again, part of an ongoing attempt to
dry the hull and encourage any remaining styrene leaching to occur.
Log for the
Week Ending August 31, 2003
With nothing of note planned,
construction-wise, until at least Thursday (when the roof trusses were
scheduled to arrive), I felt a little at a loss this week. Periods of
inactivity that happen to be beyond my control might not be my favorite
thing in the world! It seemed that my own list of projects related to
the barn was growing by the day, yet I was helpless to do much about it
yet--there wasn't much I could do till the walls and roof were standing.
dawned unexpectedly cloudy after a brilliant, sparkling weekend. I had
sort of been planning to sneak out sailing, but the weather and lack of wind
was not conducive. For some time, I had been debating the proper
timing for one of the jobs on my list--digging a trench and running
electrical conduit between the house and the barn, a distance of about
115'. As I completed my morning office chores, I suddenly picked up
the phone to the tool rental company and inquired about renting a trenching
machine (Ditch Witch) for this day. It turned out they had one, so I was out
the door shortly thereafter for the 25 minute commute to the store. It
seemed like the perfect day to do this job--I wouldn't be in the way of any
real construction, the job had been hanging over my head for a while, and I
was at loose ends.
a delay at the rental store because of a problem with the machine's
electrical system that had cropped up, I received a brief instruction on the
huge machine's operation, after which it was loaded on a small equipment
trailer and hitched to my truck. I returned home at once, since I had
no idea how long the job was going to take, and the tool was due back that
afternoon. As it turned out, the trencher made short work of the job,
and later during the afternoon I installed conduit in the new trench.
here to read more about installing the conduit.
Tuesday, I received verbal confirmation that the trusses would indeed be
delivered on Thursday, as scheduled. I also learned that the crane,
needed to raise the walls and trusses into position, was scheduled for next
Tuesday, September 2. These dates are about a week later than I had
hoped, and threw a wrench into some tentative cruising plans we had.
Oh well--so be it. It's been one of those summers. What's
important now is keeping this barn rolling along. Time is growing very
short; things need to be more or less complete by the first week of October,
and the sooner the better.
made further progress grinding the interior. The tabbing and bulkhead
remnants were amazingly tenacious in places, while in other places I could easily pull the tabbing off the hull with only gentle persuasion with a
chisel. Over a period of a couple afternoons' work, I removed
virtually all of the remaining structure, and ground off much of the
paint on the interior.
more about the latest progress on the interior of the hull here.
Thursday was truss day:
at long last, the roof trusses were scheduled to be delivered. The
only problem was that I had no indication of what time they were due, so it
was like waiting around for the cable guy to show up. I had plenty to do at the
house and on the boat, but I felt I couldn't stray far even from the phone, in case the truck
needed directions or whatever.
Through much of the day, I
waited. Finally, at 3PM I called Bob to let him know that there were
no trusses yet, so that he'd have time, hopefully, to find out what was
going on. Well, it turned out that he had found out at noon that the
trusses were scheduled for THE NEXT DAY, the 29th.
We had only been talking
about truss delivery on the 28th for four weeks. How the date suddenly
got changed at the last second I'll never know. Irritating, to say the
least. Decorum prevents me from sharing my inner thoughts here.
What annoyed me the most was that no one had bothered to call and let me
know. That would have been nice.
The trusses showed up Friday
with little fanfare. After a busy morning of shuttling trailers and
tractors around (see below), I happened to be home when they arrived, so I
could direct them to more or less the right spot to unload them.
Earlier, when I was out, another lumber delivery arrived--sheathing for the
roof and additional framing lumber.
To complete the site
work--finishing off the sides of the driveway with loam and just generally
neatening up--I made arrangements to borrow a tractor with a bucket
attachment (Thanks, Bill!), and rented a trailer on Friday to bring the tractor to the
house. I scheduled a delivery of loam for the same day, and spent some
time spreading the loam at the end of the driveway and along the culvert
area. Later, I'll spread more around various sections of the barn site, but that will have to wait until the
walls are stood up and the trusses are out of the way--and until
construction is more complete, to avoid ruining the new lawn work. This work isn't
really related to the barn or the boat, so I won't bore you with more details.