Reports from October 2003
for the Week Ending October 5, 2003
we returned home from a wedding in Massachusetts. We arrived home much
earlier than I had expected--we were home by 0930--so, anxious to get back to
work after a couple days away from my pet project, I changed clothes and headed
out to the barn to work on the big doors. Before leaving on Friday, I had
laid out the V-match boards for the doors, and noticed that I had underestimated
(of course), so I was several boards short. No problem, figured I:
just pick some more up on Monday. With that in mind, I set to work
building two of the doors. It took most of the rest of the day, but I
completed both doors and made preparations to build the final door on
Click here to read more detail
about the door construction.
Monday just didn't start out that well.
I was up and at it bright and
early, hitting Home Depot just after 0600 to pick up the boards I needed for
the final door. I like to go and get my materials early, so I don't
waste any of the good part of the day. Plus, the store is always
quieter and easier to deal with at that hour.
I trudged in and went
directly to the pine section. I found what I at first thought was the
right stuff (I later realized it wasn't even the right thing--it was shiplap
pine, rather than the tongue-and-groove V-matched pine that I needed), only
to see that it only came as long as 12'.
It was at about this time
that I realized that the material wasn't even the right stuff, and that they
didn't have any of the stuff I needed. Rats. Sighing deeply, I
went to another aisle looking for the one 3/4" foil board (insulation)
that I needed to complete the last door--again, I had slightly
underestimated in my original order, and needed one more to make up the
difference. I found 2", 1", and 1/2", but no
3/4". Sheesh--what a bust. I decided to at least pick up
some flat pine stock that I needed to trim out the windows in the barn, so I
took that and headed back towards home.
On the way home, I stopped
off in Yarmouth at Hancock Lumber to get the V-matched pine. At the
counter, the gruff attendant told me that they order this stuff only by the
lineal foot, in random lengths, and had no way of knowing if they had the
16' in stock or not. She recommended that I check the warehouse first,
before transacting anything, so out I went. Of course, they had every
size except 16'. Since the doors are 15-1/2' high, I needed the
long stock. I considered buying shorter boards, and splicing in
pieces, but decided (stupidly) not to. I drove home.
Back at the site, and
disappointed, I decided to call the lumberyard to see if they could obtain
the 16' lengths I needed. The guy said he'd check and get back to
me. I figured I could stand waiting till the next day or something, if
I found out that the material was in stock somewhere else and could be
delivered to me. (I'm still waiting for his return call, by the
With that out of the way for
the moment, I returned outside to start working on the door track for the
main doors. I set up my 12' stepladder and soon realized it wasn't
high enough, so I stood up my 32' extension ladder. This is a heavy,
awkward beast with a substantial moment-arm, and as I raised it I could feel
it slipping out of my control--just barely, but enough. The moment-arm
got the best of me, and the ladder started to tip downwards as I carried
it. I nearly arrested its graceful fall in time, but just as I almost
overcame it, it bounced off the metal hinge bar on my new stepladder,
bending it badly downwards (in the direction opposite that which it is
supposed to bend). D'OH! This just wasn't my day, I
Click here to read more about
the door track and the installation of the big barn doors.
After installing some trim
and then some of the barn door track, I decided to just go and buy the darn
14' V-matched pine I had looked at earlier in the morning, so I climbed in
the truck and returned to the lumberyard, where I purchased twice as much of
the material as I needed without incident and returned home. Of
course, I forgot completely to ask them about the foil board I needed.
things got better for me after this point, and by the end of Monday I had
built the last door (with three short splices that turned out to be
completely untraumatic) and raised all three doors into position with their
rollers in the track.
Click here to read how.
Tuesday, I finished up
installing the door track (I had only installed 2 of the three sections
needed--click on the link above to see why). It was a beautiful fall
day (see the sky color in the above photo, which I took Tuesday morning),
and I decided to go sailing, which I did. Later in the day, I fussed
around with a few minor barn-related projects, but didn't really accomplish
much beyond completing the door track.
During the remainder of the
week, I spent as much time as possible working in and around the barn,
finishing up whatever details I could. On Wednesday, I installed trim
around the clerestory windows and spent a fair bit of time inside working on
my bench and shop setup.
here to see some of the trim details.
Thursday, I worked mostly inside the shop, setting up some new work stations
using some old kitchen cabinets I had saved, and moving most of the tools
and such from my old shop out to the barn. 13 yards of crushed rock I
had ordered also arrived, and I spent several hours with the tractor
spreading the stone all around the sides of the barn and in front, to
provide a splash zone beneath the roof overhangs and to finish off the
ramp to the front doors as needed.
here for more information about setting up the new boat shop.
Friday and Saturday, I accomplished little of
great note, though I fiddled endlessly with myriad details and shop setup in
the barn. My new Monitor heater arrived on Saturday, and I worked in
the afternoon to build a platform and install the exhaust and air
intake. Next, I need to pick up an oil tank and install the fuel
system. With cold weather rapidly approaching, it'll be nice to have
heat at the ready.
Oh, and in case you're
wondering: I actually touched the Daysailor this week! But only
to remove the power cords that I had had strung up between it and the old
shop. Knowing full well that I wouldn't be doing anything else on
board before the boat was moved to the shop, I decided to remove the cords
and get ready for the boat's moving next week.
for the Week Ending October 12, 2003
All the work, all the toil,
all the expense of the past several weeks came down to this moment:
the barn's ultimate reason for being. Boats!
It may have seemed a long
road, an over indulgence, a cross-track error off the rhumb line of
boatbuilding and repair, but on Wednesday, the Daysailor hull was moved
inside the barn, alongside her sistership Glissando. This,
after all, is what it's all about.
The early part of the week
began in the usual way. I worked in and around the barn for much of
Sunday, but apparently the jobs were relatively insignificant, as I honestly
don't remember what I was doing. Probably working on the shop details
and storage. I think I might have also moved all the jackstands and
blocking over to the barn from its old storage place in preparation for
Wednesday's boat moving.
Monday was my last sailing
day of the season, and it was a beaut. Tuesday, I did little on the
barn, as I had to take Glissando to the boatyard for the mast
unstepping (read about that on Glissando's
website). Wednesday morning, Glissando
was hauled and placed inside the barn, joined presently by the Daysailor,
moved one final time to her permanent project home.
Thursday, it was time to get
back to some serious barn-completion tasks--time to start wrapping up all
the details so that I could move on to boat work and other tasks. My
first priority: complete the heating system. Even though, at the
time, we were firmly ensconced in a lovely Indian Summer (of course:
the boat's out), cold weather cannot be far away, and I wanted to get this
particular chore off my mind. Early in the morning, I picked up a new
oil tank and the fittings needed for the installation, and installed the
tank outside the north wall of the barn. This was another first for
me, but there was certainly no particular difficulty involved. By late
morning, the tank was in place and ready for fuel, so I ordered a delivery
for the next day.
the heating system details here.
In the afternoon, I completed
and installed trim over both the front and side door tracks, completing that
Read more about the trim
Major barn work is basically
complete, but there remain many details still to finish, most notably the
exterior paint and stain. Also, a few details surrounding the rolling
doors need to be taken care of, namely latching and final
weatherproofing. These are priority projects that I expect to complete
within the next week or so, as time and weather allow.
Then, perhaps, I can get back
to work on the boat!
Log for the
Week Ending October 19, 2003
Paint, paint, paint.
That was my focus this week. Wanting badly to be done with the barn
work, so that I could begin to get back to work on the boats, I took
advantage of several very nice weather days to blitz the bulk of the barn
painting. Covering the T-111 siding with paint (or, in my case, solid
color stain) was a priority before winter set in, as this stuff tends to
warp, curl, and delaminate if left untreated for too long. Besides, I
was ready for the barn to look complete as well.
The painting went rather
well, and, while a huge amount of work, was actually less time-consuming and
easier than I had anticipated. I applied the stain (Driftwood Gray,
Woodscapes by Sherwin-Williams) with a large brush, which went as well as
could be expected on the rough-sawn siding. I was thrilled with how
well the stain covered in one coat, and decided to not worry about a second
coat at this point, preferring instead to focus on getting the entire
structure covered first. I attempted to use a heavy-nap (3/4")
roller, but found it was more work and less successful than just using the
I painted the trim with two
coats of Sherwin Williams Perennial Green trim paint, which matches the door
trim on the house, helping tie things in together. As much work as the
painting was, it was eminently satisfying to see the building come into its
own, looking like it had been there forever. I was, and am, thrilled
with the look.
As of this writing, the main
three sides of the barn are done. I haven't yet touched the back side
(in all its blank highness), but hope to get going on that next week,
weather and motivation permitting. But for all intents and purposes,
the barn looks done to all but those neighbors in the field behind (who
can't really see the thing that much anyway). I love it. I hate
leaving to return to the house.
Next week, I'll try to post a
series of interior pictures to augment what you've already seen here.
Watch for it.
Wednesday brought a classic fall storm to the
area, complete with heavy rains and very strong winds, with gusts well into
the 50s. Boy, was I glad the boat was out and safely ensconced in the
barn! It was the sort of storm that wreaks havoc with moored boats in
Falmouth Foreside, and exactly the reason I choose to haul in late September
or early October.
Between painting and other
chores, I found time to fiddle inside the shop, fine-tuning some storage
details and moving a few more things from the old shop.
more about the shop here.
on the barn so far, now that I've had a chance to work a little
inside: it is everything I dreamed of, and more. Disbelief
(mine, that is) continues over my good fortune in having such a spectacular
work space. Given how much time I have already spent out in the shop,
things look good for a very productive winter working on the Daysailor
project, as well as Glissando
The shop is a dream come
true. Thanks to Mike Haas, for volunteering to draw up the barn plans,
and to Bob Emery for his excellent and reasonably-priced construction
work. And thanks to my wife Heidi for her support and
encouragement. It's a hobby gone out of control, this boat work of
I happened to be standing on
my bench installing something on the back wall when I glanced forward and
noticed this unique view of the Triton hull. A Triton never looked so
beamy as #100 looks in this view! I believe this may be a good
perspective for many of the upcoming progress shots as work begins on the
Stay tuned for much, much
more to come in the near future. Please also check Glissando's
site for a series of relatively major projects that have already begun this
fall. It's been three full seasons of use since the refit, and now
it's time for the refit after the restoration. It promises to be a
busy winter of boat work.
here to visit Glissando in the barn and read up on the latest work.
(Opens in a new window)
for the Week Ending October 26, 2003
Last week took a lot of work
and effort on my part, but, as the new week began, I was very glad.
The weather turned cold and sour over the weekend, and remained unsettled
for most of the week. It would have been frustrating if I had not
completed as much of the painting last week as I did. There really is
something to the old saying, "Make hay while the sun
shines". I try to always take advantage of good days for the
appropriate pursuits, and last week was no exception. The payback is
now, under low scudding clouds and intermittent rain and even (shudder) snow
With the barn
effectively painted (I'll get to the back side once--or if--the weather
improves), the project was nearly at a close, with only the inherent
enjoyment of the structure remaining. Even with gaps
beneath the rolling doors (which need to be sealed before winter gets here),
the new heating plant worked extremely well, and it was a great pleasure to
open the door and enter a pleasantly warm space. It still seemed
unexpected to me, as I had become so predisposed to working on the boat
under colder and raw conditions sometimes. The warmth of the shop is a
boon to productivity.
here to see details of how I ended up sealing and securing the doors.
shop is slowly coming into its own, the more time I spend working.
There is still stuff in the old garage shop that needs to be transferred,
and is gradually working its way out to the new shop. I still
need to address some storage issues, namely some sort of shelving where I
can store boat gear and other items, but where it is protected from dust and
debris that will eventually be flying through the shop. I am as yet
undecided how to handle this, but a solution will come to light.
may have noticed that many of the photos on the site from the past couple
weeks contain an irritating time/date stamp in the corner. My
new-in-June Canon A70 Powershot decided to quit working on haulout day a
couple weeks ago, and after fiddling with it and its inconsistent operation
for a week or two I finally returned it for service. Time will tell
how much of a disaster this service arrangement is, but it promises to be
much too slow, if nothing else. In any event, I have been using my old
HP digital camera, which has its own idiosyncrasies (which is why I replaced
it), but at least I can get it to take photos when needed. It's not
usually worth my effort to crop out the date stamp, so there you are.
I look forward to having my other camera back, and in the meantime beg your
forgiveness. Cheap shutter button notwithstanding, I had started to
actually enjoy the Canon, after a period of uncomfortable transition.
Thursday brought the first
snow of the year--nothing to really speak of, but snow did fill the air
during the morning, coupled with temperatures that were nearly 20 degrees
below normal. With the lousy weather all week, I didn't get any
exterior painting done on the barn.
since I was concentrating on Glissando
projects, no work occurred on the Daysailor. Soon, though, work
begins in earnest.