Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hecka Big Beam

Today I worked alone. In part because I was expecting to go to the dentist for a chipped tooth (no, not a construction related accident, just bad enamel). But the dentist had a family emergency, so the appointment had to be rescheduled. I'm not sure when it'll actually get looked at, because Monday and Tuesday I'm going to a worship seminar with my sister-in-law (who happens to be the worship leader at RLC where I run sound). It'll be a nice change to listen to a worship service and participate instead of working to make it happen.

I spent the whole day working on the really big beam that will support the overhang over the back door, and provide the header for the opening between the existing dining room and the addition. It's 4"x12" by 16' long, and very heavy.

Yesterday I cut away the roof overhang. The first step today was preparing for cutting the roof and ceiling joists, in particular making sure it didn't all come crashing down when they were cut. I put a 2x8 in the attic across the joists to help spread out the load, then cut away more of the roof to expose the top of the wall where the beam will sit. It doesn't sound like much, and didn't seem like that much until I looked at the pile of debris I generated doing it.

I added braces to make sure the beam wouldn't fall off the top of the wall, put some rollers (formerly known as an old broomstick handle) on top of the wall, and lowered the beam little by little into place. With the rollers there it was a snap to move it out to position, and I could adjust the position by just twisting one of the rollers. Pretty neat. Though it was heavy enough to squoosh the rollers out of round. But with a plumb bob (thanks, Pete) and a guide board on the side of the addition, I got the beam where it needed to be and fastened it down. It'll ultimately be held in place with some metal strapping down the wall, but it's got enough holding it in place for now.

All the cutting, climbing up and down, and sitting in the hot sun took its toll on me. So I took some time after cleaning up the work site to sit and enjoy what will be our new view out the bedroom window. Not too shabby, eh?

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