Today is September the fifth. A friend and I went down to the woods today to start the finer details of the cabin work. Over the next couple weeks the plan is to have a brief break from doing the roof and to get some of the wall details done. This includes: The doorframe, the window frames, the wattle joists and the hearth for the fireplace. Today we put in the door frame, straightened the floor and put in the first of the wattle joists. With a good helping of tidying it was a good days work. So enjoy.
The first job of the day was to finish screwing in the plywood sheets to the floor joists. This was not finished last time I was down in the woods because I underestimated the number of screws this would require. Returning today with a fully charged drill battery and a large coffee jar of screw I set to work. The job was going very well and everything was starting to hold fast and be rather sturdy. However, as always, something was wrong. The left main joist that holds the floor up on the left side of the cabin had bowed in its drying process as the timbers were green when they were put up. The meant that the floor on the side had a rather inelegant bow in it. This I now realise had been pointed out to me by a friend whose advice I had slapped away as bolder dash and over worry. Sadly I must now concede. To rectify this problem I had to lift the entire building on the left hand side. The when the building was lifted up I could put some blocks under it to reinforce it and make it a little less bowed. So after much thought I decided to try using a little practical physics to see if I could lift the building.
As seen in the photo we put a rather sizable rick next to the floor and I had cate hang off the edge of it. This lifted the building rather well. Far better then I could ever have thought it would. I then put two concrete edging slabs, that I had acquired out of rubble heap, under two metal blocks to stop them sinking into the ground. This worked perfectly and held the central joist up clear and straightened it brilliantly. I had figured this would have been a great challenge and was going to require car jacks and the like but it was a quick fix and Cate and I had it done within an hour or so. Maybe science does work.
The next job of the day was to stack the scaffolding boards that made the old rough work floor of the cabin. These had first to have the nails taken out of them and the sorted into sizes. Longest would sit on the bottom and shortest on the top. These were stored with gaps between them and sat on a series of pallet plank spacers to ensure they dry and air and do not collect to many bugs. This will be important for I plan to use the nicest of the these for the window frames. The others will go towards projects like the outside step, the bench and dinning table within the cabin and probably many other useful items. These planks have been collected from many many different sites and is a good example of not only how many people have helped this building get as far as it has but also shows what a person can do with nothing but left over scraps and some hard work.
The final job of the day was to install the door frame. Something I have been looking forward to for a while. I had two very nice four by fours from an old rose frame in a friends garden. These would make the major posts for the door frame. Each of these posts has a notch cut into the top of them so you could slot further frame pieces into them. I sat and thought abut if I was going to put these at the top or at the bottom for a long period of time building up to today. Today I decided on a last minute judgment call and decided to join the notched section into a large joist piece that had to run along the bottom of the front section. This worked surprisingly well and despite the fact my notches into the main frame where slightly off I ended up with a very solid door frame that will hold a rather solid door. The door is the part of the project I am looking forward to the most. It will be a happy day when I get to hang those home made hinges.