We raised the walls

We reached a milestone for the project yesterday: “Framing party #2”. The house seemed to go from two-dimensional to 3D. Our scrappy, handy crew started coming over around 11am and the whole thing took about 6 hours (with breaks). Again we were blessed with perfect weather. Thank you Nicolle, Andy, David, Mike, Lea, May-Lee and Ben for your work, and I hope you had fun too!

Some challenges we encountered:

  1. The two long walls (starboard and port) did not line up with the places they were supposed to go.  The bottom corner of the starboard wall that touched the bow wall was 1/8th inch too big to even be squeezed in, and this wasn’t evident until four of us attempted to stand the wall into place. The solution: Enlarging one of the holes in the bow wall so that we could shift the whole wall a tiny bit.  Also, sanding the place where the two walls met.  The port wall had the problem of the threaded rods not lining up with the holes we drilled.  When either one of the two holes fit, that meant the other one was about 1/4 inch off.  The solution:  We raised the wall to rest on scrapwood so that the subfloor would not accidentally get drilled into, then we enlarged one of the holes with a drill until it fit.
  2. Unfortunately, because we changed the position of the threaded rod relative to the frame, the bracket no longer fits on the rod.  Instead, the bracket is jammed against the wall stud.  This was true for two out of the six brackets.  We will probably have to sand the wood, or bend the brackets to fit.  For now, the brackets are not secured into place.
  3. The tarp is big (approximately 20’x40′) but we have to use it in an effective way or else the tarp could fail in inclement weather.  Luckily, we had some experienced tarpmasters.  Mike has a lot of experience rigging tarps at Burning Man, and the techniques he used are summarized in here.  It’s a system called dynamic rigging, which ensures that the tension is evenly distributed around the edge of the tarp.
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Four people is a good number to move a wall into place. There is nothing to hold the wall upright until boards for them to lean against are temporarily nailed into them.
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Picture perfect! This is the bay wall, made mostly out of Parallam, which is a synthetic, compressed wood that is HEAVY.
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Four walls standing, two to go.
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Everyone is working! (Not pictured: Me. But I probably sweated less than anyone.)
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Mike is checking out the door wall, and he and Lea made a special trip to the hardware store to get some “L” brackets.
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Owen, and a monkey in a tree! (I’m up there because the rope had to be tied higher up.)


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Owen redrilled the hole where it was not aligned with the threaded rod.
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Mike showing us the door wall, in its place!
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The walls are adjusted, but some of the brackets don’t fit.
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Our new tarping system is unstoppable.