Beam Us Up Scotty
This only took a year.
We had laid the beams on the other side about exactly a year ago today. Not that any of these things happen in a day, but I took pictures a year ago. Even before that happened Chase has been searching for more beams for the other side of the house. We need sturdy beams. They span 18ft or more in some places. We needed dry, sturdy lumber. It didn't matter if they were new, we've gotten rather good at making them match the rest of the old logs. We finally located some through a guy my dad knew, our wonderful dad's went and picked them up for us a few weeks ago while we finished up the siding and we got started on making them look old.
We use a hatchet and a draw knife knife to round the edges some and give it a little bit of a distressed look. All and all anyone who knows what they are looking for knows they aren't old or Hand Hewn, but that's ok, they are what our second floor sits on, so stability is important.
After they are distressed the prep for getting them inside begins. Chase and I had worked on the pockets for the beams a little awhile back, but they still needed to be cut down some. Chase, his dad and mine (with a fork lift as back up) did the majority of the beams on Friday. Which is no small job. Using a prop inside, one man on the lift pushing and another on scolfd pushing and lifting it in, they slide the beams. Periodically you have to stop and use the zaw zaw to shave off a little of the pocket to get it in. I helped with two on Saturday, and by then they had it down to a science and made it seem easy.
Once the beams are in the long part begins. Leveling out beams on a 200 year old log makes for some tricky work. Chase pulls a string and then uses a jack to slowly lift the logs up to the line. He then cuts, planes and screws together shims that he fits under the log to keep it at the right height. He will put these in about an inch to short so he can come back later and face it with another log so it's less noticeable as a big cut out of the log. Sometimes he has to use the zaw zaw and cut down the stop of the cut as well to get a level line running across the top.
All the while I attempted to reorganize the construction site we call our house, and turn the jack up and down for him while he puts the blocks in. I usually stop and watch in amazement every now and again because like everything else I never can begin to imagine the small steps that go into every small project here.
We got close this weekend, but no cigar. Thankful for a holiday tommorw to hopefully get a few beams anchored and styrofoam in the cracks.
I see you squirrels don't even think about it.
Disclaimer: I have about 100 blog posts to get caught up on before this blog is up to date. I may have finally found a work flow for uploading and posting that is gonna work in our no wifi home, but I realize some of the things you see here I haven't even begun to explain, like that new addition, that roof, the fact the columns and porch are gone. For those who have visited in the last three years, it looks a lot different. I think it's hard to grasp the place until you see it in person. Some times it can feel like nothing changes for months but then I go back a few pictures and I realize we're going somewhere. It's a material thing, but it's the project I've already spent the majority of my 20's on so far, and it still a good ways from being home. I have tried to update this blog and fell short, I'll try and do better for the family and friends who always warm my heart by asking how it's going. It's going. That about sums it up. Thank you for asking...Really though it means more than you can know when you ask, swing by and lend a kind word.