Print Story Shedyssey Part Seven: The Last Day of the Band Before the Split
By Breaker (Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 08:59:54 AM EST) (all tags)
So Monday rolls around and again, it's frontloading carbs (porridge for me Dad, toast for me and we both have a couple of bananas).

It's shocking how many more calories you need when you're doing hard physical graft outdoors, even more so when you're not used to it.

Good for you though; despite the aches and pains the body feels like it's functioning a bit better.  Dad starts doing his back exercises whilst I survey how bad it's pissed it down in the night.

Not as bad as it could have been, but the tarpaulin has big puddles of rain weighing it down.  I sweep enough of these off so the rest can be dumped by lifting one edge of the tarpaulin.

The water flows into the pit sunken garden feature and I fear for all the stuff I've got stored down there whilst the shed is being built - lawnmowers and hedgetrimmers and the like.

Checking they're OK I notice that all my trough planters have been knocked off the wall a day or two previously and are smashed on the concrete below.  Bye bye two rosemary bushes and all of my mint.

Fucksticks.  One more thing to make good, one more thing that needs money spent to make it right.  I've already got a 3 lists of double sided A4 of things to do to the house and it'll be three bastard years by the start of September.

I have another little flash of hatred for the shed at this point which escalates again as I tip water over my workboots as I move another tarp.  Soggy socks at the start of the day.  Shoulders sag a little.

Fucking shed.

The old bloke bounds out of the back door with the misinstructions in his hands and we go over what needs doing today.

He senses I've got the dog and jollies me along a bit.  This pisses me off even further but I don't bite him; I know what he's doing and I do appreciate it. 

Eventually this appreciation and the old bloke's irrepressably good natured yet terribly bad Dadjokes lift me out of this self indulgent whining.  At the end of the day there's a job to be done so do the bloody job in front of you and quit the fucking internal whining narrative. 

Pick your lip off the floor and put some graft in.

Me Dad's good at lifting people like that, he has a knack of making you want to do better so he won't be disappointed.  Not that you'll ever see that disappointment in him, mind, which makes it worse.

Looking at the plans it'll make sense to get the roof on before the floor and partition wall.  It'll give us shelter from the sun, and if we put the tarpaulin over it it'll keep the rain out.

The roof is tongue and groove planks, so we lift them up to the roof and begin hammering the nails in:

This is pretty hard going; not for the first time do I wish I had a big fuckoff nailgun.

The evaporating rainfall makes the atmosphere very humid.  I go into the kitchen to fill our water bottles and make Dad have a ten minute blow for a cup of tea and a biscuit.  He's crap at keeping his fluid levels up so I always force feed him liquid, especially when we're sweating bullets like this.

The roof is up and we then consult the plans and misinstructions.  Looks like the floor needs to go down before we can put the partition wall in.

The floor is made of the thinnest planks of all and they are twisted the most.  "It's the natural beauty of wood" we chant together.  This is the tagline for the project so far; the side logs were twisted and chipped - "it's the natural beauty of wood" - poorly place knots leaving gaps "it's the natural beauty of wood".  We also reckon it's the manufacturer shaving margins by not inspecting timber before it's shipped and making sure there's no bad planks, but there you go.

The floor eventually goes in, with some serious battering from the clubhammers to slide the tongues into the grooves (fnarr).

The partition wall goes up, again with some heavy duty clubhammering required, due to the natural beauty of wood.

Seeing how big the shedshed part is (as opposed to the studioshed part) I'm a little disappointed.  There's no way we could have put the partition wall anywhere else without seriously rejigging the entire frontage and on a back of a fag packet calculation we'd not have enough logs to do it anyway.

Another kick in the teeth from the shed, and I feel the shedhate grow.  This is checked soonest as it's getting on in the afternoon and we have too much to do for me to waste time on shedhate.

The last bit of the partition wall is a heavy section, already put together with the pitch of the roof cut in.  The misinstructions tell is to cut the channels down further for this type of shed and we follow their diagram to the letter.

Lifting the top piece on it is clear that we've cut the channels wrong.  Checking the plans, we have cut at exactly the right place for the right depth and it is the plans that are in fact wrong.  Dad starts measuring and marking out and
I get on with the partition wall supports.

We cut the grooves in the top piece and put it in place.  The central groove is now 3cm too deep.


Me Dad is extremely apologetic for the error, which I dismiss instantly.  This is a bit of a blow as it's on the central purlin and pretty visible.  I can fix it up, I know I can fix it up and I don't mind the one more thing to the list as Dad seems pretty annoyed at himself.  Those aren't the rules though; whenever we work together his mistakes are my mistakes and mine his.

No one wants to make a mistake but by definition it's not deliberate.  There's no use berating people unless they were wilfully stupid.  It's late in the day, we're both tired and this is when mistakes happen.  Working together, we mark out the remainder of the grooves and check each others work.

Aside from one bad cut the rest fit well and we fight the top piece into place.  During this I find myself drifting into piss poor Sonjokes to distract him, and me Dad cheers up a bit.

Teamwork, see? 

We put a few more floorboards down and get to about halfway across.  The floor insulation needs cutting to size and fitting, and it gets in the way of the boards sometimes.   It's slow going and we're starting to be short with each other.
That's usually the time to down tools because we don't do biting each other when we're working.

Then, the joy of tidying up.  Today has seen over a hundred boards nailed down and almost a kilo bag of nails hammered in.

Our knees are sagging by the time the site is cleared up, but at least we have somewhere to store the ceiling and floor insulation - in the shedshed!

Tomorrow I have to return to work as I was denied the 4 days off this week. 

Looking at the plans, the floor needs to be finished before anything else can be done.  This is going to be a nightmare for my Dad to do alone so luckily A (who helped us unload the truck) agrees to help, bless his cottons.

I'm still bloody angry at not being able to carry on working on the shed this week; my Dad and I work very well together.  I see when he needs a handful of nails; he'll hand me a clubhammer just when I need it so I don't have to come down the ladder. 

Little things, but they are cumulative and bring the job on.

Now that the days work is done I permit myself a small amount of shedhate, which slowly ebbs as the tiredness kicks in.

Tomorrow at work I'll be unable to concentrate wondering how the work's progressing.

Idly I wonder if the bloke who founded the sportswear brand was in fact thinking All Day I Dream About Sheds.

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Shedyssey Part Seven: The Last Day of the Band Before the Split | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Tongue and groove by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 09:38:53 AM EST
My folks built a house in, oh, 1974 or so, where they bought a semi-trailer full of pre-cut wood with tongues and grooves on most of it. They hired some help, but we did a lot of the work ourselves; I worked for them as a carpenter's helper summers through college. So, yeah, my kingdom for a nailgun.

One of my favorite pictures from that effort was of my brother and me, all the way up at the top of the stairway enclosure, pondering the non-Euclidean nature of the universe (you measure here, you cut there to spec, you bring the board back, and it doesn't fit, presumably because spacetime is different over here than it is over where the saw is). The wall structures had posts running vertically, studs horizontally, and then vertical tongue & groove paneling nailed to the studs. So I'm sitting with my feet on one side of the enclosure on a stud, my rear end on the other side, hammer in hand, pondering, twenty feet up.

And then there's the tall wall in the living room, two stories high plus the roof slope. The cathedral ceiling, now that it's done, is quite spectacular (and mom has thirty foot high trees growing in there). But the tongues turned out to be on the left side of the paneling, and guess what? I'm the only one in the family who can do anything with a hammer left-handed. So it was my job to panel that wall.

Anyway, good job, and it's a wonderful thing your dad was willing to help.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

Two stories high and made from wood by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:17:56 AM EST
In the 70's?  That'd be unheard of over here; it was all ferroconcrete by then.  This has meant that there's some lovely concrete monstrosities around my Manor, many of which are already condemned.

How long did it take to build?

Re: Nailguns - now that the shed is built I've no reason to buy one.  But I was saying that before we thought to buy a shed...

I am indeed lucky to have a Dad like mine, and I recognise that fully.

[ Parent ]
Wood frame houses... by ana (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:57:29 AM EST
are pretty common in the US. This one has post-and-beam structure, which is a little unusual; often stud walls hold up the next floor up.

They got the structure up, roof and exterior walls on, and paneling on one side of most of the interior walls in a year, and then moved in. That's actually illegal, moving in before things are duly inspected. They worried about that for years, until one night the court house burned and with it, all the building permit records.

I think all told it probably took 3 years or so to "finish", though what that means, exactly is not clear. Mom did much of the finish carpentry herself, and she well understood why the table saw needed to be in the living room, but she was really thrilled the day we finally moved it out.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

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Not as damp a climate I suppose by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:09:20 AM EST
That was still a big undertaking though.

Are there stories to tell about the court house that the statute of limitations still applies to? :)

That's excellent having a Mum who can do carpentry.

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The climate is dry by ana (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:42:47 AM EST
14" of rain annually. But we got our share of that every afternoon in a brief but intense downpour.

I don't know if the cause of the court house fire was ever determined.

And yeah, Mom's pretty amazing. She worked as an airplane mechanic during WW II (as did the present Queen, if I recall correctly; they're of an age, my folks and the Queen). She wanted to go to engineering school, but that was Not Done in the late 1940s, so she took accounting instead. She's always been handy with power tools. One visit I introduced her to the notion of a Lab Notebook, where you record all your thoughts about a project, then cross them out, then go back to them, and she was thrilled. She'd been working on how to install a lighting valence around a bunch of pipes that was a right bitch to get into place, and kept forgetting all the clever ideas she'd had before.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

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Ah the talent we wasted by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:57:41 AM EST
When things were Not Done.

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north america by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:12:17 AM EST
Still has a lot of forest, I expect that influences the cost of things, which of course influences what gets built.

My last big project turned me into a firm believer in renting tools. Stuff moves a lot faster with the right tools, and %DEITY% knows any project needs more work/time then you expected at the start.

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Yep. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:14:22 AM EST
There will be a last section in the series: what I have learned.

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In Soviet Washington, we grow trees for this. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 03:51:57 PM EST
Also in Soviet Oregon and Soviet Redneck Georgia. Probably in your home of record too. Old-growth forest is rarely used.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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bwahahaha by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 04:17:15 PM EST
Here's an article that says that 90% of the logging in Canada is in virgin forest:

Seriously, take a look at the google maps satellite of Georgia, and then northern Ontario or Quebec.

3/4 of Canada's population lives within an hour of the US border. Another 1/15 or so live in the Calgary/Edmonton corridoor. There's a lot of places only lightly touched by civilization, if at all.

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Canuckistan is seriously underpopulated. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 04:42:40 PM EST
Would you like to adopt some Louisianeans? By some, I mean all.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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I have occasionally wondered by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 09:22:57 AM EST
if Canada could resolve e.g. the Palestinian problem by offering the entire country a chance to move to Canada - hey guys, here's a land grant 10x the size of your current territory, free, come on over and start fresh.

Then I look at the native reserves and realize there are lots of problems that land doesn't solve.

Obviously incoming [louisianians|palestinians|haitians] would bring some of their problems right along with them, I gotta wonder if it be 90% of the problems or 10%?

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That doesn't work. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 11:44:32 AM EST
Just ask Houston.
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I found a solution: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 01:29:11 PM EST

Just need to get UN approval.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
no studs on the walls ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:36:00 AM EST
the tongue in groove will support the wall weight and roof weight with no studs ? color me surprised..

Duh, if the tongue in groove is really good by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #4 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:39:40 AM EST
there's no need for studs, unless you're talking procreation.

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Yep. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:53:08 AM EST
The logs are about 3" wide and have 3 tongue / groove points.

The ends also interlock for extra strength (just like a log cabin).  On the front and back corners there are storm braces from roof to floor though.

It's pretty solid.

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10 years later by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:54:34 AM EST
The Sheddesy II: Demolishing the Bastard...

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
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Don't... by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:11:02 AM EST
Both my Dad and I are of the opinion that if it needs one nail use four, if it needs one screws use two.

I suspect it'd be quicker to burn it down.  2.5 tonnes through the house == pain.  Best sell up before it's too tatty though...

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ah, that I didn't make out by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:00:53 AM EST
from earlier pics, and would explain the tonnage of the wood.. From the pics, the sides/walls look like standard 3/4" boards, not 3" lumber..

Though looking back at the part 4 pics, the tongue-in-groove pics look more like a 2x4, so ~1.5" thick, with some 3/4" thick single-tongue pieces as well.. Perspective is everything..

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I'll try and get some bonus by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:12:09 AM EST
Close up pics for the next Shedyssey.

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I'm just catching up on this series by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 10:49:48 AM EST
And I've really enjoyed it. Thanks for the documentation of your adventure! Also, I really am jealous of your dad. He sounds pretty much ideal.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
Thanks! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:02:06 AM EST
Nearly done now though; I'd be surprised if I get to 10.  Unless I string it out into more detailed pics, like how the logs interleave, the roof in more detail than is truly interesting.

The next Shedyssey marks the beginning of the dark times though; Dad leaves the series.

He's not perfect; like all of us he has his faults.  But we forgive him them as he forgives us ours. 

When there's a clear job to be done we team up well together and it's been a good bonding time for us all.  Especially as he got to play with MiniBreaker each morning and night.

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That is not a shed at all by komet (4.00 / 2) #11 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:09:05 AM EST
It's a rectangular gazebo!

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
What's he got to do with it? by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:13:46 AM EST

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Calling it a shed ... by codemonkey uk (4.00 / 2) #20 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 12:35:23 PM EST
... seems like a good way to avoid the planning permission he'd need for that man house he's building himself.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
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None required. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:08:32 AM EST
We checked the national and local building statutes.  No running water (hence no interface to the sewage systems - they're really hot on that one), and not above 2.5m high.

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Bwaaaaa? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 11:45:14 AM EST
No wet bar?!?!?!
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In the workshop by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 12:07:57 PM EST
Under the bench there will be one of these.  Not exactly that model, but it's big enough to hold 8 tins of beer or 4 tins and a bottle of wine.

In any case, I could probably spit a cherry stone from the shed door and hit the house back wall.

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You need by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 12:38:25 PM EST
a large scale model train to shuttle ice from the kitchen to the shed.
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Too slow. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 12:40:19 PM EST
Remote controlled robot arm to get ice out of the freezer and dispatch it down a deathslide in an icebucket, surely?

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Lacrosse racket based trebuchet? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 12:42:19 PM EST
Or maybe Jai Alai.
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You're hired! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 05:46:42 AM EST

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You should have said... by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 03:58:14 PM EST
That's no shed ... its a space station!

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
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Shedyssey Part Seven: The Last Day of the Band Before the Split | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback