Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   twists in the straps
Saturday, June 9 2018 [REDACTED]
This morning Gretchen and I got up early (even before 8:00am I think, which almost never happens) and had our Saturday morning coffee out on the porch's nearly-built roof. It was the only spot visible anywhere that was lit up by the rising sun. The cats, who are always suckers for a construction project, came out to join us one after the other. Oscar even ventured out onto the part of the roof that doesn't yet have sheathing, walking on just the naked rafters (and the blocking between them).

Looking east at Oscar walking on the blocking between rafters over the girder.

Diane the Kitten with Oscar on the sheathed part of the roof. The leaves are from a tall tree of heaven growing just east of the house (and southeast of the porch). In the background (to the north) is the east deck, whose paint job is in a terrible state.

After I'd had my coffee, I started taking measurements and making marks on the rafters so I would know where to cut them. I usually do everything by myself, but since she was around, I had Gretchen help me with the chalking string. With everything nicely marked, I set up some long 14 foot two by sixes far out on the rafters to serve as scaffolding and then cut the ends off each rafter using a skilsaw. Each cut was plumb, which is something I often don't worry about with my shed roofs (on the greenhouse and woodshed, the ends of the rafters are all square to the rafters and not plumb).
Later, while Gretchen and the dogs were getting a page of a 13th century manuscript appraised at the library in Old Hurley, I drove out to the Home Depot to get four more sheets of sheathing (enough to finish the roof) as well as a 14 foot two by ten to I could cut down to serve as fascia (that is, the board that attaches to the ends of the rafters). I also got 12 eight foot two by fours, four 16 foot two by fours, 20 metal struts I could use to better support the plywood sheathing from below, and 100 feet of 48 inch wide screen, most of these supplies needed to finished the screened walls of the porch. Some guy saw me roll my big Home Depot lumber cart with all these things up to my modest Subaru and commented that Subaru should get a picture of what I was "about to do." "I do it all the time," I replied, somewhat defensively. "I think it's great," he said.
As I strapped everything down, I was careful to twist all the Thule-brand straps so they wouldn't act like reeds in the wind when I was driving. The humming from those straps had been almost deafening the last time I'd used them. Happily, twisting the straps effectively silenced them (and yet the large, complex load was secure).
At ShopRite, I'd bought a 12 pack of Tecate beer, four limes, and two bottles of Yucatan Sunshine hot sauce (ShopRite no longer appears to carry Sontava), and I made a pact with myself that if I finished the sheathing, I could drink some of that beer.
Installing the fascia board was a little tricky since it was so long and heavy (and I also milled it first using the table saw). What worked was to suspend it from a rope attached to the tree of heaven at the south end and atop an inserted two by four at the north end, both of which placed the board almost exactly where it needed to be without anyone having to hold it. Then I could just fire screws into it all along its length.
With the fascia installed, I could finish the sheathing, but then, after that, I made the mistake of trying to fill the gap between the tranches of plywood with roofing tar, with the idea being that if it got rained on before I installed the roofing, the water would be carried off the roof and away. But when I went down below the roof for some reason, I saw that the tar had flowed through the cracks and was now raining down in a line on the deck. What a disaster! So I used paint thinner to clean up what I could and then put down cardboard and other disposable material for any additional droplets of tar to fall onto. I ended up covering the roof with a couple tarps to protect it from the weather. It can be like that indefinitely (certainly for the rest of the summer) while I complete the porch below.
Meanwhile I saw Neville guarding something on the dog bed near the stereo (in the southeast corner of the living room). It looked like the corpse of a rabbit, but I didn't look too carefully because, well, Neville was guarding it. I decided to just let him keep it and deal with the problem tomorrow.
I ended up getting kind of drunk, taking a bath, falling asleep in the tub, and not awaking until nearly 1:00am. Gretchen, who had gone out to see an excellent production of Fun Home in Rhinebeck, was not yet home. She returned shortly thereafter, having been drinking wine with Alana and Chrissy in Kingston.

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