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:
   standing seam installation
Tuesday, August 28 2018
At some point today came the arrival of the roofing edging pieces I needed before I could begin work installing the roofing panels. But when I actually looked at these pieces, I saw that they were identical to the pieces I'd used for the east edge (that is, the eaves-edge where the water drips off). After some examination of the parts, I realized I'd been using the material intended for eaves-edge as side edge and the material intended for side edge as eaves edge. Ultimately, I decided to keep the side-edge material at the eaves-edge and install more of it on the north edge and put the remainder of material intended for the eaves-edge at the south edge. The instructions with this material had been terrible, but now I could finally see what had been intended for securing the non-eaves edges. There was a slot in the non-eaves edging for inserting the edge of the roof. Doing so would be a lot easier than using a seaming tool to bend the long edge of a piece of roofing over and crimping it around an edge (the way one has to do at the eaves edge with the short downhill edge of every piece). The way I was now doing things, I'd take advantage of this system for the north edge, but I'd still have to use the seaming tool to fold the edge over the edging on the south edge of the roof, where I was using edging designed for the eave-end of the roof as side-edge.
With that figured out, I now had to determine how wide to cut the first piece. Since the panels were all sixteen inches wide and the rafters were 16 inches on center, I wanted the attachment screws to line up with the rafters. I decided to start out with the hardware going into the rafters about a half inch from their southmost edge. I didn't know if slight differences in measurements between the roofing material and the spacing of the rafters would make the lines of hardware "walk" with respect to subsequent edges and which direction this walk would tend to go in. I guessed that material was, if anything slightly narrower than 16 inches, though I really should've taken careful measurements of the studs and the way the material added up before cutting that first piece. In any case, the first line of hardware was hidden in the rafter, and so was the second. I didn't know enough about the roofing panels to know what kind of persuasion they needed to snap together. There had been some mention in the directions of using a rubber hammer, so I thought banging them with a chunk of wood was what you're supposed to do. It wasn't; doing so left a number of small dents in the seam upon which I hammered. It turned out that the best approach was to just stand on the ridge with a bare foot and then apply my weight (now 165.5 pounds, the lightest I've been since at least 2012), and continue doing this every couple feet until the panels snapped together with a satisfying metallic pop. After that, it was always necessary to bang the bottom end of the panel uphill until it was in its final position, with the bottom edge (which I'd already bent at least 90 degrees) ready to be bent over completely and crimped with seamer.

About half way through the installation of the roofing, I went down into the basement to look to see if the fasteners had yet walked off the rafter. There were indications that they were on the edge of doing so. So I tried to alter the wavelength of several subsequent panels by sending the fasteners in at an angle. This kept them in the rafters for a few more panels, but these panels tended to bow out from the roof decking. That probably doesn't really matter much except for in terms of æsthetics, and then only for people who know to look for it. I eventually gave up on trying to prevent the fasteners from poking through visibly into the ceiling of the porch below; I figured I could do something to mask them later.
I hadn't actually intended to install the whole roof today, but at a certain point it became addictive, and I managed to finish up the last piece (a long narrow strip of roofing panel clicked onto a full-size neighbor to the north and folded over on its long 14-foot-long-plus south edge to hold the edging. Considering I did all that folding with a cheap Harbor Freight seamer tool, it actually ended up looking pretty smart. [REDACTED]
All of the panels had to be cut cross-wise to length, and I had to make two long length-wise cuts in the same piece to produce the two ends. I used the expensive saw blade from Herzog's to do these cuts, and I was careful to first put on a long-sleeve shirt, a full-face protective mask, hearing protection, and gloves before running it. Even so, little flecks of steel occasionally hit me in the neck, the legs, and even on the end of my penis (the weather was so hot and humid that by the end of the day, aside from the protective clothing I'd wear only when running the metal saw, I was working naked). Despite working around all those sharp edges, I only managed to cut myself once (near the cuticle of my right thumb), though I was also stung by a hornet at some point when I lingered too long in front of their nest in a stone wall near where I was doing the roof panel cutting in the yard. Those fuckers had been responsible for another stinging earlier in the summer, and I thought I'd killed them all with a blast of HotShot, but evidently they'd rebounded from that setback and are just as ornery as ever. I was also bitten by a few mosquitoes, though they weren't as bad on the roof as they would've been had I been working from the ground. Thankfully, all the roofing could be done from atop the roof without the use of ladders.

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