East wall down

endwallSMI feel a little bad that our farm blog is getting temporarily overrun as a house remodel blog, but that’s at least three quarters of what’s going on right now. Maybe that’s OK, though, as homebuilding and shelter have been integral parts of the farm existence since the dawn of time. It’s like we’re having a barn raising, except in super slow motion.

This weekend, we took out the east wall to make room for the new window seat bumpout. This involved erecting a scaffolding, lent to us by my beekeeping mentor and carpenter buddy Terry. I’d never worked on a scaffolding before, and I tell you what, it’s WAY better than working on a ladder. What a difference! It feels so much safer, and you have such better leverage on the work. Totally worth the extra half hour it takes to set it up. Here we see a rare picture indeed: one with me in it. Emily was on hand and took this action photo, and you can also see Sleep hard at work. Like I said, it’s a barn raising, in that we’re getting a lot of community help. Thanks guys!

tensiontieSMOf structural note: when I removed the interior siding, I found that the  building was built differently than I’d expected. Rather than a kingpost over the header, there was a horizontal tension chord made up of three 2x6s. This holds the sidewalls from spreading outward from the roof force. I was planning on putting in full-height studs to carry the sideways load of the window seat, and those need to pass right through the space occupied by the tension member. It needed to be cut,  so in order to do that, I had to splice it with steel straps first (you can see it in the photo). I am pleased to report that nothing exciting happened when I made the cut, and the building did not collapse onto me.  🙂

As far as the farm goes- Emily is still planting flats of starts, and they are growing merrily in the mini greenhouse. Yesterday, I saw the new bee colonies bringing back pollen, which generally means that brood is present or on the way. Yay bees! They are happy in their new home.

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