Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hi, we are back.
I know it has been a long time since my last blog but I forgot to do a blog before I went back to Indian Creek last week and of course there is no Internet connection up there.

The week I was home (09-19 to 09-25) wasn't all that interesting anyway.
It was a week of doctor visits, blood tests, ultra sound's, poking and probing. The result of all that stuff is that I am good to go for another year, once I get some new eye glasses.
Patti has been going through a similar regime but since she is a woman there are more things to check so she has a couple of more procedures to undergo. So far, she is also in good health.

While I was home I made the brackets for the porch beams on the cabin and wired up the new running lights on the jeep.

I left Santa Rosa, Saturday morning. The weather was warm enough to put the top down on the jeep and the ride to I.C. was beautiful.

I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday putting up more trim and starting the porch. Using jack stands as a temporary foundation for the porch worked out great.

Patti came up on Monday around noon.
We got her moved in and had lunch.
The weather was very warm so after working on the porch for a short time, we went down to the grove and sat by creek for a few hours.

Tuesday, we continued the work on the porch. The weather was very warm with temps in the low 100"s so we could only work in short stretches of maybe 10 to 20 minutes. we spent a lot of the day just siting in the shade watching the lizards play.

but we still got the frame done.

On Wednesday the weather was about the same and we had to take a lot of breaks

but by evening we had the deck on.

Thursday was my Birthday so I took most of the day off. I did do a little work on the stairs though.
About five years ago I found a down redwood that had been laying on the ground for a long time. The bark was gone and the out side "white wood" was in bad shape but the redwood core was still good. I cut the tree into two 13 foot lengths and drug them back to camp behind Pigpen. One of the sections I made into the stairs for the dining hall and I saved the rest to make the stairs for this project.
This 13 foot section was about 12 inches in diameter at the fat end and about 10 inches at the other end. The first thing I did to make the stairs was to cut two 4 foot lengths. Then I split the 4 foot logs in two. With two 4 foot lengths you get four steps.
The third piece was 5 feet long. I left it for tomorrow when I would split that to make the side rails.
One thing I have to put in here is, that this particular log was very easy to split because it had a crack that ran the full length and was about half way through the log. So it was more a matter of carefully opening up that crack. I used two large ax's and a 6 lb splitting mall to bust the logs.
Redwoods are pretty easy to split even if they are whole but it usually takes a lot more wedges and a lot more work than what I had to do with this one.
I am not a real good stair builder so my methods are probably much slower and clumsier than some one who knows what they are doing.
Anyway, here is what I did.

First I cleaned up the split surfaces and flattened the round side of the treads with a draw knife.
I put the first (top) step on a couple of jack stands. When it was at the right height and level I measured from the bottom of the step to the ground on each end and then cut a redwood stump (which I had split for this purpose) to size for each end.
The other steps were set in a similar manner, except that I had to use wooden blocks and shims for the lower steps because the jack stands were to tall.

Here are the treads stacked up but not leveled or bolted down yet.

The sides were a lot more work than the treads. After splitting the 5 foot log in two I had to draw knife the flats then we decided to try and split off a 3 inch board from the back but that didn't work out because the white wood doesn't split like the redwood does. We ended up using the draw knife on the back side of the log to flatten it.
We both got a good work out but eventually we got the logs shaped into side rail blanks.
Cutting the angles on the side boards was another hassle especially due to the fact that if I blew it I didn't have an other board to use.

I got lucky and after a small mistake which made the left hand rail a an inch shorter than the right one, we got the stairs done. The whole thing is lag bolted together. The treads are bolted to the support blocks and the side rails are bolted to the treads. The whole thing is bolted to the porch.

About an hour after we finished the stairs, Dave and Joanne drove up.
We spent the rest of the day hanging out on the porch and visiting with them.

That is the last of the big building projects for this year. Next year I will put on the rails and put a tin roof over the porch . That will finish the (Oh that's right! I forgot! This is not a cabin, its a) "tool shed".

We took it easy on Sunday.

Patti is pretty proud of the porch she helped to build.

I worked on the never ending trim work.

Joanne spent her time cleaning out the Dining hall.

She cleaned out the Loft and found the top to the old Marque tent that we used to use for Thanksgiving.
She pulled it out and we opened it up. It was in pretty bad shape as the mice have been using it as a hotel.
One half of the canvass was pretty chewed up and pretty filthy with mouse poo and pee so we decided to cut off that half and throw it away. I wanted to use the scalloped edge as a flap over the top of the canvas walls for the dining hall so we cut that off.

I think Dave may use the good half for one of the floor layers on their deck.

Dave spent the day working on his platform.

Monday, we slept in.

Dave finished his deck.
By the time we got the place cleaned up and the cars packed it was around 1:30.

We headed for home and stopped at the Hamburger Ranch for lunch/dinner.

We got home around 4:00.

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