Of Stringers and a Passage to the Misty Mountains

So what happened to last weeks post? A good question. Not that I have to answer it. Or as they say in Queens…Who’s askin’? Well it’s sort of a long story…the short version. Truck drives down our road and rips the telephone wire off the pole. This is Thursday. We call our phone company, Verizon and of course we get a customer service person in India. They say: We’ll see you next week. We got back up and running I think Wednesday and it was really too late to post by then.  That’s a true story. I left out the part where my wife was yelling over the phone. India is far away so you have to raise your voice so you can be heard. No internet or phone service for a week. It was as if we got hit  by hurricane Sandy again. Except the Verizon crews had other things to do. I guess.

So I never told you all about the foothills of the Misty Mountains.  Yes that is where Hobbit Hollow is located. It is here where I found a secret entrance into one of Gollum’s tunnels. Where the one ring lay asleep for 500 years. Here’s the entrance.

 

The entrance to Gollum's cave. The foothills of the Misty Mountains.
The entrance to Gollum’s cave. The foothills of the Misty Mountains.

 It kind of  looks like a cave entrance doesn’t it?  Lord of the Rings geeks like me are always thinking about stuff like this. It can’t be helped. My wife understands though so it’s OK. Pretty awesome rock outcropping though wouldn’t you say?

So where were we anyway? Oh yeah the stringers. Well it’s been a few weeks now since I started  and I’ve been picking away at it. It was pretty tough going  working by myself  but I’m in it for the long haul and I figure if  I just keep hitting singles I will eventually score. So here are a few pictures of the stringer installation as it was going on.

First Stringers up with 2x4 strapping from one wall to the other.
First Stringers up with 2×4 strapping from one wall to the other.

This picture really shows the start of the whole process. These stringers are set up on 8 foot centers with post shores at the joints of the stringers. I used the laser level to get these at the right elevation.

Stringers spliced together with a plywood cleat.
Stringers spliced together with a plywood cleat.

So when you put the stringers end to end like it’s shown in the picture I added a plywood cleat and nailed it with 8 penny double head nails.  This kind of keeps the stringers aligned and helps with the connectivity of the stringer system. Later on we’ll brace this stringer system before we go up on top of it and you’ll see why it’s important to do this.

Once I had the general layout done I started to go into  production mode which was  easier to do by oneself. Check out my setup.

Production stringer installation.
Production stringer installation.

So basically you put one end of the stringer on the 2×4 strap and set up your ladder at the end where the previous stringer has been nailed to the jack. Then you just walk the stringer up the ladder and nail it in place. One of the issues I had ,which I’m not sure of, was should I have put a gravel bed down before I started the stringers. As you can see underneath each jack I have a 24 inch OSHA plank mud sill. This is like a bearing plate to spread the concrete load when we pour the roof. A gravel bed would have been nice but I kind of wanted to put the underslab plumbing in before the gravel. The gravel would have made installing the jacks a lot easier. The jury is still out on this one. We shall see how things work out in the spring.

Stingers installed.Jacks 8 foot on center.
Stingers installed.Jacks 8 foot on center.

So I worked Saturday morning til noon and then went to Jude’s last football game. Turnover’s…It’s the fans worst nightmare. The other team was better  but I think it would have been a different game if they didn’t turn the ball over to the other team 5 times. They ended up 4 and 4. I’m gonna miss the games though. Some of them were way better than what you see on TV. I finished the stringers and jacks Sunday. The only thing I have to do is laser level all the jacks. Then we can start framing the barrel vaulted ceiling. Well…start. Here’s another veiw of the stringers. Hopefully you’ll start to get what’s going on.

Stringers in.
Stringers in.

This is the platform base ,if you will, that will be the starting point for the barrel vaulted ceiling.

The final score of the Jet game is too gruesome to even mention. Have a great week!

Jim

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Of Stringers and a Passage to the Misty Mountains

  1. Jim,

    Been late in catching up with your updates. I included my email address. Next time (and I hope there is not a next time), please email/call me with Verizon issues. Sorry about that.

    Mike

    • Mike: That’s great for next time…but what about the pain and suffering my family and I sustained while we had no internet service for a week? How am I getting compensated for that? My wife was in tears every night I got home, my kids were at each others throats and we haven’t fed our cats in days. I mean you’ve gotta tell service to go in another direction. Like via Brewster intead of India.Only kidding….Thanks for writing.I hope everything is going well. All is good here.

      Take it easy,
      Jim

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