School’s out for Thanksgiving…And in the aftermath of Cortaca weekend the college students arrive back home in one piece and with little money in their pockets. They need money and I need a Hobbit House roof built.
Jude and Terence were both away at a peer leader weekend event so I needed some extra help…Ethan happened home and brought a couple of his friends along with him Saturday to give me a hand. Egzon and Mike are both battle hardened right from the war torn streets of the Cortaca weekend.They worked along with Jude’s friends RJ, Mikey, and Kevin. We had a lot to do so we’ll get right to it.
I got to the site around 7am to get everything set up and ready to rock and roll. There were a lot of tools to set up along with their cords and the like and I wanted to have everything out before the boys got there. One of the things I wanted to do was set up a chop saw to cut the 3x4s with. 3x4s are a little hard to cut with a 7 and 1/4 inch skill saw blade and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. I figured if I set up a decent bench for the boys anyone would be able to cut them… It actually worked out pretty well. I thought Mikey was going to cut his fingers off the first time he tried it but he got the hang of it quickly and went home with all of his fingers in tact. Of course me being me, I had bought a blade about 3 months ago for the chop saw and never put it on. Sure enough I set the whole thing up and went to cut a 3×4 and the blade was totally shot.I go to my handy dandy tool box and it turns out I don’t have the right sized screw driver to get the guard out of the way to change the blade. I had to send Ethan back to the house for a screw driver. There’s always something. Anyway here’s the bench I set up Saturday morning.
Like I said we had a lot to do so I set up Kevin, Mikey and Egzon cutting out the templates for the roof. By the end of the day I think Kevin didn’t want to see another roof template the rest of his life. They did a good job though and I’m glad they were here to help me out. Here they are. Ethan’s taking a coffee order in the picture.
I couldn’t believe how fast saturday went by for me. It’s like a blur. I’m actually having trouble remembering all the stuff we did and who did what.
I set up RJ and Mike installing the roof templates. It’s kind of a tricky process and a dangerous one as well. It’s not like they are working on a flat deck with no fall hazards. On the contrary…the situation they were in was probably one of the most dangerous. We went over safety and all and I kept my eye on them as much as I could. Of course it was me who nearly went through the deck at one point. “It’s a dangerous business Frodo Baggins…going to work on a Hobbit house” and it certainly is.The two of them did well though. Hopefully RJ now knows how to plumb something up with a 4 foot level. It took him three times but I think he got it. “That little bubble has to go exactly in between those two lines got it.” Third time is the charm though isn’t it? It must have been the residual effect of Cortaca weekend on the brain. Here’s the two of them.
After they got the first row in RJ did a little jig as Mike looked on.
While all this was going on Ethan and I began to prepare for nailing the roof decking to the 2x4s. If you remember last time I mentioned that the plywood is going to want to spring back into a flat position. It’s not going to want to take the shape of the Hobbit house roof. So when you nail the plywood to a 2×4 that’s nestled in the roof template it’s going to lift the 2×4 out of its place. So how do we keep the 2×4 from moving? We use our handy dandy banding wire of course. What we did is we used the banding wire as a strap to hold down every other 2×4. We started at the first plywood joint and then went every two foot on center. I was actually surprized how tough it was to nail down the sheets. It was a three man team at the start.Two holding down and one guy nailing. Once we got the first row nailed it was a little easier. Here’s a picture of the tie down system we used.
The other thing Ethan and I did was establish where the first sheet was going to be nailed. I wanted to limit the numer of plywood seams in the bedrooms and the living and dining rooms. From the edge of slab I called for a three foot overhang. This would protect the siding later for longevity and also give you a place for cover when you’re opening your front door. Hobbits don’t like to get wet when they’re fumbling for their keys after a night out at “The Green Dragon Bar and Grill” and neither do I. Especially after having one to many strawberry margaritas. Ok let’s get back to the problem at hand shall we? So I had this little laser level that Ethan held on the edge of the slab. We used the vertical setting and I was able to get two marks up on the 2x4s eight foot apart to establish the location of the first sheet. Then we called Egzon up to help us with the first sheet. Why Egzon you say? Because everyone knows Albanians are good climbers and have a good sense of balance that’s why.
We srtuggled a bit with the first row. Lining it up, nailing it and then getting the seam of the next sheet to line up with the first one we nailed. The roof is relatively walkable. You have to be a little bit careful but all in all I was pleased with the pitch of the roof as far as doing the finish work that we’ll need to do later on. We got this nailed off right before we broke for lunch. Check it out.
I knew I was going to have a problem where the roof frames into the wall. As usual in my haste to nail the first row I neglected to put a nailer at the bottom. This might not seem like a big deal but this location is where the greatest weight of concrete will be. If we fail to back up the plywood here it will bend under the weight of the 14 to 16 inch concrete slab….and then it will look like you know what. So we don’t want the plywood to bend. Here’s a picture of what I came up with.
Hmmm….I’m not sure this is such a good picture. But the roof plywood is short of the wall line here and I have to patch the plywood. It’s like an 8 inch patch. I nailed this 3×4 on the flat into the roof templates so that it’s half and half with this piece of ply. I’ll try to show it a little better next week but this is an important point as far as the pour is concerned. We’ll support that 3×4 from underneath before we pour concrete.
On a different note I kind of felt the deck move a little at one point and I was like…. this thing really shouldn’t be moving. I went downstairs and decided to put some extra bracing in now. Mikey and Kevin had finished the templates and it was perfect timing to get this done. We spent the last hour or so bracing up. I have to admit I am a little concerned about this pour. This is a lot of weight to put on a wooden stucture like this. We are really going to have to brace the hell out of this thing.
I had Ethan and Egzon nail another row of decking and then start connecting the rows of 2×4’s togther. I forgot to take a picture of this but this is an important point as well. The 2x4s that sit in the templates are only 12 feet long so they have to be spliced between templates. I’m not sure we did it the best way. We used 8 penny doubles and cleats to connect them. I think I’m gonna try inch and a quarter course thread drywall screws next week. We’ll see what works better.
Here’s the roof at the end of the day Saturday.
Starting to look like something ehh? Sunday was a bust. I had to fix my water softener. I don’t think I’ve ever done a plumbing job were I didn’t have to go to the store at least twice to get something I needed to finish. That was the case this day as well. It never fails. And on top of that I somehow lost the power supply cord to the damn thing too! (Radio Shack to the rescue!)Jets lost as well. What a mess. The only thing good about the Jets loss is that Miami lost as well. Yet hope remains….while company is true. ( Galadriel on the Fellowship) You’ve gota watch the movie.The second Hobbit movie is right around the corner. I can hardly wait. Oh yeah, I almost forgot here’s a picture of the Traveling Company at the end of the day. Good job guys!
To the free folk of Middle Earth and beyond I wish you all a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!
Hobbit Hollow Jim