Never did This Before….I’m Gonna Throw this Thing in the River!

…..But they were all of them deceived…for another router bit was made. In the land of Mordor in the fires of Mount Doom the Dark Lord Sauron forged, in secret, a master router bit to control all others… and into this router bit he poured his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life….One router bit to rule them all!!!!!!!!!!!

One Router Bit to Rule Them All!
One Router Bit to Rule Them All!

Did you ever see the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales” with Clint Eastwood? Well there’s this scene where the bounty hunter comes into the bar and Josey Wales says to the effect:  “If you just walk out of here you won’t die.” So the bounty hunter walks out and everyone is relieved. But then a few seconds later the bounty hunter steps back into the bar. He says, “I had to come back.” To which Josey Wales replies, “I know.” Then he shoots the bouty hunter.

It’s a little bit that way for me, too. I had to come back with something about the router bit and the Lord of the Rings. On my way to work one day I was just thinking about  the beginning of the movie and thought that would be kind of funny. Okay, it wasn’t that funny but it’s just like I said I had to come back and do it. This is how my mind works so you’re all just going to have to put up with it. Sorry.

…and we didn’t even use the router this weekend.

Shall we get started? All righty then.

Well Jude and my wife were heading over to SUNY New Paltz Saturday to take a final look at that school before deciding on what college Jude should go to. It’s between Suny New Paltz, Catholic University, and Siena college a sort of distant third. (and Fordham is a very distant fourth.)It’s gettting close to crunch time in the college decision making department. Is it ever easy? I’m always amazed that some people know exactly where they want to go. There really are so many choices….and let’s be honest who really knows what the heck they want to do with the rest of their lives when they’re 17 years old? I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life and I’m 50. Good grief!

Well I know what I’ m doing this Saturday and that’s a start. It’s just me and Terence and we actually got quite a bit done. I’m not sure if I’ll get into everything cause I have some stuff I have to do later so I might have to cut this short. So let’s begin and see how far we get.

The main thing I wanted to do this weekend was to try and install the beginnings of our retaining wall curb. In order to do this though we need some means and methods of getting this prebuilt curb up onto the roof. My thought was to build a ramp on the east side of the house that would rest on the walers of the wall extensions. Now these walers were kinda sort of started by Jude and Kevin quite a while ago. Since then we’ve had a couple of feet of snow and everything has gotten pushed around a bit. So the first order of business was to get these walers on. At least as far as we needed them anyway. The hairpin/waler thing is pretty easy if everything is lined up right and all, but that wasn’t really the case. There came a point were we couldn’t get one of the hairpins on so I showed Terence a little trick. The old notch the 3 by 4 and get it on trick. Here’s the picture.

Notch the 3x4 with the skill saw.
Notch the 3×4 with the skill saw.

As they say in Brooklyn…Bada bing…Bada boom.

That solved our hairpin problem. I think we had to do it in one other location as well. Anyway after that I set Terence up with the prep of the curb. What he had to do was establish the center of the large diamond by drawing an X through the center and drilling a 1 inch hole through this center. This will later receive a 12 inch cone snap tie to hold the sides of the wall together. You’ll see. Here he is putting it together.

Terence attaching the detail blocks to the retaining wall curb.
Terence attaching the detail blocks to the retaining wall curb.

Here’s one that’s completed.

Completed curb with detail blocks attached.
Completed curb with detail blocks attached.

While he was working away I got started on the ramp up to the roof. I used 16 foot 4×4’s 16 inches on center and some old HDO plywood. I put an OSHA plank down first as a mudsill at the bottom,so it all kind of works together and then laid the 4x’s on top of the waler. Now this is a bit dangerous. When you put it together it looks great but I’ve seen set ups like this slide over time and fall. Enter friendly neighborhood banding wire. I mean this stuff is  great. Whoever invented this has got to be in heaven. Even God said “good job with this one!” Anyway, I used the banding wire to tie the 4×4’s to the waler. This thing is now going to be there forever. Just in case you’re confused I took a picture. Check it out.

Banding wire holding 4x4 to the waler system.
Banding wire holding 4×4 to the waler system.

…and here’s the ramp I was talking about. Certain items we are going to have to build and walk onto the roof. This will make that part of it easy.

Ramp up to the roof.
Ramp up to the roof.

I want to put an additional support under there but we kind of ran out of time. I’ll get to that before the crew comes back though. I forgot to mention another item Terence and I completed as well. We plumbed up and secured all of the north and south spandrel sides when we first got there. So much easier with two people. We ran right through that. It looks really good and is really secure now.

By this time Terence had gotten enough sides done so we went right into putting together the first retaining wall curb. Never did this before so I was excited to see how it would go. So smooth. It’s definitely a two man job though. What you have to do is put two pieces of the curb together by nailing a 1×4 onto the top and bottom edges. One guy is the nailer and the other guy bends the 1×4 until it gets to the right spot and is nailed off. It didn’t take long. We also drilled the holes for the supporting snap ties….which I will explain in a minute.

Retaining wall curb with 1x4's installed.
Retaining wall curb with 1×4’s installed.

I cut off the long ends with a skill saw. 1,2,3, done.

So how is this thing going to sit on top of the roof and stay in place? Good question. I’m glad you asked. Which brings me to our specialty snap ties. The slab is 9 inches thick at the spandrel section. I figured I would use 9 inch short tail ties through the deck securing them underneath first….and then sit the wall curb right on top of them. Of course the location of all the ties is critical. Once I had this idea it was just a matter of where should I put the ties? I wound up using the same location as the large diamonds on the curb itself. So it was just a matter of looking at my full scale layout and measuring all the locations from the centerline of the Hobbit house. It was really easy. (I know my wife is probably not getting it but once you start doing it you kind of get it.) So I had previously laid out the location and drilled all the holes for the ties. Then we cut six inch blocks and drilled 1 inch holes in them to “catch” the tie underneath the deck. Now I know you’re confused. Here’s a picture of the secured ties underneath the deck. Check it out.

Snap tie secured under the deck.
Snap tie secured under the deck.

The picture didn’t help, did it? Hang in there. So once I secured all the relevant ties we brought the curb upstairs and sat it on the ties. One man holds the end and the other man guides the ties through each hole as the hold man lowers his end. Hmmmm. Sounds a bit confusing but it went in like clockwork. After this is done we located the centerline of the curb properly and secured it with some 1×4’s. What I did was cut the 1x”s long enough so that nailing them to the back of the 1x on the spandrel would align the curb in the correct location on the roof deck. Then it was just a simple matter of putting a brace on the curb to “plumb it up”. Here’s a picture of the bracing system we used. Also look at the snap ties supporting the curb.

First piece of curb installed.
First piece of curb installed.

I used the same blocks that I used underneath the deck to lock down the curb up on top. Get it? I was really happy with how strong everything was when I finished. This thing is definitely locked in place for concrete.

Here’s a picture of Terence after we were done. We got all of this done in about 4 hours. It was great.

Curb viewed from the inside.
Curb viewed from the inside.

Terence had a party to go to  later so I brought him home to do homework and rest and I went back to the house. I wanted to try and install the trim on the spandrel face before I went any further. So I got my skew back and half round and set up the compressor. I had a porter cable brad nailer.I figured this thing will be great to nail this stuff up with. I mean the nailer is kind of beat up. We use it to nail boxes at work. But unbeknownst to me I had inadvertently picked up the 18 gauge brads instead of the 16 gauge ones. Who knew? I never bought the nails for the gun before. So I’m using the gun and like two nails are coming out of it. One goes into the wood fine and another is either sticking out of the wood or hanging off or inside of the nosepiece. So each time I shoot a nail I have to dejamb this thing. Anger senses are starting to tingle. After clearing about 10 jambs I’m ready to throw this brad nailer into the river. So I says to myself I says: I’m not dealing with this! I’ll buy a real nail gun that actually works. The short version: I go to Home Depot and go to the nailing gun section and I see that there are two different gauged nails. You dope!  I couldn’t believe it. I bought the 16 gauge nails and they worked like a charm. At least I didn’t wind up buying another brad gun though. I almost fired myself for that one.

I hope I’m explaining things well enough for you. Take it easy and I’ll see you soon!

Enjoy your week!

Jim

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Never did This Before….I’m Gonna Throw this Thing in the River!

  1. Ben: Thanks for writing and I’m glad you found the site! Hope you continue to follow along. If you get the chance my wife and I are always courious as to how people find our website. Let us know if you get the time to respond!

    Thanks again!

    Jim

  2. The Bagfoots (Bagfeet?) would be proud. that’s beautiful. I’m a huge fan of both Upstate New York (I lived in the Adirondacks for some years) and Hobbit homes. So great. Good luck- I hope your journey there and back again is a successful one!

    • Thanks John! I’m glad you like my interpretation of a Hobbit home and thanks for writing! It’s much appreciated.

      Thanks again!
      Jim

  3. Looking good dudes! I’m looking forward to seeing the final product.

    Also, I’m trying to get some Hobbit Hollow swag. Any suggestions on retail locations?

    • Mr. Pete: Glad to hear from you! Unfortuneately there is only one way to get Hobbit Hollow swag. Ya gotta earn it. I hear there is a spot open at the router table the weekend of the 19th. That is if you are interested in the true meaning of pain and suffering….and you will suffer. Call me for the secret location if you’re interested.And remember you can’t divulge the location of Hobbit Hollow to anyone! Got it.

      Good luck at school!(See you Easter Sunday)

      Uncle Jim

      • I’m going to school to be an engineer to avoid the suffering. Maybe I could just inspect the site and recommend tightening up the safety fence and putting more rebar caps on. Would that count?

        • Hmmm. No work no shirt. That’s the deal. The shirts are not for sale and they are also kept in a secret location.(Turns out I’m also the only one who knows of this particular location so don’t bother your cousins with any silly questions. They’re still looking for their Easter Egg baskets from two years ago….enough said.)

          Sorry buddy,
          Uncle Jim

Leave a Comment