Monday, June 28, 2010

Huge Piles

The last few days have had their ups and downs. The ups? Doug and Shanna have been here for almost one month helping us with the floor, the foundation and cutting timbers. The downs? They will only be here for four more days! Time seems to be running away from us. We really want to get the timber frame up and the straw walls stacked.

One day while laying out a piece of timber, Scott said, "If anyone asks us what we would do differently, I would say DON'T do timber frame." Why? Because it takes a really long time to lay out, cut and fit the timbers.

Since we have never done anything like this before, it feels like we are always doubting if we are doing anything correctly. The timber frame process involves buying a huge pile of logs cut to specified lengths, each planed on all four sides. The logs sit under tarps outside our garage waiting their turn to be cut. While they sit under the tarps, they either bake or freeze depending upon the day and season. All of this cooking makes the timbers twist. They are trees after all, and trees do whatever they like...especially when they are no longer standing with their friends in the forest. (Maybe this is what we get for using trees even though they come from the mountains not far from Torrey. Trees probably don't care about things like that. Maybe trees only care about being with their friends and worrying about wind, chain saws, squirrels and dogs.)

Once each piece of timber is cut, it goes back into the huge piles until it is time to fit them. Once they are fit (and this seems to take FOREVER) they go back into the huge piles until it is time to raise them up into the frame house we have planned for them.

We are making progress but the going is slow. All of 16 posts, 18 girts, 48 braces and four of the eight trusses are completed. Only two of the posts have been fit. We can see there is much work left to do to get to the raising. Mid-July would be very nice for this, but Scott says I'm dreaming. Okay, just let me wear my rose-colored glasses for awhile.

When we finally get to the straw bale part of the straw bale house, we will be dancing and drinking a toast to this huge accomplishment. Until then, it's back to those huge piles of timber and our chisels.

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