Job Site Woes

I have never built anything as large as a house (even a tiny house) and I am learning that as the project gets bigger, so do the complications. Earlier this year we built a chicken coop, and it’s a d@mn nice chicken coop, but it’s still a chicken coop. We used a skill saw and drills for 90% of any work involving power tools, and since then we’ve acquired a table saw. So naive me thought that we’d have no problem finishing up the exterior stuff with just those saws. However, I quickly learned that not only did we not have all of tools we’d need, but there’s a lot more to setting up a build site than just the tools.

On Wednesday Raphael built us some great stairs to lead up to the front door, and later on the 1×6 doug fir sheathing was delivered so we started making preparations for that. Now that we have stairs outside, we’re realizing that we need a better way to get up into the loft. Right now we’re using a stool and hoisting ourselves up there, and while it’s a low loft, after doing that 27 times in an hour, the loft seems very tall. We’ve also encountered a couple glitches with our roofing – it’s all done except about 2 feet of ridge cap that must have gotten lost in translation and didn’t get ordered, and our storage shed will have to go without a drip edge because the piece we have isn’t long enough. I think I’ve made more trips to hardware stores in the last week than I had in the past year because we never have everything we need, and we could always use more than that – it’s a never ending process.)

Raphael picked us up an awesome miter saw that was amazing for chopping up some 4x4s that needed to be installed before sheathing, as well as cutting everything for framing out the storage shed on the back of the house. We eventually moved our saw station inside the house (after many sessions of leveling it, it’s nice and flat and stable, and much better than the tailgate of Raphael’s pickup). We got all the final framing pieces put in, and then we started to put the sheathing on the house and ran into our first real problem. Our brand new miter saw that cuts through a 4×4 in one go can’t cut a 45 degree angle in a 1×6. To say  there are a lot of 45 degree angles on 1×6’s that need to be cut for our house would be an understatement. We figured out how to get a nice clean line using 2 cuts, but it was incredibly time consuming, and meant feeding 20′ boards in and out of the house and flipping them over, with the cut going 3/4 of the way through.

We got about 4 boards done this way (as well as the storage roof that didn’t require angled cuts) before the end of the day Thursday, which was also when our guardian angel showed up. Our friend, Rio, was checking out the house and noticed our problem with the saw and sheathing and offered us his sliding miter saw that he’s not using – this means that we’ll be able to make a single cut and there’ll be no board gymnastics necessary (and saves us about $500 not having to buy another new saw)! Our next improvement is going to have to be getting our cutting station out of the house (especially now that there are going to be solid walls), and onto some sort of table set up outside. Now we just have to get this Pacific Northwest rain to go away so we can spend all day tomorrow getting more work done!

*It’s a lot harder to take photos when there are only 2 of us and we’re both working… we’ll try to get better and take more pictures to share with all of you!*

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