ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Gilberto, George

I'm going to leave it. It is just going to be covered in sawdust, or spilled paint, or whatever else I will be working on in the future. When I walk across it I don't sense any unevenness unless I look at it and see the bull float lines and some minor depressions. Some floor paint will fix the optical illusion.

I finally got back to my skill-set today. I put on all of the sill plates on the shop but not until I created a safe spot for the cats. I built them a loft in the barn where they can sleep and get away and feel safe. Because their safe-spot now is the lumber that are the building blocks for the shop. Hopefully in a couple of weeks all of that lumber they hide in will have been incorporated in the building.

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ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Everything is coming alive on the new place and it is wonderful to see. All of my trees are leafing out and I am finally able to identify most of them to see what I have in my mini-forest. A lot of them have been quite the mystery over the winter. The grass is also growing very well which means I am spending a lot of time on a lawn mower and to top it off, my neighbor is quarantined in Georgia and she can't return to Kentucky until June, so I have agreed to mow her grass too while she is stuck there for a small fee. My days are full but I enjoy being busy.

Saw this hefty guy crawling across my driveway and took his picture. The lighting is awful but he wouldn't pose for me in the shade, ha.

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I would guess he was almost 4 feet long and after some research I believe he is a Northern Watersnake. There is a pond nearby so that makes sense.

https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsocie ... rsnake.php



I double plated the sill plates to hide the anchor bolts and provide a smooth surface in which to build my walls. It isn't necessary but I have the extra wood and I like the look so I incorporated the additional step.

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Currently what I am doing is taking all of the wood out of the barn ( from the Craigslist sale ) and making all of my components for the walls. I've already built my bottom and top plates and am currently making the wall studs. It's taking extra time because I have to plan for the proper yield of each board and not waste anything. That means spending some extra time deciding what is the best place for each board and if the off-cuts can be used elsewhere. My goal is to have very little waste when this is done.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Nice danger noodle! I like those things.

Those old boards are going to confuse the heck out of someone someday. :)

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Snakes are cool however I accidentally killed an Eastern Milk Snake today mowing grass. I felt bad but I didn't see him. I've encountered two snakes in two days and I saw something the other day that I have never seen in the wild: a bald eagle. I had a bald eagle fly over my property which just blows my mind as there aren't many eagles in my part of Kentucky.

The boards have nice patina to them. I'm really hoping that I don't have to use new wood just because of the color! I went through about 90 rafters today selecting the best ones for the roof and I cut up the rest for the walls. I should start actual building in the next couple of days.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

We had some major rain come through yesterday and knowing that I have been focusing on yard work, namely mowing the 3! lawns I am responsible for this year and reseeding bare areas where I built a new driveway. And I also managed to burn 6 of the 7 large brush piles in my back field. For some reason I just couldn't get one to burn and those trees were cut at the same time as the others.

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But I have been steadily working on the shop and today I finished framing all of the windows. Hopefully tomorrow, if we have mild winds, I will start putting together the walls as all of the components have been cut out or assembled. Since I am mainly working by myself, I am going to build the walls in place instead of on the floor and raising them up. They are just too big for that but I need calm weather or else the wind will blow it over before I can reinforce it.

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The tree experiment is going well. I've counted 70 trees growing so far and more on their way. The walnuts, however, haven't done anything and I don't know why.

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For those of you following the cats. They are growing and SLIGHTLY trust me now, but man are they skittish.

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ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ertyu »

Person following the cats, reporting. The cats are wonderful and this is a very well-composed picture of them. Good cats!

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@ertyu

I almost had all three in the picture but man these guys are suspicious. I think if I worked with them I could have them eating out of my hand but I just don't have the time or patience. But they'll get within a few feet of me when they eat, but absent the food they won't come near me. That crucial time period when they could have been acclimated to people was lost as I had no idea they were even living under my porch. Right now we have lunch together and while I eat my sandwich, they eat their cat food which is good enough for now.




Started framing yesterday in the snowfall! This is crazy for this part of the world at this time of year.

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But today I finished working with about 70 feet of wall built. It's slow but it's happening.

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bigato
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by bigato »

Don’t worry, the cats will eventually let you touch them. They already like and trust you, I can tell from the picture.

chenda
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by chenda »

I'm loving your updates and photos, looks like a great location you have.

What are you doing for a damp course, chemical ?

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Bigato
They really are pretty up close, partly because of youth I guess but it's startling sometimes how pristine they look. Maybe it's because they only allow you to look at them occasionally.


Thanks Chenda. I'll probably seal the concrete, most likely with paint at some point. I've put gravel around the entire perimeter with a drain to daylight to move rainwater away from the foundation. My concrete slab is so high off of the ground that I just don't think moisture is going to be an issue, plus it's going to be a shop/garage so I can be a little bit more cavalier about it.

I am growing to absolutely love the location, it is so lush and interesting as far as plants and trees. I also have a stream running through the property with plenty of animals. I have room to experiment with different permaculture endeavors and all the room for any kind of garden I will ever want: flower, herb, vegetables, trees, shrubs, berries, etc. I plan on building a greenhouse in the future once the house is finished. I'm excited about the possibilities and my neighbors are cool. I could move out there tomorrow if everything was finished.

Now I have a nice place now, and the other day I stood in the yard and remarked in my head how nice everything looked, and for a moment I was kind of sad to let it go after all of the work I had done, but just then my horrible neighbors started beating and banging on one of their shitty trucks in their garbage dump yard and I was reminded once again why I want to leave. Moving on to better living.

henrik
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Location: EE

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by henrik »

Do you have a due date in mind for moving in?
Your progress looks great and of course I realise being retired you have no need for due dates of any kind:)

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@henrik

I want the house framed and weather tight, roof and siding, windows, etc done by January. That would give me all winter to finish the inside and then hopefully move in the Spring of 2021. That's worse case scenario and I am hoping the work proceeds faster. The only real decision I have made is that I need to keep in mind that I have a home already, so if it takes longer than I think it should it doesn't really matter. The neighbors don't bother me so much anymore because I spend all of my time at the new place so that has helped tremendously.

My short turn plan is to finish the shop by June 1st and start framing the house then. Speaking of, my current progress. The winds were ferocious today so I didn't get as much done as planned, but I will soon be framing the roof.

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saving-10-years
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Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by saving-10-years »

Looks good and its great to be able to look forward to seeing more pictures. Re. your Craislist advice:
I tend to have really good success with Craigslist and I think I know why. First of all, I am always very polite when I inquire about anything. Secondly, when I inevitably make a counter-offer for most items, but not all, I again am very polite and tell them I understand if it's too low a price and to sell it to someone else if a better offer comes along. You would be amazed how many people will take the lower price, but sometimes I lose the item. And thirdly, I keep my word about showing up and am dependable. Oh, and if I know it's a great price like the above windows, I don't haggle and insult them. I just pay what they are asking.
I am sure that all makes a lot of difference. What I also do (ebay UK) is try and tell people what I want to use something for. Engage them. If its specialist stuff I might make it clear that I am intersted in other stuff that is connected to this craft/project. I sometimes get offered extras free or at low cost that perhaps are too much effort for them to offer for sale (because low value or used quality). It also makes the buying process more interesting and makes it more enjoyable to the vendor. Its common to get an 'I'm about to also list ...' response to these overtures.

Igotgoals
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

It's a good day in Kentucky.

An honest to goodness structure is going up on your property.
The little trees are coming up.
You've got a bald eagle flying over head and snakes on their way to the pond.
The cats already love you - you can tell by looking at them. (you've named them haven't you? You can tell us)

jacob
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by jacob »

Are those diagonal beams that are slapped across the wood to the framing for keeping things square (3-4-5) or just for support?

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@saving

Oh yeah, just talking to people goes so, so far. My last Craigslist interaction lasted about an hour, and the guy took me into his house and showed me his shop and some of his prized tools. And I bought a couple off of him, haha. Nobody gets a good feeling selling something to a re-seller who is just going to list the item for whatever he can get out of it. But if they know you are actually going to use it then it makes them want you to have the item.

The guy I bought the wood from last year asked me to update him when I built the shop and I plan on it, as I kept his contact information. Once I frame the roof I'm going to send him a picture. I explained to him why I wanted the wood when I looked at it, told the truth, and he came down several hundred dollars from an already great price. He is actually an interesting guy, and I know he is going to enjoy knowing his efforts to salvage the wood meant something.



@Igot

I've named two of them, haha. The third is so slinky, ooh, maybe thats a good name?, that I haven't named her yet as she is always the last to appear and I don't always have the patience to wait for her. But the other two are named yellowface and mustachio, as he has a little hitler mustache on his lip. Yellowface, you guessed it, has a completely yellow face and she is always the first to come to dinner. As you can see, I'm not too clever with names. ;)

My neighbor saw the eagle the other day and said it actually landed in the field between us. He's got an Amish crew framing his house at the moment and they started pointing and gesticulating to him to look at this eagle that had just landed in the field. I'm keeping an eye out for him.

Another funny animal story: A couple of days ago I was sitting in the barn eating lunch when a groundhog (woodchuck) walked right up to my feet and looked up at me. That's when he figured out I was a person I guess and he turned tail and ran away but it was so odd and unexpected for that to have happened.



@jacob

Both. I established my corners first and they are dead plumb and correctly spaced apart. The shorter diagonals kept them secured and the longer ones are for support and the prevention of racking the whole wall out of plumb. The winds out here are intense at times and right now is a vulnerable stage of construction as the wind can undo all of your hard work very quickly. Hence the pixie sticks everywhere and so far everything has stayed true.

Once I clad the outside with plywood this structure will be almost bomb-proof but it is imperative that I double-check for square, level, and plumb before I put it on because once I do it will be impossible to change. Sometimes you'll see guys with come-alongs racking a building back into plumb or square before they clad the outside.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Quick update. Finished the top plates and headers today and am ready for the roof.

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I am down to just a few more boards left over from the Craigslist sale. I've been selecting the best boards for other applications and I was left with a small stack of crooked boards which I fixed today. It's a really simple fix: screw a straight edge to the crooked board and use that as a guide for your circular saw. It's slow, but it creates a nice straight edge. You can then rip the board on a table saw to get a consistent width with no crookedness.

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Tomorrow I install the I-Joists.

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C40
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by C40 »

GREAT WORK!!

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@C40

Thanks man. I'm starting to see some results.




The wind was crazy yesterday so I mowed grass instead of building, so I did today what was supposed to happen yesterday. It's a little frustrating but there was no way in hell I would have been able to wrestle 28 foot beams with 30mph winds.

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And I nailed a center strip to keep these guys on a 4 foot center and stiffen them up a little. It will also allow me to rig something up to keep my ridge board in place while I nail my rafters.

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We are supposed to get a lot of rain starting tonight and before I start nailing rafters on I want to put some cladding on the walls so there is no chance for them to shift as it is very important that the walls remain in place. Hopefully the rain isn't too bad.




A couple of humorous animal adventures today. As I walked past my grill I heard some cheeping and I wasn't disappointed when I opened the lid.

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I guess I won't be grilling for a while. :)


Also, my dog went missing for a bit while I was working and when I turned the corner I found out why:

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The old boy was stuck and he wasn't getting out until I picked him up. I couldn't help but laugh at him, and take his picture. :D

bigato
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by bigato »

Are you doing the roof on your own? I'm curious because I have a roof to be redone at some point in my future, in a house that must be something around that size. I hope to be able to hire people since I have a job and would rather pay to have it done quickly, but in case I have a hard time finding people, I was wondering how feasible it would be to do it myself, if at all. I'll be watching your work closely :)

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