OMG, it works!
It’s amazing that all the framing lumber for my cabin will fit in the bed of a pickup truck. I drove up to the mountains on Saturday, alone, to put up my cabin over the long Columbus Day weekend…
Morning: Drive in weekend traffic to the mountains, hit the local Lowe’s to load up all the lumber, nails and supplies. Took 2 1/2 hours to load up a cart, pay, load lumber into truck, repeat this process for 4 lumber carts and one shopping cart.
Afternoon: Unload, layout the wood and tools, set up the new generator, have late lunch, enjoy the view.
Evening: Too dark too soon, exhausted from the 3 hour drive and moving all that wood. Drink beers & star gaze for hours.
Morning: A trip to the local lumber yard to get the 10 roof rafters. Since they’re 16′ long, they’re too unwieldy to transport on the freeway and through town. With a 6′ long bed (8′ with the tailgate down) it’s pretty hilarious that they’re as long as the truck.
Afternoon: I wanted to put up the most difficult wall first. The front wall of 8′ high windows requires a double 2×12 header to span the 7′ of open space. I also need to use 4×4 supports and frame the wall with 2×6’s. This will be one heavy wall. It takes me several hours to lay it all out, measure twice, cut, nail and admire.
The “DUH!” moment comes when I realize this wall is too heavy to lift (and I’m alone in the middle of nowhere).
After much thought (and a beer), I devise a way to use leverage to get it up. I can get the corners up about 6″ before my back starts to scream. One corner at a time, I put progressively larger blocks of lumber under each corner and finally get one side of the wall onto metal sawhorses. This is exhausting.
I’m ready for the big push. I give a big “heave ho” and the entire wall slides off the deck onto the ground with a big THUMP.
Apparently I need to foot the wall.
Using the “see-saw” effect, I manage to get it back onto the deck. I then nail some 2×6 vertical blocks onto the foundation to keep it from sliding when I lift it up. I repeat the wood block dance, corner then corner, then the saw horse dance til the wall is leaning up waist high. I am once again exhausted.
Using 2x4x’s I go from corner to corner, tilting the wall up and blocking it into place by wedging the 2x4s into the dirt. Since the double-deck is 18″ off the ground, I soon swap out to 2x4x10’s, then 12’ers until the wall is tilting up at more than a 45 degree angle.
I feel great. The human mind has overcome the 800 lb. wall! Now the final push to tilt it fully upright.
I gather up all the ratchet straps from my truck and loop them around the header, across the work area and onto the trailer hitch of my truck. I am going to use the power of the Chevy V-8 to hoist the wall.
OMG, it works!
The wall flips up and drops perfectly into position. Since it’s framed with 2×6’s it has a wide base and just sits there, upright and proud. I rush to secure some side braces and do my happy victory dance.
I need to get a second wall up to keep everything from collapsing in the wind. The second wall frames out quickly and is light enough for me to lift up into place by myself.
End of day 2 and I have 2 walls up. Beer time. Stargazing time. Damn my arms are sore.
The radio is reporting a big rain storm heading into SoCal on Monday night/Tuesday morning. 2-3 days of heavy rains are forecast for my mountain. I need to get some sleep and slam the rest of this puppy together tomorrow before the storm hits.
More beers, more stargazing, and btw, who’s hound dog keeps running through here all the time?