Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I decided a few days ago that I am done using power tools. I was thinking at first that I would only not use power tools for the house, but actually I am just not going to use them at until the house is done.

I think that it is going to be good. if you want to know more about what lead me to that decision look at my other blog, here

This blog has been detailing the physical progress of the project, and the other is some of the accompanying thoughts and things.

Monday, October 5, 2009

house raising/beam falling

Yesterday was another wonderfully successful build day. We took all of the beams down, cut two of them, turned them around, and put them back up.

When I was planning the day I thought that the safest way to get the beams down would be to use the lift to slowly lower them, but I was a little worried about it. The reason that raising the beams with the lift was safe was because the winch could lean against the post that the beam was going to be resting on.
Until the beam was actually up on the posts there was no real danger, we just had to keep pressure on the lift so that it would not lean back. It could not fall forward because the beam was stopping it. The dangerous part of the lifting was when we got the beam up to the top and we lifted each side onto the posts. At that point the lift could have pushed on the beam and made it fall of the other side, we had to be very careful about keeping it upright.

Lowering the beam that way was seemed a lot more dangerous because the lift started off unsupported
(sorry this one is facing the wrong way...technical issues)
So the lift and beam in this position both want to move toward each other. The beam wants to swing back into the lift and the lift wants to lean over. When I planned to do it this in this way I thought we would just have to brace the lift to the post and hope for the best.

I was still worried about it during the build day and I was talking with my friend Daniel, and he thought we should just go ahead and pull the beam down. We thought about it, and decided that even if it made the whole house fall down we could position our selves outside the danger zone and that it would definitely be easier, and probably safer too. So we took all of the brackets off of the first beam (that was an ordeal), then we tied some rope to the beam, got up on the neighbor's shed and gave it a tug.

The falling beam was shockingly anticlimactic. It gently rolled off the posts and hit the ground with hardly a thud. After the first one was so easy we decided it was safe to pull the rest down even though we would have to stand on the ground and be closer to the action. They came down without an issue.

Once we had the beams on the ground we cut five feet off of them, then hoisted them back up on the posts with the overhang facing the house.

I was proud of the team. There were just six of us for most of the time and we got everything done in about four hours.