Mother Nature Obliges!

I made up my mind yesterday that today would be “flashing day”, no matter what.  I hoped for only a little rain, but wasn’t holding my breath, given the weather report of rain for the next ten days.  Imagine my happy surprise when I woke up to sun!

It did rain (of course) last night, so even waiting until 10:30 left me with some wet areas to work with.  Still, most were dry.  I used this adhesive which seemed to be perfect for working in such damp conditions, and only needs a minimal amount of time to start setting up…plus has great reviews.  I gooped it on to the back of the well-cleaned old flashing, and also in the corners where the siding comes together, then nailed it up…easy-peasy.  After it was all up, the dry weather continued for 3 1/2 more hours.  According to reviews I’d read, other users had luck with as little as 2 hours of drying time.

The nails don’t look great, but I plan on painting the flashing so they shouldn’t show up after that.  I think that it looks pretty good, better in reality than it looks in these pictures, oddly enough!  Yay!

Focusing On The Door

I’ve gotten so used to being busy that now that the rain has forced me inside I’m feeling a little cabin fever.  Luckily, there are tasks still available.  I pulled the door today out of the designated “warm” room where it’s been curing, to see if it needs more putty.  I took sandpaper and steel wool to it and found a few small places that need more putty (around one of the wood plugs and in a couple small dents).  The layers of putty are thin enough so that even outside of the warm room it was dry within a couple hours.  It’s looking good!

While waiting for the putty to dry, I pried off the old pet door surround at the bottom of the door.  It was de-laminated and starting to rot so had to go.  Now, I actually want an opening in the door, for running a water hose through to fill the tank just inside.  Once again, poking through my store of materials for the original Oliver’s Nest turned up a solution in the form of a brand-new (found at a local thrift store) pet door I forgot I’d purchased.  All that I have to do is enlarge the hold a little, and screw the new pet door on!

It’s just bleh plastic, but still nicer than what was there originally.

I called my mechanic and bad news.  The tank will need to be dropped, drained, cleaned and (oh no!) possibly even replaced!  Depending on if it’s rusted out.  Apparently the fact that the “water in fuel line” indicator light comes on means there is a LOT of water in the tank, way too much for an additive to take care of.  He also recommended I take the Beast to a dedicated diesel shop for this.  Luckily there is one only a mile up the road from me so that’s handled.  I can easily walk home and then back when the truck’s ready to pick up.  Yay!  Now if only I find $400 laying on the side of the road to pay for this. But, that’s what credit cards are for, right?

I think I’m going to take the evening off from fretting about this and play a video game instead.

More Progress!

The rain is back. Not that it was completely gone, but I could do lots of things between the semi-hourly showers.  Now I’m at a point where I need several days (and nights) in a row that are completely dry, and Weatherbug is telling me that’s just not going to happen for at least ten days.  Sigh.
Good news though!  The Beast (my truck) is running well, as long as I only use fuel from the front tank.  I believe the diesel in the back tank has water in it.  I’m going to call my mechanic and see what his estimate for dealing with that is.  I HOPE it’s not much!  I’m going to call tomorrow if I feel brave enough.
Here’s a list of what has gotten done since my last post:
-walled in the area behind the truck cab/under the loft
-installed the rest of the metal roofing
-installed cedar drip edging all around the roof, except for the front slanting portion where the front windows will go
-rebuilt the door casing (it was easy!)
-puttied the old doorknob holes in the door
-cut the hinge grooves with a chisel and hammer (not nearly as difficult as you’d think but a bit time-consuming)
-continued puttying the windows ~ it will be at least another week to get it all done
I’ve thought a lot about what to use for trim on the vertical edges.  Cedar?  Cut strips of the metal siding down and fold into an “L” shape?  Use metal flashing of some sort?   When it started raining this afternoon, I went rooting through my piles of building materials and found a bunch of old metal flashing that was given to me a few years ago.  It came from an old barn, and other than the screw holes and some more of that black gook that was on the metal roofing panels (they were from the same barn), is in great shape.  It’s straight and long and wide ~ perfect for glueing and screwing to the edges.  There’s enough to put on every vertical and semi-vertical edge on the whole structure!
I’ll spend the next week or so while it’s wet out to get the black substance off the flashing.  I also plan on sanding down the door and casing and getting them both painted.  Once they are ready, I can install the door!  I found a product that will make hanging the door easier:  The Quick Door Hanger kit.  It only costs $5, and makes it much easier to ensure the casing is straight so the door works properly.  I could use shims, but honestly, after so much effort with the door, I want a little ease.  Plus, I really want a usable door that opens easily and doesn’t stick or swing shut on it’s own.  🙂
My mood has been good.  I have lots of energy.  All I need is enough time.  Crossing fingers and toes and everything!

Insulation And Roofing

Besides feverishly rewatching Heroes, I’ve gotten back into working on Oliver’s Nest with a vengeance.  The last three days I got all the wool insulation into the walls (minus the missing wall behind the truck cab). It was dusty and my eyes aren’t happy, but it’s all in.  Although easy to work with, by using the provided netting, I still recommend having another pair of hands to move things along faster.  It took me about 8 to 10 hours total, and with help, I think it would take less than half that.  Here’s some pictures showing the progress (wordpress wants them in this order, no matter what I try):

I had to cut and frame the back fuel intake door before putting in the insulation, so that’s another task off the list.


Back fuel intake door finally cut and framed.

It’s been mostly sunny so I tackled the roof, too.  I laid on plastic, flashed the skylight over that, and then placed the metal roofing panels.  As I still need to insert flashing around the sides, I didn’t screw the panels down.  I’ll be putting in the flashing tomorrow.  The rest of the roof will be harder to cover as I’ll need to cut down the panels.  I envision lots of cuts in my hands come then!  Here’s what I did with the roof today:

Finally, I cut down the door, which was super easy and didn’t take much time at all.  The doorknob holes that were partially cut away obviously needed to be filled so I cut round plugs from the cut-off sections and puttied them in.  I’m sure it will take a few days for them to dry, and will take a few layers to fill completely.  I think this was a good solution to the problem, even though a little messy  .I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it into a dutch door now, as the only place large enough for the new doorknob is where the split would have been.  I’m disappointed but happy I didn’t ruin the door when I cut it, so it’s all right. 🙂

I have a strong feeling of time running out.  All I can do is take the anxiety meds I’m supposed to, and work, and try to think as positively as possible.  And, do my best not to think of all the months wasted by being depressed and hiding in bed.  I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: Major Depressive Disorder sucks!  At least I’m okay for now, which is all one can hope for.  I’m even happy…I’m enjoying being busy and working on my project again!

Do yourself a favor and try something scary/exciting sometime.  It’s a great feeling and I think it’s good for the soul. 🙂


I totally support reusing materials, I want to start with that.  But, it’s a LOT more work!

After hours of scraping and sanding and puttying, the old wood windows are now set aside while I wait for the putty to dry.  Seriously, hours.  I think they look pretty good now, and by the fourth window I felt like a glazing master. 🙂  Once the glazing putty is dry, which takes up to two weeks, I’ll fill in the spaces left by the old opening mechanisms with wood putty.  After that is dry, I’ll finally be able to paint and see what I’ve got.  I’m feeling really good about getting back to work.  Too much laying around with the boys, watching Netflix this winter!


Proton and big Leo hanging out watching Netflix with me

Once the windows were out of the way, I took another look at the metal roofing panels.  I had tried using paint remover to take off the black chunks of old roofing tar/adhesive, which failed.  I never washed that off, and it actually did make it easier to chip off all the gook.  It only took a few days, and some scrapes and cuts (I’ll never learn to wear gloves), and the panels are now ready to be used.  Another task checked off!


Shiny and clean

Currently, I’m working on the door, which is going to take a lot of work.  Taking off the old paint and sanding isn’t really what’s going to be difficult, it’s cutting the door down to size that I’m not looking forward to.  So dusty, and I’m working indoors due to how wet it is outside…oh the mess that will be made…. I’m definitely wishing I’d just made the door opening larger.  I didn’t because I wanted more wall space inside.  Sigh.  Once this is done, I’ll be happy with the decision, probably, but for now I’m kicking myself.
So, everyone?  Wish for warmer, drier weather for me?  Thanks!

Taking Advantage Of The Late Summer Weather

Well.  It’s always something, right?  I’m now down to a single battery for my 18 volt Makita tools, which ISN’T ENOUGH JUICE!  Plus, the last battery seems to be on it’s last legs.  So, onto Amazon to purchase a couple more.  Three was perfect, but I bought a two-pack which should get me through to the end of this build.  In the meantime…

I’m pulling out all of the wool insulation from where it’s been stored for the last (too many) years, and spreading it out on tarps to get any last soggy bits dried out.  There’s so much of it!  As the mounds dry I’ll pack it into large garbage bags to store inside, now that I have an inside to store stuff in. 🙂

I’m working on the reclaimed windows, sanding them down, making repairs to ensure the glass is in there securely, and stripping the multiple layers of paint off in preparation of painting them.  It’s a task that’s needed to be done, and I’d rather do it outside anyway.  The stripper I have is supposedly OK to use indoors, but fresh air is always better, in my opinion.

And, until the last battery gives out, I’m slowly (oh, so slowly) cutting down the french doors into windows.  Yep!  If I’m able to keep my original Tiny House on the trailer, I’ll just buy another set.  For now, I have a plan for this set, which I’m not going to share yet, in case it’s a disaster.  I can only take so much public humiliation, you know?  Either the wood is really solid and heavy, or the single surviving battery really is dying, as it’s taking forever to cut, and the battery is only lasting a few minutes of laborious work, plus is getting really hot.  I might have an electric circular saw around here somewhere…I’ll have to look tomorrow.  I have an electric drill for sure.  Gosh I hope the battery lasts for a few more days, until the new ones come.

So that’s it.  Enjoying the weather, and making the best use of it that I can.  I’m staying out of bed, feeling pretty OK with life right now, and other than a very sore hand, getting over the scooter crash in good time.  Life is not too bad!

UPDATE:  This morning, I was gathering my tools together, and my last battery has died.  Sure hope I can find that circular saw I thought I saw somewhere….

A few pictures:

Here's the first french door to be cut down.

Here’s the first french door to be cut down.  Being old doors, the wood is loose already, so I’ll need to tighten things up.  The other door has a broken pane and I’ll deal with that after cutting it down, as it will be much easier to get the glass out then.

And here it is after being cut down and glued with Liquid Nails. You can see the two clamps pulling it tight together while the glue dries. Then I'll strip the paint off and reseal the glazing to make sure it stays put. I like the proportions!

And here it is after being cut down and glued with Liquid Nails. You can see the two clamps pulling it tight together while the glue dries. Then I’ll strip the paint off and reseal the glazing to make sure it stays put. I like the proportions!

Perfectly Good Isn’t Necessarily Perfect

Wow it’s hot outside!  I am afraid of gettiig heat exhaustion and hurting myself again.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I watch Buffy and drink iced coffee on my multiple breaks from working 🙂

I am not good at precision with power tools.  I’m getting better, but my work isn’t pretty and probably never will be.  I console myself by thinking of the amazing houses built before precision tools were available.  On the carpenter forums, professionals are always talking about having to “eyeball” levels and straightness in old homes, stating that it’s better to do that so things look good, than to actually be level but look askew.  In other words, perfectly good homes aren’t necessarily perfect.

Using reclaimed materials necessitates compromise.  There might be gouges, scrapes, nail holes, etc in otherwise useable goods.  As you can see in the pictures, the 4×4 I’m using has metal connector pieces still attached, which I couldn’t figure out how to take off.  The lumber is square and true, no dry rot or any damage, but it has these big metal “things” on it.  What to do?  I’ll tell you, cut off what you can and smash flat the rest with a hammer. Problem solved.

The next puzzle was how to firmly join the planks with the joists I cut today.  The solution here?  Push all the planks forward so the ends are hanging off the metal frame, then clamp each one individually to the doubled end-joists in order to get them firmly screwed into place. One screw in the front joist, one in the back joist on each plank.  Of course this must be done by leaning out and over the edge (basically upside down) to use the screwdriver, as I couldn’t reach the area from below, unless I stood on the hood of the Beast.  I didn’t want to do that, so monkey time it was.  It worked, and I didn’t fall and break myself today!

That’s all I accomplished though.  The heat combined with climbing up and jumping off the truck many multiples of times wore me out early, and so I’m back here with another iced coffee, watching an episode of Buffy, and writing this.  I’m OK with that.

Lovely long piece of 4x4 I got for free.

Lovely long piece of 4×4 I got for free.

I removed the few nails present, and removed as much of the metal as I could, then hammered the rest flat.

I removed the few nails present, and removed as much of the metal as I could, then hammered the rest flat.

One thing I learned on the first Oliver's Nest is to work smarter, not harder.  Clamping the boards together and cutting them all at the same time just makes sense.

One thing I learned on the first Oliver’s Nest is to work smarter, not harder. Clamping the boards together and cutting them all at the same time just makes sense.

The ends aren't perfect, but they are pretty good, and will work.

The ends aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good, and will work.

This is the edge I leaned over in order to screw through the planks up into the doubled end-joists.

This is the edge I leaned over in order to screw through the planks up into the doubled end-joists.

I used a block of wood to ensure the doubled joists stayed level with each other as I screwed each plank in from below.  Worked really well.

I used a block of wood to ensure the doubled joists stayed level with each other as I screwed each plank in from below. Worked really well.

I hope you were able to solve a problem or two today.  It feels good. 🙂