Construction Wood Framing

Summer Kitchen Renovation Part11: Scaffolding

We left off last time with a framed roof and our sights were now on the roof itself. Before going there we decided to lightly frame in the two sidewalls (to give the structure a bit more rigidity).

So we started with yet another evening charring preparing the next pieces we needed. I am amazed how any task, no matter how simple (such as charring wood) can be refined … a quality of mastery can be evoked from it. There are soooo many small details that we’ve encountered and figured out to do charring well (and I am confident that more refinement is still possible).

And the next day some cutting, assembling and a bit more torch-charring (surfaces are exposed after cutting … and the window frame was in storage awaiting installation):

and pretty soon we had one window framed in (still missing a header … to come at a later time):

We were unclear about the positioning of the other window … so we set up its base:

and then alternated between different positions and each of us holding it in place while the other went to look from different angles:

Then it was time for the next “main event” – construction of the scaffolding along one side of the structure. In anticipation of this I prepared a fairly clear image of the tasks that required scaffolding. Iulia stumbled, and in stopping her fall fractured her elbow … greatly limiting her mobility.

I could write an entire post on why we decided to make our own scaffolding … but don’t really have space for that. Suffice to say, that was our initial preference, but after some inquiry, we decided not to go down that path.

We started at the beginning, setting up the first scaffolding. This was installed at the low end of the structure (the ground slopes along the long sides). I needed to see if this would be enough to get me where I needed to go.

This was more involved than anticipated: the ground was too uneven for leveling and so some digging was required to create a flat enough surface. But ultimately it came up and looked promising. I could reach the rafter tails and over the edge of the roof … but not much more. We had another scaffolding in a similar size and another smaller “family edition” one … that was really designed for a “pro” installation stacking on top of one of the higher ones. But as I looked at this I realized that even those two (can be seen standing against the wall on the right side of the picture) would not be enough. I needed access to the entire length of rafters from side to side.

Again, we made some inquiries about improvised solutions … and went back to the workshop to make another large scaffolding … it took one work day and was ready to go (by now we had a tried-and-true production process for scaffolding):

We then went to the other end … where yet another first challenge awaited us … stacking of the small scaffolding on top of the large scaffolding … which would allow me to stand with my feet 4 meters off the ground. First the base scaffolding:

Then add a cat … that effortlessly climbed up the diagonals as if to mock my efforts to reach these heights:

Then, despite the cat, install the extension connectors (I am skipping a ton of small challenges … such as fastening bolts from the outside while working entangled with the branched of the tree which we pruned as little as possible … you know … so we could be good neighbors):

… then raising up the parts (not enough hands to both do and take pictures) of the “family edition” scaffolding and assembling them on top … and … well:

The next day we installed the middle scaffolding … and I had a “jungle jim” to work on:

The middle scaffolding was installed close enough to one side so it was possible to walk from one to the other:

… and from that we added a plank that allowed me to work and travel to the other end (where the tall scaffolding awaited me):

In the end, most of this work is so I can screw in some boards together (a very simple task) … but getting there … that is a challenging journey. This is a good example of yet another deep pattern we encounter over and over again … preparation is a large part of any task. It is so tempting to think of the actual work I want to get done as “the work” … but many times the peripheral work takes up much more then the “actual work”

In this case it was possible to start working on this:

… but more on that in the next post …

I am behind on posting because I’ve been really focused on getting a water-shedding roof onto the structure (not quite there yet … but almost there!). This brings us to about two weeks ago (end of August).

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