Monday, October 3, 2011

smiles turn to frowns

Laundry chute in position: can't be raised once the beams are placed

Beam hanger preparation with a dummy beam

Beam me up: beaming smiles, we lifted this without mechanical assistance

Another beam we lifted without mechanical assistance. This one jammed and had to be taken down and re-sized and put back up again.

E on the walky-talky directing our skyhook! We wish!

Beaming again: putting a raincoat over the morticed intersection: a portent  of things to come.

I'd like it just here thanks: directing the skyhook.

Not quite a skyhook: but these were way too heavy to lift with out mechanical assistance.

Kind of in place: large beams create seemingly intractable problems at times , this one is being stubborn about getting into the correct alignment [still not resolved]

Frowns: the shop-vac raincoat says it all!
Sunday 5 pm

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kneading conference west photos

50% barley flour pita: with help from Leslie Mackie of Macrina in Seattle. Leslie showcased some of her breads made with barley and gave her own workshop on her breads. Leslie's bakery is extremely well regarded - Macrina was named one of the USA's top 10 bakeries in 2011 by  BON APPÉTIT

Fairhaven mill whole barley flour, pita, & barley  bread in the style of a baguette,.

Barley pretzels, getting ready for the lye [NaOH] dip.

The evening before: getting pain au levain with 10% barley ready for the next mornings workshop

Eat your wholegrains: barley that is!

Photos courtesy of Patrick Hayes, the leader of BARLEYWORLD

Monday, September 26, 2011

There's gotta be bread sometime

We [everyone I think] had a ball at the Kneading Conference West. There have been a couple of blog posts about it

I had 2 shared sessions. One with Lee Glass on science and testing that was remarkably well attended with enthusiastic bakers. The second was with Leslie Mackie of Macrina bakeries in Seattle on barley in bread that was also well attended by an enthusiastic audience [the promise of warm soft-pretzels was too much for them!].

Never easy

Out timber framing guy working on the beams

On the posts

With his giant circular saw

Detail of the bottom of the post that's closest to the kitchen: no hint of a problem yet but it was 5/16  to tall and these are NOT easy to move, even less easy when they are assembled and in place

Post "A" bottom

Post"B" bottom, the center of the three large posts.


Plans and tools



Top of post "B"

Tools of the trade

The first post - "B" - vertical 

Tenon end of the beam

Still carving

Top of Post "C" nearest the kitchen

Up Up And Away - Genie lift does its job. Still not fun with a couple of hundred kilos above your head 

BEam into notch in post "B": this was a really tight fit and awkward to "tap" the beam down

detail of post & and beam

Adjustments with timbers this big are NOT easy and require thought, ingenuity, and lots of physical effort

Dealing with the additional length of post "C": The cavalry has arrived with  additional  muscle and lifting equipment. We need to lift, block and support posts "A" and "B" and remove post "C"

The not-straight cut where E and I tried to gut it in-situ  with a Japanese pull saw  called a Ryoba 


Hectic activity with the post off: making sure the lifting jacks stay in place.

Lifitng these things 20 cm [about 8 inches] is not easy when they're assembled
 No pictures of it all back together. Still needs to be plumbed and adjusted, and right on cue the expletive deleted  autumn rains appeared. What is it? No rest for the wicked and precious little for the righteous?

Meanwhile still have the cistern to construct and the rest of the beams to cut and raise and before that putting the laundry chute in place and E discovered that our hard earned tongue and groove cedar had been getting eaten by insects of unknown type, despite a vigorous campaign by A to keep the place insect free.

Sometimes the blog is too nice and doesn't tell the back story of how mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting this work can be [especially when you're fatigued]. This is true for Elizabeth in particular as she does almost all of the physical work and on top of that has to be the ingenious and clever one too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Internal walls

Internal walls going up... looks like a room: the "away room"

Panning right: A kitchen wall with the entryway behind

Two little walls define the kitchen.

Another view

Add "framer" to her list of accomplishments

Drain and drain fabric placed behind the porch foundation

Monday, September 12, 2011


grade stamp on a "re-purposed" wood beam

rebar detail

Ledger boards staged for lift off [lift up]

pre-ledger boards: cutting windows for anchor bolt placement [these will be full of concrete]

more anchor bolt windows

and more

and more

even more

First ledger board goes up

concrete day again: just as crazy as ever

big machines

happy to be pounding the house [to make the concrete settle inside the forms]

just  hanging around [actually checking anchor bolts]

big machines

Miss general contractor has a word to say! Not sure what Kurt is about to do with the hammer.

more foundations

our help - without which we'd be much poorer

YES! right here...

big machine parked on out turnaround

t'other side

milling the beams

3 at once

great place to do it


planning - wide view

double checking

and again

getting the formwork bracing off is no easy task - just hanging around, AGAIN!

yes; they are full of it [concrete that is]

finishing touches while the scaffolds are still there

so we remember where to put the scaffolding on the next floor

Wow! No scaffolding - a whole new look

Really different : you see the concrete in the windows where a temporary ledger was removed

another view of the interior - in the entry way, mud room to right near stair well, kitchen to  left. The room with all the beams is where the floor is stepped down and has the big window with the view.