Month: August 2015

Log: August 30, 2015

Walked over to Paco’s around 9:00 am to start the process of loading the garden shed onto Peter’s flatbed trailer. Since Paco’s backyard is fenced in, we began by removing a section of chain-link fence. It came away in one piece except for the center pole, which we had to cut at the base. I emptied the shed and took out all the shelves to make it as light as possible, then jacked it up at the doorway so I could side a pipe under the frame. I wrapped a long chain around the base, cinched it up in front of the shed, and grabbed it with the blue ATV’s winch hook. After some initial hesitation, the shed starting rolling across the pipe. Paco and I alternated between positioning pipes and pushing and turning the shed to clear a tight corner between his garage and his kids’ playset. Once we got out in the open, I went back to winching from the ATV while Paco laid out pipes.

Once we had the shed lined up with the trailer, we had to switch tactics. I traded the ATV for my truck and hooked up to the trailer. With the fence out of the way, I could back a few feet further into the yard, clearing the house and giving us more room to work. We attached the trailer ramps and used my new come-along to slowly ratchet the shed up the trailer deck. It took some finesse, but we eventually got it positioned perfectly on the front of the trailer. I pulled out of Paco’s yard as carefully as possible but, because of the added weight of the shed, managed to scalp a 4 foot section of sod. At least it was easy to put back. I parked on the street and helped Paco put his fence back together. We kept his sawed-off fence pole in place with some rebar; you’d never know it had been modified. I backed the trailer into my driveway to finish securing the load and took a break for lunch.

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Log: August 27, 2015

Jake and I came up for a quick trip around 4:30 and rode the blue ATV over to Peter’s to ask to borrow his big flatbed trailer. The plan is to take it back to Oshkosh to transport a garden shed from Paco’s house. Peter was happy to lend it out. Jake and I ran the ATV back to the pole barn and drove my truck down the service road in Peter’s woods where he keeps the trailer parked. I let Jake sit in the front seat for this little excursion and he was really excited.

When we got to the trailer, Peter was there waiting to help us hook it up. I carefully and slowly wound my way back down the service road and pulled back into the yard to check the tire pressure and trailer lights. One of the rear lenses was broken and all the tires needed airing up, but everything was otherwise in great shape. As I was airing the tires, Peter stopped in with a replacement light assembly, so he must have been thinking about the same thing. He’s a great neighbor; I owe him a beer or several for all this.

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Log: August 21-23, 2015

Friday

Came up a little after 4:00 pm with a full truck bed of tools and building materials. Warmer and more humid than I expected. I wasn’t here five minutes and a UPS truck rolled up the driveway. The experiment worked! Amazon and UPS consider this a valid shipping address, so I got a new TV antenna for my trailer delivered right to Puckaway. I unloaded my tools, the new storm door for my trailer, and the salvaged countertops I got for free on craigslist and went hunting for a pole I could use to hang the antenna.

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I found three pipes of varying diameters and built an antenna mast. I drilled through the two larger pipes about two feet from the end and ran bolts through. This let the next smaller pipe “stack” inside and netted me about 30 feet of overall height for the antenna. I temporarily strapped the pole to the side of the deck, hooked up the TV, and scanned for channels. I was able to pull CBS, ABC, and FOX from Madison. Not bad for $30. I’m sure I could get more channels if I could raise the antenna even further, but I had more pressing tasks ahead.

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Log: August 2, 2015

Jake and I arrived a little before 11:00 am after stopping at Menards to get some lumber. Hot and muggy, but beautifully sunny with a slight breeze. It was already 85°, so the first thing I did was fire up the A/C in the trailer. My goal for the day was to get the deck finished, but I wanted to be sure Jake didn’t overheat. He didn’t seem to mind the weather at all, though. We unloaded the dump truck and tractor that he brought up with us and he set off to explore the yard. He thought the new deck rail was really cool, and was even more excited when I told him he could help me finish it.

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Trailer Deck Part 3: Final Assembly

I’ve been feeling pretty motivated by how quickly the railing went up and was anxious to finish the deck. I had originally planned on using my miter saw and drill press to prep each spindle, but I opted to cut them in groups by section instead. With over 70 spindles total, this saved me quite a bit of time with roughly the same results.

I installed the main platform spindles in three groups, one for each side. I planned the spacing so that I’d only need a 2×4 to help me line them up: 1 1/2″ offset from the center posts of each run, and 3 1/2″ apart. I saved any spindles with warpage until the end of the runs. This made for a very even look, overall.

I had to dig to anchor the lower deck posts to the stair risers. I’m glad I buried the bottom of the risers rather than cut them down, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to secure the posts properly. This involved more root trimming with my sawzall for the left post, which was slow, sweaty work.

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