08/28/15, Leveling, and Framing First Wall.

A friend of the family loaned us his transit level (thank you!) and we leveled the trailer.

This would be a great job to have! Meanwhile, dad did all the jacking and shimming.

This would be a great job to have!

Meanwhile... dad did all the real work.

Meanwhile… dad did all the real work.

We were going to hold off on sheathing the floor but decided it’d be easier to work on, so we temporarily screwed it in place.

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I finally got to use my new drill, exciting stuff!

For the wall framing, dad did all the figuring and laying out of the studs and I did the cutting and nailing.  Well, most of the nailing, until I finally admitted my arms were getting tired and dad finished the upper part of the wall …for safety’s sake.

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Notice the delicious bowl of watermelon… Mom was sick but still came out to take pics and keep us fed and hydrated. …possibly the most important job of all.

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Headers in.

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Framing the upper windows of the “tall wall.”

We were hoping to get the wall sheathed and wrapped but there are only so many hours in a day…  It turned out to be a good thing that we didn’t, though.  I got a call from dad the next day saying he thought the bottom window placement was off.  You would think one of us would have picked up on that… let’s just say it was a long day and we might’ve been a little delirious toward the end…

Next work day we plan to correct the windows and sheath and wrap the tall wall and complete the short wall.  There are only two windows on the short wall, so it should go rather quickly.

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08/27/15, Partial Workday

Dad cut out pieces of steel and I ground down the edges, and then he welded them to angle iron that I had cut and drilled earlier.

Grinding the hoist plates.

Grinding the hoist plates.

Finished hoist plates.

Finished hoist plates.

We will be attaching these to the top of the walls, once all sheathed and wrapped, and then using the forklift to stand the walls up.  That’s the plan, anyway…

We also lowered the trailer to two cinder blocks instead of three.

08/24/15 – 08/25/15, Furring Strips

Dad had ripped furring strips from scrap lumber before he went back to his “real” job, and I cut and fit them around the inside of EACH joist cavity, nailing them with the finish nailgun, which jammed more times than not.  We plan to add a layer of rigid foam insulation on top of these and then lay the plumbing, adding sprayed-in insulation on top of everything.

Still rocking the sweatband. With humidity up to 100% this week, my face feels like a pipe burst.

Still rocking the sweatband. With humidity up to 100% this week, my face feels like a pipe burst.

Hoping to look just the right amount of pathetic...

Hoping to look just the right amount of pathetic…

I measured twice and cut once... yet, still had to redo several pieces.

I measured twice and cut once… yet, still had to redo several pieces.

So happy to be finished with this tedious task!

So happy to be finished with this tedious task!

08/19/15, Floor Framing

Dad got a nifty drill press and I drilled the holes in the brackets like they were butter.  Dad welded them 16″ OC to correspond with the floor joists.

Clamping and welding the brackets.

Clamping and welding the brackets.

We set up the 2x6s, clamped, and drilled them, and then added the carriage bolts.

Mom got in on the action, tightening the nuts and bolts.

Mom got in on the action, tightening the nuts and bolts.

The thing I was dreading the most was using the nailgun… so scary but so much quicker.

First try and, of course, I jam it. That's what I do... break drill bits and jam tools...

First try and, of course, I jam it. That should be my tagline… breaking drill bits and jamming tools since 1978.

But I finally got the hang of it.

But I finally got the hang of it.

We added the perimeter of plywood on top so we can put up the walls and still have access to underneath before we have the insulation sprayed.

Finished brackets.

Finished brackets.

Finished floor framing.

Finished floor framing.

Earlier in the day we decided to add to the length.  The final floor measurements are 25′-5″ x 8′-3″, which will put the finished house at about 25′-8″ x 8′-6″ with another 3 inches of overhang on all sides for the eaves (which is still legal for transport).

08/14/15, To tarp or not to tarp…

Spent all day stripping paint and rust from the trailer.  Called it a day around 5pm, showered, and thought it might be a good idea to check the weather for tomorrow…  Rain, again!  In hindsight, it might have been more sensible to have checked earlier.  I debated tarping the trailer and waiting for a clear day to paint but the thought of moisture fouling up all my hard work was too much to bear.  Luckily mom was game for painting and we were able to get a coat on the bare spots before dark.

Break from stripping paint

A break from stripping paint

I have decided to take it upon myself to make sweatbands fashionable again.  Please join the cause.

08/12/15, Work Resumed

I helped bend the U-bolts, which was a very cool process.  Made me wish I dared to work with fire more and do some metalsmithing.  Dad cut and welded braces to hold the trailer true, and welded the plates that rest on top of the concrete blocks to keep it level.  I spent most of the day grinding clean spots for the welds, clamping and marking the braces, and moving the concrete blocks for the pylons.  Once the build is over, I look forward to joining the local arm-wrestling league.

The U-bolts are for cabling the house to the foundation slab to keep everything stable during high winds.  The trailer was a good deal at $1000, but it needed a lot more work than I had expected.  It was drastically out of alignment and the cross braces were definitely needed.  We are using the concrete blocks in hopes that we won’t have to level it every day and it’s 3 blocks high to help with any work we have to do underneath it.

Trailer before straightening

Trailer before straightening

U-bolts welded on.

U-bolts welded on

Cross braces

Cross braces

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Next up will be strengthening the tongue, welding the brackets on, and painting the frame.

08/11/15, Rainy Birthday

Dad had set aside the whole day to help me with my trailer, on account of it being my birthday and all. We even moved celebrations to the night before so there’d be no interruptions.  Got all set up, chains on the trailer to straighten it, torch lit, and then… rain.  Torrential rain, at that.  Luckily, I was able to finish up the brackets and cut rods for the U-bolts earlier in the morning.

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