Diesel Duck 382

Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All hands

There is certainly no doubt I under estimated the scale of this boat shed build.  It has taken significantly longer than I expected.  Nothing to complicated or overwhelming, just the volume of work that goes into a building this size is quite large.  I've really enjoyed the process and part of me is a little sad to see it coming to end.

The arched truss building is a simple yet time consuming and labor intensive project.  It was just not going fast enough, even when putting full 8 and 10 hour days on the weekend.  Everyone in the family was pulled into service in a final attempt to get the job done.  Each arch required approximately 45 minutes to build so if someone in the house had a few hours of availability they were pressed in to service in the shop to assist me with the building.

I took a long weekend last week and along with my wife, son and father all 32 arches were completed.  Some stats regarding the amount of materials that went into all 32 arches:

1.5 - Gallons of glue
256 - 2 1/2"exterior screws
2240 - 2 3/8"galvanized, ring shank nails
4160 - 1 1/4" 18 gauge crown staples
64 - 10' 2x4's
18 - 8' 2x4's
16 - 8' 2x6's

Pneumatic nailers are essential to the process and I would not recommend attempting this project without one. 

The next step was raising the arches into place.  It seems like a relatively simple process until you start to factor in the height of the building.  The first attempt did not go well!  My initial plan was to attach 4 arches to the ridge beam on the ground then raise them in to place while temporarily supporting them with a brace.  Once supported I planned to attach the opposite side arches, holding them in their final position.  Everything was going fine until we realized my home made 12' step ladder would not be tall enough for me to reach the bottom of the ridge (15' 4") and we could not reach the opposite side of the ridge to nail those arches in place. 

Even going higher on my home made 12' step ladder than I felt comfortable with I was still unable to reach the ridge.  My father is a retired Firefighter and I spent quite a few years as a volunteer firefighter so we certainly don't have a fear of heights.  However to go any higher on the ladder was just to risky.  An extension ladder would not work because there was nothing to lean it against.  While we contemplated what to do to solve the problem, a strong gust of wing toppled our temporarily supported arches.  The arches suffered minor damage but weren't really affected, I was not so lucky.  I took a 2x4 to the face which gave a fairly decent cut on my upper lip.  My pride was hurt more than my body, but I knew we needed a new plan.  What we needed was scaffolding.

Once again frugal ingenuity came to the rescue.  I constructed a scaffold out of 2x4's. I used 3/4" black pipe along with the appropriate fittings for a sturdy railing.  While this still leaves us about 5 inches short of my ability to reach the ridge, a small yet sturdy step will be added to get me the height that I need.

Hopefully this weekend, 3 generations of manpower will be able to get the arches up and secured into position.


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