Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rain Threat Drives us to Finish Roof



The tool shed stands ready for the rain at 8:30 p.m.
The ladder in the truck is how I got off the roof
after screwing down the last sheet of tin.


With the threat of rain looming, I got up this morning and cut 4x8 sheets of half-inch plywood to fit the floor of our loft in our future tool shed, nailed them down and then went in search of Mary to help me pop a chalkline on the end of the rafters.

It was nice to have a floor to stand on to do some of the work on the roof. The sun stayed hidden most of the day, but we only experienced a few drops of rain. It actually was nice weather to be working on a roof, and we worked.

After cutting all the ends of the rafters, Mary and I drove the pickup to the Stewart House, an old heart-of-pine turn-of-the-century house that potter W.J. Stewart built on my land in the 1890s. In the old home's rafters, I've got a bit of lumber stored. I handed down a dozen or so 10-foot cypress boards to Mary. We loaded them into the pickup and drove them to the "building site," using them for boxing in the ends of the rafters.

I love construction for some reason. Hammering a galvanized nail through a cypress plank and into a yellow pine 2x10 while leaning over the top of a 14-foot wall made of white pine 2x4s: WHAM WHAM WHAM! Getting a precise measurement for a board and cutting a 45-degree angle to match the 45 on the previously nailed board so that the seam is hidden: YIIIIINNNNNGGGGGGGG-ZZZZZZZZ-WWWRRRRRRR.

We drank a lot of water and took a few short breaks, but we were determined to get the tin screwed down on the roof before the rain hit. Late in the afternoon, dragging from exhaustion, I think I suggested that we could take the afternoon off and finish in the morning, but Mary wouldn't have it, although the idea of an afternoon nap and a movie sounded enticing to her.

"We better get it done," she said.

We got it done.
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