More Wall Building

I wiped myself out a little bit yesterday.  I didn’t sleep very well on Thursday night.  I felt like I was doing OK while we were building during the day, but when we quit working at about 5:00 PM, I quickly started to get tired.  After dinner, I couldn’t even find the energy to make my blog entry for the day so I’m finally making it this morning.  Building a tiny house is tough!  I’m enjoying it, but it really is a lot of work.

Standing Up and Marking Right Wall

Leo and Clyde Standing Up Right Wall

Here’s who helped yesterday:

  • Andrew (construction)
  • Leo (construction)
  • Clyde (construction)
  • Sheila (wall moving)

It was a big day. Here’s what we accomplished:

  • Held the Simpson HDU-4 hold downs into the wall where they’re going to go and traced marks on the bottom plate of the right wall where the 5/8” threaded rod will come through.
  • Stood the right wall up on end, lined it up against the right edge of the floor and drilled holes through the bottom plate and into the floor for the 5/8” threaded rod (used an 11/16 bit).
  • Pivoted the wall off the trailer one corner at a time onto two dollies, laid it down on 5 dollies and rolled it the garage
  • I adjusted the nail gun and the compressor until I could consistently fire nails into plywood such that the head of the nail was flush with the top of the plywood, instead of being a counter sunk into the wood (this really paid off – see problems we encountered below for more detail).
  • Split up into two teams.  Clyde and Leo spent the day adding seething to the right wall in the garage while Andrew and I build the frame for the left wall on the trailer.
  • Team 1 (Clyde and Leo):
Installing Plywood on Right Wall

Installing Plywood on Right Wall

    • Squared the wall frame
    • Lined up all of the plywood on the right wall so that 6 ¼ inch of the plywood hung off the bottom of the wall.  That will allow the plywood to exactly overlap the ¾ inch plywood on the floor and 5 ½ inch 2×6 boards that go around the floor frame at the front of the house (I want the bottom of the final siding to be parallel with the bottom of the front deck frame)
    • Left nearly 12 inches of plywood hanging off the top of the right wall.  Eventually, 6 inches of this will have to be cut off.  The remaining 5 ¾ inches will exactly overlap all of the boards that will form the ceiling and the loft.  If I cut it right, the plywood should end exactly where the rafters sit.
Leo Gluing the Wall

Leo Gluing the Wall

    • Added glue to all of the studs in the wall, laid the plywood down and attached the plywood using the nail gun and 2 ¼ inch ring shank nails using a nailing schedule of 3 inches around the perimeter and 6 inches in the field (the ring shank nails and the tight nailing schedule help protect the house from pulling apart from vibration when driving down the freeway).
Clyde Nailing the Wall

Clyde Nailing the Wall

    • Used 16d nails to create a 1/8 inch gap between each piece of plywood (this allows the plywood to expand in the future without buckling the wall, which could happen if the plywood ever gets wet for some reason)
  • Team 2 (Andrew and Russ):
Russ & Andrew Screwing Left Wall Frame Together

Russ & Andrew Screwing Left Wall Frame Together

      • Assembled the left wall.  This was pretty much just a matter of lining up all of the wood I had already cut and attaching it together, just like the right wall.  See my note on screws verses nails below under “Today’s Tiny Epiphanies.”
      • Cut and added the CS-14 strapping to the left wall.
  • Everyone:
    • Lifted the left wall up on end, aligned it with the left edge of the floor, drilled holes for the HDU-4 tie downs, pivoted the wall off of the frame onto dollies and rolled the frame into the garage, directly on top of the completed right wall.
Rolling Left Wall On to Finished Right Wall

Rolling Left Wall Onto Finished Right Wall

Today’s Tiny Epiphanies:

  • I have decided that it is much easier to attach all of the lumber in the wall frame using 3 inch screws instead of nails.  The screws are a little bit more expensive, but I find it much easier to align the pieces of wood up and hold everything in place when using screws than when I’m hammering on the whole frame to put nails in.  Also, if a board is a little bit twisted, you can screw in one end, put a clamp on the other end, torque the board with the clamp and screw in the other end to make the board straight.  For whatever reason, this doesn’t work with nails.  I think the nails just bend inside the wood.  Finally, and best of all, when you make a mistake (which I make a lot of), it’s a lot easier and faster to pull a screw out that it is to pull a nail out (especially a ring shank nail).

Problems we ran into:

  • I suddenly realized on Thursday night that I would not be able to put plywood sheathing on the walls while the walls were on the trailer.  The plywood on the walls needs to be 7 feet-6 inches tall.  However, the space between the wheel wells is only 6 feet-2 inches.  That means we had to remove the wall from the trailer to attach the sheathing.  It also means that now that the plywood is installed, we can’t put the wall back onto the trailer unless I first build up a layer that is at least as tall as the wheel wells.
  • Trying to get ring shank nails out of plywood once they have been driven in with a nail gun is really difficult.  We accidentally put a few nails into a piece of plywood that had not yet been glued underneath.  The only way we could get them out was to first chip away at the plywood around the nail with a screwdriver, then use a cat’s paw to get under the head and finally use a pry bar to get the nail out.  Good thing I had adjusted the nail gun earlier so it wasn’t counter sinking the nails and good thing we didn’t nail the whole piece of plywood before we noticed!

Favorite moment today:

  • Crawling into bed and falling asleep after a really productive day.
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