Tiny Helpers Part II

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tiny and Not-So-Tiny Builders Working on Front Wall

Tiny and Not-So-Tiny Builders Working on Front Wall

The cuteness factor got pretty high again today as our friends, Adrian and Evelyn brought their two sons, Anthony (2 1/2)  and Bryce (almost 5), over for yet another day of tiny house building.

What we did today:

  • Joy brought over his table saw and we used that to cut up strips of 1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″ thick plywood. The 1/4″ thick plywood strips are for the front wall (see below). The 1/2″ and 3/4″ plywood strips will be used as spacers when assembling the ceiling.
Joy Makes Quick Work of Some Plywood with His Table Saw

Joy Makes Quick Work of Some Plywood with His Table Saw

  • Attached the 1/4 inch strips to the Parallam boards on the front wall in order to make their actual width 5-3/4 inches instead of 5-1/2 inches(so they are the same thickness as the 4 x 6 and 2 x 6 boards that make up the rest of the front wall). Watching the boys work on this was a little too adorable.
Evelyn Helps Bryce and Anthony Hammer Nails

Evelyn Helps Bryce and Anthony Hammer Nails

  • Cut up two sheets of 1/2″ plywood to use as sheathing for the front wall, leaving 3/4” hanging off the bottom to overlap the plywood floor and sit flush on the front deck frame.
  • Drilled a 1/2 inch hole through the middle of the Parallam beams under the window and ran a 1/2 inch all threaded rod through the beams. Added washers and nuts to either side and tightened the nuts down to hold the beams together. Cut off the remaining rod. Anthony helped with this part (remember – this kid is less than 3 years old!).
Anthony Helps Saw Off the Extra All-Thread Rod

Anthony Helps Saw Off the Extra All-Thread Rod

  • Cut strips of 1/2″ plywood to frame the inside of the door and cut holes for the nuts on the end of the all threaded rod.
Plywood Around Doorway - With Hole for All Threaded Rod

Plywood Around Doorway – With Hole for All Threaded Rod

  • Glued and nailed the plywood to the front wall.
  • Lifted up the front wall one side at a time and put four dollies underneath it so we could move it (it was way too heavy to lift and carry).
  • Rolled the front wall from the back end of the floor to the front end of the floor, spun it around 180° and then lifted it up and set it in place so I could mark the locations for the HDU-5 tie-downs.
  • Finished nailing the plywood to the subfloor (I originally installed it was just a few screws and have been waiting for a good time to finish the rest of the nailing schedule).
    Marked and cut out the template for the left wheel well.

Today’s tiny epiphanies:

  • Cutting strips of plywood with the tablesaw is much easier than cutting strips of plywood with a circular saw. Thank you, Joy, for bringing that awesome tool over today.
  • Pay attention to that little voice in the back of your head that tells you when it’s time to quit for the day.  I ignored that voice both yesterday and today, pushing myself to work about 1-2 hours longer than I probably should have, thinking I had the energy to get just a little bit more done.  The end result was that I worked until little things started to annoy me.  I thought I was doing OK until I finally quit and found out just how wiped out I was.  I couldn’t even find the energy to pack a few things in a bag for the late Valentine’s Day trip to San Francisco that Sheila and I planned for tomorrow.

Problems I ran into today:

  • Trying to figure out how to move our front wall. Man, that thing is heavy. There was no way we could lift it with only three people.However, placing it up on dollies made moving it around a piece of cake.
Wall on Wheels

Wall on Wheels

  • For some reason, I’m having a really hard time trying to figure out where to place the template for the wheel well on the left wall. I had the same problem with the right wall. I had no problem tracing out the template and cutting it out in the right shape. The problem is finding any point of reference that’s the same on both the template and the wall. I know there must be an easy way to do this. I just can’t figure it out.
  • Realizing that I did not leave enough plywood hanging off the top of the front wall.  I should have left at least 12″ so it would overlap both the 5-3/4″ ceiling frame and a ~6″ of the gable.  This would allow the plywood to attach all three together.  However, I only left 5-¾ inches which is only enough to cover the ceiling framing.  Now I will have to find a different way to attach the gable to the ceiling framing.  I’m thinking I will probably split the difference (have the plywood for both the front wall and the gable each overlap the ceiling framing by about 3 inches and meet in the middle).

Lunch menu:

  • Carnitas pork and Spanish rice with tortillas, chips, cheese, salsa and guacamole. Salad.

Favorite moments of the day:

  • Watching little Bryce and Anthony nail plywood to my front wall. Those kids are amazing little builders!
  • Cutting a strip of plywood in under 60 seconds using Joy’s tablesaw after I had just spent 15 minutes carefully measuring, clamping down a guide and making a similar cut with my circular saw.
  • Putting my incredibly heavy front wall on dollies and being able to roll and rotate it all over my tiny house floor.
Front Wall Complete!

Front Wall Complete!

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