Friday, December 22, 2006

Dec 22nd - 2 Feet of Snow

We got out just in time as old man winter has dumped 2 feet or more of snow in Rico, Denver has their share too. Just rainy, drizzly and damp here in Iowa. I stopped in Kansas on the way in and picked up a big load of beaded board, window and door drim and plinths and rosettes. I have arranged for the stripper to strip most of it sometime after the first of year. I heard from Greenbay and also received pictures which I will post here for all to see. Here's what he has to say:
Hey Dave,
All is well. We have blue skies today.

These are from tues. Just Pat and I so far this week. The weather has been
bad. Thanks for x-mas card!!! We have the first exterior door installed. (north
patio) Looks nice. We are scared of breaking red glass!
Moved wood stove back towards stone.
I moved my chopsaw setup to job. I hope to get nice
cuts on treads and risers.
The glue up has been a challenge. The temperature is
anything but stable in house as you know. We keep 2
fires going and put clamped treads near so we get a
good glue joint.
The temperature last night outside was 5 and only
dropped to 30 inside. Bakin'!
Packers are playing tonight...I am staying
home...imagine that.
Later GB

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dec 14th - Final Day

Today is our last day in Rico for some time and I am busy laying out details for Greenbay and Pat.
Bob Akey has also come buy and I have decided to hire him to help Pat complete the electrical rough in while I am gone. At least the hard part of drilling boxes and stringing wire into the logs is completed. Cody has come by and helped me unload the doors out of the tall crate. Greenbay, Cody and I manhandle the heavy crate and skid it down onto the trailer for our trip home. In the crate I have stashed our bicycles, spare tires and a 65 Harley Davidson Sporster I purchased from Bill. With the snow coming in soon, our window of opportunity for dry roads is small and we will leave first thing in the morning. This blog to be continued at a future date not long...for now I have to change gears and get us safely home.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dec 13th - Electrical Progresses

Greenbay has helped me pull wire up from the crawl space into the boxes in the living room. I have had to drill more holes for boxes for the outlets on the north wall. I have also had to fabricate an upright log to go in the opening for the wood storage area to the left of the fireplace. I manage to cut a channel and a box into the upright and install it. With some more wire we will have the living room completed. I stay late tonight working on more dropped soffit areas in the kitchen where we will install more recessed lights.

Greenbay continues on the stairs and spends a good part of the day removing a large stack of oak 2 x 10's to get to the lower stack of better 2 x10's. These will become the treads and risers for the stairs under construction.

We are getting ready for our move soon and we have to be out of the apt in the next few days. We are planning on leaving friday, but a big storm is due tomorrow night which may mean we have to stay longer. Lynn has been steadily getting things in the apt packed up. Today I found a place to rent when I return in February. It will be perfect for what I need, furnished and month to month. By spring, hopefully I can move into a portion of the house.

Dec.12th - Log Boxes

It's been a long day and all I have done is drill holes so I can install square electrical boxes in the log structure that has become the living room. Because the walls are around 5" thick I have to be very careful to not drill all the way thru the logs. I had the foresight to predrill the logs when we were stacking them last summer so we could fish wire down the channels. Now the time has come to test it and see if I can fish wire thru the logs. With some work and a new fish tape I am able to get a large amount of the wire into the channels for the kitchen.

Pat has been insulating between logs in the garage and building vertical enclosures for the water lines coming up through the garage. Later in the day he installs the nailers for the dropped soffits in between the kitchen beams. These have to be installed to cover plumbing for the 2nd floor and will also serve as channels to install recessed lights. Pat also installs 2 lights and then suddenly feels ill and has to head for home.

Greenbay continues to work on stair layout and has the the lower stringers cut and the upper stairs figured out for stringers. It's a tedious process that requires some essential planning so the stairs work out perfectly.

Hagan has finished the fireplace and it looks great. We have had wood burning in it all day. It draws well and only the mantle needs completion. I've stayed late tonight working on the electrical.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dec 11th - Stairs Begin

It has been snowing since yesterday, so Pat begins by shoveling snow around the house and the walkways we need to maneuver around the house. Greenbay and I move sheets of foam inside the garage so Pat can complete the insulation on the concrete on the first floor. Pat completes the framing in the downstairs bath and several miscellaneous areas.

Greenbay begins the landing for the first floor stairs and figures out the layout for the stair stringers. We've uncovered the pile of 2 x 10 oak that we will use for the stair risers and treads.

I complete the duct work for both dryer vents and the master bath fan. I've also nailed up all the single boxes in the master and will be ready to run wire as soon as we get more in stock.

Hagen is close to finishing the fireplace and works on completing the hearth. He should wrap it up tomorrow.

Dec 10th - More Electrical

I've spent the day running more wire and installing boxes in the sunroom. It includes installing a 2x10 horizontal board to complete the rim joists overhead in the sunroom. I've also installed the remaining automatic plumbing vents at various places on the 2nd floor. I've run the 4 wire cable from the logs at the garage inside entrace all the way down into the crawl space for wiring the switches for the lower stair case. All the recessed lights are now completed on the 2nd floor and we are short on wire, staples and romex connectors. Bob is out of town and the material I need will not arrive until the day before I leave.

Tonight I have been working on detailed drawings of the stairways in the house. Hopefully they will help Greenbay lay out the stairs this week.

Dec 9th - A Little Excitement in Rico

Last night was the 2nd night this week that the cops have been called to Rico for a disturbance. Earlier in the week, someone was reported to be walking around on Glasgow Ave in his stocking feet. Trying to get into folk's cars and stopping traffic on the highway lands him in the clinker...

Last night at the Enterprise all hell breaks loose. One guy gets cut by a knife across the eye and a 3 inch stab wound in his back which just misses his kidney. Locals and out-of-towners, men and women involved. The front window and door of the Enterprise were smashed and lots of blood on the floor inside. Dolores County Sherrif, San Miguel County Sherrif and San Miguel Swat Team all got involved. A beer bottle through a car window hits a female in the head. One woman takes one of the men down with several kicks between the legs... 2 guys in jail, one in the hospital. Steph and Mark spend hours this morning cleaning up the mess, only in Rico...glad I wasn't there.

Pat and I cleared the remaining sheet metal off my trailer and moved it up by the house and
now the trailer is clear for our trip home. We've also cleaned up inside and later in the afternoon Pat and I knock out both bedrooms on the 2nd floor, installing the remaining light fixtures and drilling and pulling all the electrical wire.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dec 8th - Electrical Begins

Pat completed the interior details for the framing in the master bedroom today. The oak is so hard, very unforgiving and heavy to work with. Most of the material left is never quite straight and must be ripped down. I've given him a hand installing the final piece. We have more blocking to take care of, but it will require insulation to be installed between the rafters on the exterior walls.

Greenbay continues to work on the loft framing, where every stud cut is a different length. While it may not look like a lot of work, it's tedious building the short and sloped knee walls. By this weekend, the framing on the loft should be near completion.

This morning I removed a few stones from the fireplace and managed to attach a piece of conduit to the end of the vacuum cleaner hose. The extension allowed me to get into the hollow channel space behind the glass blocks on the fireplace and clean out the small amounts of mortar I discovered last night behind the glass. It's a difficult space to work in but I have now cleaned up the small amounts of mortar and resealed the end of the chase with tin and silicone. This will keep mortar from entering the space. I carefully attach the 2 old cast iron building stars to the the 2 stones Mike has cut and installed above the glass bricks. The fireplace and stove are both fired up and cranking out the heat and while it takes a while, by late morning it's comfortable working inside. Hagen should be back in a few days to finish up.

I've begun hanging recessed light fixtures downstairs and have been working with Lynn on the layout of the switches and outlets. It takes a lot of forethought to get this area set up. I've framed in a partial dropped ceiling in the downstairs 1/2 bath and then proceeded to cut a 4" round hole thru a 4" piece of micro-lam with a new hole saw. By evening I have the recessed light fixture in place as well as the bath fan. I have had to return 2 of the fans as they need to be wall mounted within a 6 inch space and the ones I have are for minimum 8" ceilings.

It will be a busy week ahead preparing for my trip back to Iowa and I am hoping the weather will hold.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dec 7th - Fishbowls and Fire

Greenbay has nearly completed the framing on the third floor and has also reorganized the lumber out back as well as the garage.

I spend a portion of the day preparing the water filter for installation and also hooking up the main shut off valve in the crawlspace. Pat has loaned me his torch and I do what little soldering I need to do to prepare the valve. I am a bit discouraged to find that there is some water in the pipe and while not much, it has the temporary valve we used to test the system last summer, frozen solid. I am hoping that the pipe isn't frozen below the surface of the gravel in the crawl space and I won't know until we actually turn the water on. I've also installed the shower valve in the 2nd floor bath and managed to install 4 recessed lights on the 2nd floor.

I have been helping Hagen place the glass blocks I cleaned earlier this morning. They look great but tonight before I leave, I find some of the mortar has dropped down in behind the glass blocks and so tomorrow we will have to remove a couple of stones and somehow vacuum the excess mortar out of the cavity. Hagen has also cut a couple of stones that Pat brought by and he's cut them in 11" squares. I have drilled a center hole in each stone with a masonry bit and
these stones will sit above the glass blocks and the mantle. Hagen will be close to wrapping up the stone work tomorrow.

So why is this post called Fishbowls and Fire...Mike Hagen's wife called today to tell Mike she smelled smoke in the house....ready for this. In a south window, there is a kid's fish bowl sitting on a table with some newspapers on the table. The sun hits the fish bowl just right and the convex shaped fish bowl appears to have become a magnifying glass and the sun pin points on the newspaper and the smoke appears on the newspaper. Luckily Mary was there and smelled the smoke. Mike said she kept the newspaper with the black burned hole in it... Only in Rico. Mike wonders what the insurance company would have said if he had told them the fish bowl burned his house down...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dec 6th - Plumbing Rough-in Complete

Today I've finished running all the water lines to their location from the manifold. Pat has helped me in the crawl space pull pipe into the old cabin. I've also completed the drain lines on the 3rd floor while Greenbay works on the framing for the 3rd floor loft. Pat has been working on finish framing in the master trying to prepare it for drywall as soon as the electrical and insulation are complete.

Hagen is coming along on the fireplace and tonight I have to take the glass blocks home and clean them up for tomorrow's installation. The stone he has used looks great and by tomorrow it should be close to being finished. Only the installation of the mantle remains on the fireplace. Mike has even lit a fire and it draws perfectly.

Chris has come by to take a look at installing the entire heating system. I hope to have the bid this week.

Pat and I stay late tonight cleaning up and trying to organize some. It's amazing how quickly I can make a mess...I think Lynn will agree.

Dec 5th - Lumber Run

I spent the morning making a list of items we need in Cortez. Lynn and I take off for Cortez with several stops along the way.

We stop at Val's place in Dolores and Lynn takes the truck to the market while I search out the lumber I need to build the stair stringers and landings. Wider dimension lumber is scarce in Val's yard and so it takes me a while to find what I need. One piece I find is dry and weathered and 25' long. Luckily I've brought my tree saw and cut it down to length to fit in the truck.

With a stop at Standard Plumbing and Slavens I finish my list while Lynn picks up supplies at Wal-Mart. We head back to Rico.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dec 4th - Crawlin' in Space

I've spent 4 hours in the crawl space this morning drilling through floor joists. I have a number of PEX water lines to run in the crawl space. While there is enough space to crawl around it's still not an easy job and my knees aches from the gravel. I also had to pull my boots off quickly a number of times when my feet cramped. Pat comes down into the crawl space now and helps me pull pipe through the many holes I've drilled. By days end I've run most of the water lines and used up all 1200 feet of pipe. I will need another 200 feet to finish the job.

Pat has been up in the master framing the linen closet and completing the blocking for the siding. It's my goal to complete the master first so that when I come back in February, I can actually move into this part of the house. Hagen has also started laying stone for the face of the fireplace. It won't be long and we will be setting the glass blocks in the face of the fireplace. It looks coming soon.

Tonight we have stayed late and Pat and I manage to nail up all the electrical boxes on the 2nd floor. I will start drilling and running wire tomorrow.

Dec 3rd - Plumb Crazy

Today I've spent most of the day drilling and pulling the PEX tubing thru floor joists and walls. It's freezing in the house most of the day and the old pot belly barely keeps up. Using a right angle drill can be tough as the drill bits and hole-saws have a tendency to catch and when they do, you had better be hanging on, but letting go of the trigger. On more than one occasion the drill catches and nearly breaks my wrist.

Lynn has come by to help me pull the pipe through the holes I've drilled while I push. It's a big help, especially when the distances are long. Before long the strands of blue and red pipe are sticking out of the walls and floors all over the 2nd & 3rd floor. My arms and shoulders ache from the overhead drilling and pipe pulling at the end of the day.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dec 2nd - Fireplace Details

Greenbay has showed up for a few hours to work on more framing up on the 3rd floor.

Today I have to prepare the old cast iron clod buster wheels that I have cut up in sections and get them ready to bolt up to the masonry structure of the fireplace. It's difficult to attach the odd shaped iron brackets to the masonry wall, but I manage to using Tapcons and a masonry bit. I also have a short section of the wheel that I will have Hagen install horizontally that will act as a hanger for fireplace tools. It will mount on the stone in between the fireplace and the backside of the fireplace where the dining room wood stove will end up.

Today I have unhooked the wood stove and moved it away from the wall so that Hagen will have room to work. Pat has donated a section of stove pipe and I hook it back up and not long after I have a hot fire going trying to warm up the chilly house that is about 10 degrees inside. I have chosen a nice thick wide handhewn oak slab for a mantel and cut it to length. Using Pat's metal brake, I fabricate some galvanized sheet metal channels that will hold the antique glass bricks I have selected to use on the face of the fireplace as well as behind the wood stove.

I also managed to dig out of one of the crates, some old cast iron building stars that I will have Hagen attach to the face of the fireplace. I have picked out some square stones at Pat's that we will drill a hole in the center of to attach the stars. The antique glass bricks are some I found years ago in a salvage yard in Helena Montana. They came out of the old Anaconda Copper Company's factory office that was torn down a number of years ago. I had nearly 1,000 of them and have enjoyed using them on different projects. The particular ones I have chosen for this project are ones that are much different than the others. They are dark green, amethyst and clear, 2" thick and 6" square, with an impressed line about 2/3rds up the side. The corners are chipped. My intention in having the glass bricks installed in the fireplace face and I will run rope lights through conduit I have routed through the masonry structure. The lights will lay in the channel and light the old antique glass blocks and will give a nice touch to the downstairs rooms.

Dec 1st - It's A Small World

Last night we got a knock on the door from Lynda who runs the hotel. She informed me that someone who knew me was in the restaurant and wanted to buy me a drink. I met Todd and Nadine Webber in the restaurant and while I had never met them, they have been customers of mine for a number of years. The question came up on how they found me. On their way back to Prescott, AZ from Paonia, CO, they had decided to spend the night at the Rico Hotel. Last night had been Noel Night in Rico and the local businesses were open on Main Street and a considerable amount of people were out on the street. Lynda had recommended they take a walk out on the street. There they met Ken Hazen, a long time resident of Rico, who wanted to know where they were from. When they told him Prescott, Arizona, he informed them that another couple living in Rico was also from Prescott. Yes, they knew this couple! and had been friends with them for over 30 years and had raised families together, but had never visited their friends here.

Ken hooked them up with their friends Kim and Mick McClain who we had just met a week ago. In a conversation, Mick mentioned to Todd that a neighbor Dave (me) owned a truck like his old Dodge Power Wagon. Todd had asked Mick where I was from and when he told him Iowa, Todd realized he knew who I was! Into our conversation further, I find he is also good friends with my close friends Jack and Lynn Garner, who also live in the Prescott area as well! Small world out there!

Today they come for a visit to the house and I find out we are invited to a dinner party at Kim and Micks tonight. We enjoy all their company thoroughly.

Today at the house, I have been drilling for the final stages of plumbing on the 3rd floor. I have to get the final drain lines drilled and up through the floor. Bob Akey comes by today with details on light fixtures he will be ordering for me next week. His years of experience as a master electrician will help me out a whole lot.

Greenbay and Pat are working on many of the small framing details on the upper levels of the house. They leave early to help Greenbay repair a tire. Also another neighbor, Fraser stops by to see what I'm up to. Hagen has also showed up with a load of the stone for the final veneer of stone on the fireplace. This means I will have to once again shift gears and do some necessary prep work on the fireplace.

Nov 30th - Warm Board - Cold Night

Today Pat, Greenbay and I started and completed the installation of the warm board on the 3rd level loft. The left over warm board was to be used on the original cabin floor but since we needed the warm board in this area to complete the framing, I've decided to use the remaining sheets and scraps up on the 3rd level. It takes some careful planning on my part and after making a sketch we are able to complete the entire 3rd level with only 1/2 a sheet of warm board remaining. I stay a bit later to figure how I will route the lines on the floor. It's a tall stair well opening at 27 feet high and lots of ladder climbing is required to maneuver from one floor to the next.