Saturday, July 13, 2002

click me for bigger versionThere's something very satisfying about creating structures with wood. I spent the last day and a half working with Jeff, my brother, on my deck. When it's finished, it will be a fifteen-by-twenty foot creature, spanning two levels. Yesterday was the day where the two of us walked around the future deck sight, looking earnest and rubbing our chins.

Today was an action day, where we accomplished the following:
  • prepared the ground (working the goon spoon to remove the sod dig up roots from the neighbor's tree and level the remaining soil)
  • put down landscape fabric and gravel to keep the botanical activities under the deck to a minimum
  • built our beams that will support the deck on the steel posts emerging from the ground
  • leveled the posts, keeping a slight slope away from the house (for water drainage) in mind
  • mounted and secured the beams to the posts
  • hung a nailing board on the wall to which we will attach our joists
  • screwed on joist hangers and rubbed our chins some more about how the landing would attach, where it would attach, where the benches would go, and other permanent-results decisions.

So, tomorrow we'll be putting joists on the beams and maybe starting on the decking.

Working with Jeff has been a total blast. He's lucky enough to have found his purpose in life as a log home builder. Just recently, he's decided to work with a finishing carpenter and earn his carpentry ticket. He works outdoors, usually in a rural setting, where he can bring his dogs to work, be very physical (he's a very fit guy) and create a home that will last several generations. Besides the fact that he has every single construction tool under the sun (in both the corded and cordless models), having him help me meant I would have a chance to find out (over the noise of the power tools) what's up with him. We collaborated, shared ideas, reminisced and teased each other in the sweltering heat (37 Celsius today). It was wonderful.

Working together to accomplish or create builds more than just the finished product - it establishes emotional bonds between those who are involved.

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