July 6, 2008 update status

Over the last week, I've gotten a bit more done on the garage. I removed some of the shakes I had put on the South side, because I had not put them on well enough. Furthermore, I decided to improve the quality of the siding by running the shakes through the table saw, to square off the sides. After I had put up a few shakes, and the spacer boards (cut from discarded pressure-treated fence pickets), I realized I should be scraping and sanding the shakes BEFORE I put them up. It's a lot easier to sand them on the sanding station than it is to hang off a ladder with a hand-sander.

Here is the south side of the garage, with the misplaced shakes removed, and the Tyvek taped together. I'm feeling guilty that the Tyvek's branding has had time to fade in the sun, but I've been a busy guy. In the previous pciture, you can see the first ten feet or so of spacer strips -- they space out the shakes, to give the same lay that a double-layer of cedar shakes would have.

Here I am, standing on our fence to hammer the spacer strips into place. Here is a near complete row of cedar shakes put up, along with the completed line of spacer strips. As I dug through my stacks of shakes, it became apparent I would have to clean up the sides, lest I get uneven rows and gaps between the shakes.

Here's the table saw, getting rolled out to trim shakes. It doesn't seem to matter how much stuff I get rid of, the garage is always full. Currently, the boss have, between them, two trikes, two trailers, a scooter, a cozy coupe, a bicycle, a Donald Duck riding toy, and a collection of small pails and sand toys. The sand toys, at least, live in the sand box. Here's one of the better cedar shakes, and you can see how uneven the side is. Side two of same shake. Isn't it much straighter after running through the table saw? Side two of same shake.

A nice stack of cleaned and trimmed shakes, upstairs in the garage. More shakes, needing cleaning. While trimming shakes, I reasoned that I should make more spacer strips. Here's a pressure-treated 2x4 I dug out of my dumpster. A nice stack of spacer strips, ready to go. They get stacked alongside the ladder until I'm ready to use them. And, here are some more

Here are the next day's shakes, waiting for trimming. These shakes are twenty to sixty years old, and have a lot of accumulated dirt and lead-based paint, so proper dust-filtration is essential. I've also got sound-blocking earplugs in. This is what it looks like as I'm trimming the sides of the shakes. Word to the wise: do this outside, unless you want to cover everything in the garage with a fine layer of sawdust. Watch those fingers as you cut.

The trimmed pile. We had used the dressers upstairs in the garage as storage for the shakes. Here are some trimmed and sanded shakes. Clearing the old paint off the shakes starts with a wire brush and a putty knife, and continues with the sanding station.

Finally, the south side after a day of messing. It's amazing how slow finish stuff is, particularly when you're trying to do it right.

One of the projects that has most worried me is the construction of the soffits. It's not an inherently difficult problem, but there are decisions to be made. I could buy pre-fabbed aluminum soffit material, and put that up to match the East and West sides. I didn't like that approach, because it didn't help me with the vast supplies of near-scrap material that I have on hand.

One of the things that I've been accumulating for some time are short 2x4 boards. Too short to use, too long to discard, I've been told. Regardless, they're building up. After much discussion, I decided to cut the 2x4s into a 3 separate 3/8" x 4" boards, and use those for the soffits.

Here is one of those ugly short 2x4s, and here it is split into three pieces, suitable for becoming soffit planks. The first of the soffit pieces in place. The previous picture also shows the metal shield I was cutting down to size, to ensure that no water ever gets inside the soffit due to a north wind. The final shape of the little metal guard. The installation of that metal shield. Here is a 2x4 cut down to a 2x2, used to anchor the inside of the soffit. HEre are some more soffit planks installed. Here's how much left I have to do on the NorthEast soffit.

Because my Table saw has a 10" blade instead of a 12" blade, Splitting a 2x4 requires two cuts. This is a 2x4 that has had one long strip peeled off, and has had the first of the remaining two required cuts.

Just for fun, I took a picture of the saw and worksite from the ladder, where I was fastening the soffit planks with 1" galvanized 18-gauge narrow crown staples.. This is a view of the NE soffit, down the pipe, as it were. And a view of the soffit's underside. The look is a tad more rustic than I had expected, but I've grown to love it. A view of the remaining portions of the NE soffitless region.. Here's the view from the ground of the NE soffit (complete with Thorwald, using a bit-and-brace on a piece of scrap plywood).

To add some insult and injury to the pace at which I am proceeding, My Bostitch F33PT framing nail gun has developed issues. It no longer fires nails, it just kind of dribbles them out. I need to disassemble the whole thing and see what the problem is. I'm still using the same compressor, and the air stapler is developing plenty of oomph. I suspect corrosion or damage to the F33PT, particularly since it has been dropped several (many?) times.

Without a nail gun, 3" construction screws are the only way to hold the soffit hanging strips in place. Once that strip was hung, it was time to stack the 2x4s for the next day of soffit-ripping and hanging. I got started on the NW soffits on July 6th, but with the UV Index at 8.2 million, I only put a few hours in, and didn't spend much time taking pictures of what I'd done.

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