Tuesday, April 30, 2013


4/30 - apoplectic about cutting rafters incorrectly. Then fell down the rabbit hole of overthinking everything. Trying to make rafters in Sketchup and then turn them into real rafters is a mind-bending operation. Distractions are plentiful and my cup of knowledge is empty. I'm making everything extra hard on myself, and I could punch my fist through a wall. I could reach behind the wall and pull myself through to another dimension where I stop caring about it so much. Obviously I won't be an expert overnight. But I can't stop myself from being in a hurry, and I'm feeling impatient about how long it takes to learn what seems like very basic geometry. Kill me.

Monday, April 29, 2013


4/29 - rafters. Confused? Just make some fucking rafters. Joe Fusco can help. 1/4 off isn't a big deal. Plus, I'm using RR strongtie brackets at the ridge...

Sunday, April 28, 2013


4/28 - picked up the final window for the house in schwenksville. Stopped by some antique places on the way home. Nope - didn't cut any rafters today. Bought a nice old Craftsman vise and a Tonka dump truck, probably to sell.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


4/27 - Yard sales in the morning, and moving the remainder of stuff out of the philly apartment afterward. The trike was looking pretty nice with weeds and grass growing up through the spokes.

Friday, April 26, 2013


4/26 - toenailed some ceiling joists like a sumabitch. Hints? Drill pilot holes with a 1/8th inch bit. Clamp a piece of scrap to the side of the joist opposite where you're hammering so the joist doesn't move when you start smacking the nail. Or: use a pneumatic nailer. Don't be a whiny clown. Everything went together great - it took a little longer, but it looks great. Zero splits in the ends of the joists. Shitchyeah. went to kristin's parents place. Also got the ridge board (2nd one... this one is 2x8x14) with mom, and the brackets to connect the rafters. Went to Flea market in New Castle. Got four matching tiny windows which I hope can be installed vertically.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


4/25 - tried to connect the ceiling joists, but kept splitting the wood while trying to toenail. This led to no work getting done and me spending the next several hours researching how to toenail better, and getting sidetracked by discussion of all related matters - ie: is toenailing while assembling the framing less strong than face-nailing through the bottom? (Spoiler: it doesn't matter. None of it matters, and this is all a distraction and excuse to keep from getting anything done.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


4/24 - Showed my Sketchup model to small-cabin.com forums. Confirmed my apprehension about the loft being weak. Three options: rafter ties, no upper walls, more complicated lower loft. I'm opting with the simplest solution that requires the least new material. I spent today taking off the upper walls and loft framing. Now it's back to looking small and simple and manageable. || Also, I went through most of my stuff from the apartment. I was running well on Modafinil, and I went through everything - made a big pile to donate, put some in the trash, and integrated the rest into space that I made from my last round of organization. I have way too much stuff. Mostly bicycle stuff for sale, and stuff that can be thrown out or donate - but I have plenty of work ahead of me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


4/23 - house: rethinking the entire design. lots of issues with the second floor details. I'm inclined to remove the upper walls and install a conventional loft.

Monday, April 22, 2013


4/22 - house: more sheathing. First floor is aaaaallmost done. OSB is cut for the upstairs. Everything takes a lot longer than I think. Especially with one person. Especially since I don't know the fastest or best methods to complete each step.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


4/21 - house: got up a little bit of sheathing. Slow going - much slower than I thought. Not the most even thing ever, either.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


4/20 - Sara's party, plus moving out of Philly. Moved 16 sheets of plywood, and that's about it.

Friday, April 19, 2013


4/19 - Nailed in a ton of hurricane ties and angle braces. Got tons of plywood and that stuff from H.D. - took ladder and tire off of the van finally.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


4/18 - Hung out at the Farm? Jim has a woodworking job, James has a free dump truck?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


4/17 - pretty lazy stuff here. Some amount of rafter planning, but mostly an unhealthy eating and non-Adderall day. A steep roof would be an 18-12 pitch.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


4/16 - got the upstairs finished. Need to work out the rafter/roof situation. hung out at the farm for a bit.

Monday, April 15, 2013


4/15 - Bought more screws. Got the loft up.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


4/14 - Built all framing for the second floor. Finished squaring the walls, and put on the second top plate. Kristin helped a lot - Sundays are a good day for that.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


4/13 - Squared up the walls with the Pythagorean theorem. Nice trick. Used ratcheting strap clamps and old 2x3s for braces.

Friday, April 12, 2013


4/12 - Car accident turns to sushi instead.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


4/11 - Not a very productive day. Got the walls raised, but they aren't plumb or probably square. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, and I'm getting pretty frustrated. I'm leaving town, and I'm hoping that the amount of screws I have holding everything together will be sufficient - but, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, and nothing except experience can help me, and I don't have any of that. I have a big fucking tarp over everything. Hopefully that will be okay until I can wake up my brain or get some help. I feel like I'm slogging around like an idiot. Tried to get some Modafinil with Bitcoins fucking finally. The exchange rate is fucking all over, and I don't know what I'm doing there either, so fuck everyone and kill everything.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


4/10 - Didn't do shit. No meds taken; no work done. Looked at Sketchup for a minute to plan the Tiny-tiny Summerhome. But that's a daydream. That's not action.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


4/9 - Got the impact driver.

Tiny House Blog That I Made:

I'm still going to update here, but I'm busy working on building a Tiny House and writing about the progress.


Monday, April 8, 2013


4/8 - Free siding day. A guy on CL offered 67pcs of 6 1/2" x 16' engineered wood siding. Deal. I knew I would have to be fast and not picky, so I contacted him and was proactive about getting over there. I drove an hour each way, and had 4' of siding hanging out of the van on the way back. The pieces have been sitting out for a couple year, so they need to be cleaned - but this is a great way to get about $300 of siding for free. With a coat of paint on the pre-primed surface, I think they'll look great. I also finished insulating the subfloor and screwing down the 3/4" plywood. Next, it's time for the walls to go up.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


4/7 - Finished assembling both front and back walls. Kristin cut studs for the upper floor knee-wall. Me, Kristin, Mom and Dad all flipped over the subfloor framing. I toe-screwed each joist to the skids with two long screws running from opposite sides of the joist. Tomorrow will be completion of the subfloor and raising the first floor walls.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


4/6 - Went out to Flickerwood uptown in Kennett to meet Kristin's friends. It was nice. House: built most of one wall, and Kristin cut a bunch of studs for other walls. Ordered an impact driver. Hung out with Dave at Talula's table uptown in Kennett. Nice social day.

Friday, April 5, 2013


4/5 - Went to Philly to see TMBG and went to West Philly to bring home the bed. Did an A.M. oil change. Went to dinner for K's Dad's B-day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


4/4 - Got a late start because my alarm was turned off. We're sharing a twin bed with a dog, and maybe we need to do something about that. I got started by knocking the top plate off the wall that took me two days to build. Then I cut down the studs and screwed the 12' top plate back on. Karl was over, and he was kind enough to dig out his old Makita circular saw. It's the kind you plug in, so it always has juice. Nice. I was also able to complete the opposite wall. Only one day for that one. I'm getting better! One day for a wall is better than three. Not that I was really kicking my ass to get a lot done. I spend three hours watching Homeland too.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


4/3 - Well, I build the walls 3" too high. I left the 8' studs uncut, which doesn't factor in 3" worth of sill plate and top plate. The height of the wall needs to be 8' total, because you have to screw plywood onto it, and plywood comes in 8' long sheets. Ooops. Luckily, I noticed this mistake before I build another identically incorrect wall.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


4/2 - Got one wall mostly framed out. It still needs all of the framing members that aren't full-length studs, but the full length ones are all there, and everything else is cut and ready to be screwed into place. The pneumatic framing nailer is pretty loud and bossy. It was hard to get my twisted sill plate to bend back into place using nails, and all of this reminds me once again that it is difficult to learn on the job alone with no prior experience and nobody to show me better ways of doing any of the steps. I'm out on my own, and it can be slow and frustrating. But I'm learning, and I'm forging ahead.

Monday, April 1, 2013


4/1 - It took just about all day to screw plywood to the bottom of the subfloor framing. I had a sheet left over from the days of Truck House, and a bunch of random sheets that I pulled out of a dumpster in Philly. I got tired of screwing around with little bits of sheets and trying to make everything fit, so I took a breather and looked at everything again. I went to Lowes and bought two more sheets of plywood. Sometimes it's way easier to just buy some plywood. I'm building the house to last, so I'm going to do it right. Slowly, yes - but sturdy. My family visited Cathy and Karl to see my little 8mos old nephew Benjamin. He's a great looking baby. Seems like a winner. After dinner, Karl helped me with my Sketchup plans. I confirmed that my existing layout was all workable and correct, and then I asked about the loft framing. Where should it go? Should the 2x6s lay on top of the double top plate, or should they be built into pockets in the wall framing? Karl made a suggestion that I hadn't ever considered: lay them across the double top plate, and then build a 3ft high knee wall similar to having a second floor. Woah. That's way more space. I also have a full 8' ceiling height on the first floor. This house just got much taller. It's unique, and not like what I see in most other tiny houses. But I have no real height restrictions, since I'm not building on a trailer, so why not make it taller? I'm excited about this. It will give the house some of the unique character that I was looking for. It'll also give us some more storage space for myriad knickknacks.