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The Architect
Bob Harper
Monday, 20 June 2005
Report from the Stairwell in the Cabin on the Mountain

Solo on the mountain.....37 hours of work in three days and 10 hours of driving.....this may just be an incoherent report ....yup, dont have a clue as to how to get from my fried synapses to your hopefully somewhat more rested electro-spark-gaps....huh?

Louise had to work over the weekend so I drove up Thursday night with a cabinet in pieces in the car. Assembled the corner cabinet with 5 more metal drawers on Friday morning, and then set up shop on the porch. I now have a table saw, compound slide saw and jointer. Finish carpentry is unthinkable for me without a jointer. I got a Palmgren bench jointer from Amazon.com. Found their customer reviews very useful in choosing this one (104 lbs of cast iron) over a stamped sheet metal/plastic Delta.

I discovered over the weekend that the 5x5 foot sheets of Baltic birch ply dont just automatically stack to fill a wall. The diagonal measurements dont agree (the test for right angles in a rectangle) and after hand planing the corners more and more as I worked up the wall, I discovered that the factory edges aren't straight.....maybe thats why the Soviet Union lost the cold war, they cant make square plywood. So much for an easy wall fix.

I screwed the extension jambs together and then screwed the resulting box to the Andersen window frame. The flashing pan under the window pushes the bottom out almost 1/8 inch, so the extension jambs were taper cut with the jointer. I then lapped the ply over the jambs, screwed it tight and trimmed it back with a router. This is an evolution of a suggestion from Bob Harper back when we were thinking of using T&G pine....(too much work) Speaking of Bob Harper........by removing the temporary floor to open up the stairwell, it becomes increasingly obvious that his design is an accomplished essay in natural light.There remains one more space to open, but the ceiling on the second floor has to be done first......... the stairs are the priority, so that will wait. Thanks Bob. We keep in the camp the picture that Patty Harper sent us at Christmas of a younger Bob; it is a reminder that the structure has a guardian angel.

I am at risk in my weariness of regressing back to High School when I was accused of typing illegibly, so I'll close....Best to All....BSB

Posted by Bennett at 5:27 PM EDT

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