Andrew and Emily

Andrew and Emily (old Spacex friends) came all the way from Virginia to help us for a week!

After graduating from Sam’s two-minute nail gun training course, they got to work.

We started with blocking. “Blocking” involves cutting short pieces of wood to fit vertically between the girts for extra support. We use blocking behind any unsupported seams of OSB sheets.

Our building has shear walls incorporated in the design to resist wind loads. The shear walls require an anchor bracket at the base of the wall to react the loads, plus additional blocking in that section of the wall.

The shear walls also require a nailing strip on the outside of the wall. It is important that the nails make it into the blocking on the other side. We checked the inside for misses, aka “shiners”, and most of Andrew’s nails made it in!

We got into a pickle during lunch one day. We were assembling sandwiches when we realized we forgot the utensils. It didn’t take long for us engineers to find a solution.

The pickle extraction screw

After completing a lot of blocking, we moved on to interior framing! First, we mapped out locations of the walls and screwed down sill plates for the walls to sit on. We had to dust off the old rock drill (from our rock wall project) to drill through the concrete floor.

Sam and Andrew assembled the interior walls on the ground before standing them up. The method worked well, and the wall came out nice and flat.

A rainbow appeared, assuring we were on the right track!

BJ returned for a few days while our friends were in town. He helped us assemble the bedroom ceiling/office floor before packing up his RV for good. Emily and I cut boards, BJ carried them, and Sam and Andrew nailed them in place. With a five-person team, we framed the bedroom, closet, and one bathroom!

We like to give all of our visitors a bucket truck experience. Since we didn’t have much aerial work to do this time, we took our friends on a bucket truck adventure to Glenwood for lunch. From the smiles, it appears that riding inside the cab is just as fun as riding in the bucket.

After a big lunch in Glenwood, we continued working on framing. It was getting dark, so we put up some more string lights.

Andrew may have made it through the week without any shiners, but Sam did not. Shortly after putting up lights, Sam fell while working on the office floor and slammed his cheek on a floor joist. We rushed home to find that all urgent care facilities were closed and spent the final night with our friends on a somber note, gumming some lasagna that they graciously prepared for us.

Looking back, I’m not sure how Sam was able to eat or even talk that night. Sam’s cheek bone broke in multiple locations, and he had a black eye for the records. Luckily there were no additional complications, and Sam was able to avoid surgery (so far). We spent the following weeks resting, catching up on design work, and getting our Christmas wreath business in order. Sam is mostly recovered and we are back to work!

Cheers to things looking up!

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