Plowing into the New Year

We’re continuing to have the most severe winter ever. Another freak storm rolled in, and the snow hasn’t stopped since I last posted. We set up a video camera and a snow depth stick so we can monitor the snow level remotely.

Sam has been plowing with the dozer almost every day. The snow was too deep for the tractor and Mr. snowman.

Even with all the plowing, it snowed so much one night we couldn’t drive in the next day. We had to ski up to get the dozer.

We eventually made it to the building. Luckily we had plenty of things to work on inside, like installing the chain hoist. The hoist sits on a track under the attic peak. It will be used to lift heavy things from the shop floor up into the attic.

I had had enough of the cold weather…

Jackson to the rescue! That’s right- Jackson returned once again! We were so grateful he chose to spend his new year’s vacation doing construction in the snow.

The boys donned their snow pants and got to work, while I took the opportunity to avoid all construction work while Jackson was here. They decided to tackle the attic floor, but first, a little work was required to get the materials out of the snow. They retrieved the boxes of brackets with little struggle (see picture above). Getting the wood out wasn’t as easy.

The bundles of 2×10’s were buried in the snow.

The larger bundle was up on a muddy, icy, and snow-covered hill. Even after some plowing and shoveling, the loader didn’t have enough traction to make it up the hill. Sam needed backup. (This is when a collection of heavy machines doesn’t seem silly.) The dozer was able to push the loader up to the wood bundle.

Success! To make up for the time lost, Sam cut through the stack with the chainsaw (instead of cutting individual boards on the compound miter saw).

Cutting the boards to an accurate length wasn’t too important because the joists are intended to sit loosely in brackets.

The first step for building the attic floor was screwing wood beams over the steel attic beams, which we completed earlier in the fall. It wasn’t easy to drill a million holes through thick steel, but we did it (and only broke a few drill bits in the process).

The wood beam covers the steel and is screwed in from below. The wood surface makes it easier for attaching the floor joists. Hanger brackets are nailed to the attic beams every 16 inches. The 2×10 joists sit in the hanger brackets.

The attic floor covers the entire footprint of the building, about 4000 sq ft. There about 210 joists (and 420 hanger brackets!), and those 2×10’s aren’t light. Luckily, the chain hoist was able to do most of the heavy lifting. The hoist lifted bundles of boards up to someone in the scissor lift.

Then the boards were dropped into the hanger brackets and nailed in place.

Over just a few days, Sam and Jackson put up almost all of the attic floor joists! Some areas were left open for access.

We wanted to have a little more conventional fun during Jackson’s visit, so we went cross country skiing a few times. We skiied in groomed areas, ungroomed mountain bike trails, and to the Mosier tunnels where Sam and Jackson battled with icicles.

We rang in the new year with a three-person house party, and then Jackson left. Sadly, the snow didn’t leave.

Snow up to the 3 ft mark on the snow stick

One thought on “Plowing into the New Year

  1. You two are simply unbelievable!! And then yet another hardworking and handsome friend shows up just when you need him!! The building is looking incredible and I am filled with envy when I see your piles of snow. But the very best thing you accomplished was calling Dot. She really is very close to the end of the line, and I wanted to let you know that, but somehow you knew and managed to call her. She was very pleased. Did you know she was back in the hospital? We are hoping she will be discharged by Sunday but it is always hard to tell. I’ll keep you up to date. All my love to you both, p


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