Labor Day Weekend 2020

A.K.A – Pork-A-Hole Holiday

We had a small gathering this year over the Labor Day Weekend.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Great friends and family!
  • Lots of good food and spirited drinks!
  • Fresh pork loins cooked underground in the Pork-A-Hole brought to you by the Bell’s!
  • Kayaking on the Juniata River!
  • $1000 Prescription Sunglasses lost in the Juniata!
  • Kayaking on the Juniata River!
  • $1000 Cell Phone lost in the Juniata!
  • Corn on the Grill!
  • Large Hairy Caterpillars!
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies!
  • Chipotle chicken, lime rice, corn salsa, black beans and guacamole form the Kitchen of Ross!
  • Kayaking on the Juniata River searching for the cell phones and sunglasses.

We are happy to report that no one contracted the COVID-19 virus and everyone made it back home safely after the weekend. We’re hoping the Labor Day Weekend 2021 will return to normal.

Here are some images from the weekend.

Two Hose Bibbs for the New Porch

Day #157 & 158

August 29th and 30th, 2021 – Since we built the new porch onto the front of the cottage, we’ve been without the capability to hook up a hose. This weekend the goal is to install two readily accessible hose bibbs along the front of the porch. I’m combining two work days into one post to provide better flow.

I am using PEX tubing for the first time. It has a higher burst strength and is better suited for our situation than CPVC pipe.

First I rigged up two mounting boards for the sillcocks. I mounted one at each end of the porch. Nothing fancy yet. We still have to put siding on the outside knee wall so these may have to be adjusted in the future.

Hose Bibb

Mounted Hose Bibb
One hose bibb at the west end of the porch.
Mounted Hose Bibb
One hose bibb at the east end of the porch.

Next I rolled out the 3/4″ PEX tubing. The porch is over 60 feet long and there is on piece of pex tubing from hose bibb to hose bibb. It is definitely a challenge to work with when you are by yourself. It keeps wanting to roll back up on itself.

Pex Tubing Roll
PEX tubing ready to roll out.
Pex Tubing
PEX tubing stretched out along the front of the porch.

Underneath the Porch

Once the tubing was connected to the hose bibbs and secured up under the porch I made the turn back towards the pump house. With PEX tubing you can use these 90° bends in place of elbows (image below).

Long Pex Run
PEX tubing under the porch and the hose bibbs connected.
Pex Tubing
PEX tubing run back to the pump house from the front of the porch.

Back at the pump house I turned off the electric to the well pump and opened the faucet in the bathroom to relieve the pressure in the system. Once the water stopped flowing from the faucet I knew that it was safe to cut into the existing CPVC piping.

Expansion Tank
Expansion tank and CPVC connection inside the pump house.
CPVC Pipe
Cutting open the CPVC piping to drain the water.

Once the existing CPVC pipe was out of the way I connected the PEX hose bibb run to the pump house expansion tank and then to the remaining CPVC supply piping.

Pex Tube Connections
Connections at the pump house.
Pex Tube Connection
Connection at the old CPVC piping and the new PEX tubing.

I double checked all my connections and fired the pump back up. The system came up to pressure, the pump stopped and voila there were no leaks! The image below is on the east end of the porch.

Hose Bibb an Hose
Completed hose bibb at the east end of the porch.

This image (below) shows the hose connection at the west end of the porch.

Hose Bibb and Hose
Finished hose bibb at the west end of the porch.

Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend. Folks will be coming in so there will be no work, just celebration. See you back in a week or so.

Porch Knee Wall Framing Starts!

Day #156

August 21, 2021 – I started the day working outside framing the porch knee walls. I had a small supply of treated 2×4’s and the weather was great so why not.

Porch Knee Wall Framing
Porch knee wall framing.

When it is complete, our new porch will be screened in. The screens will fit between the porch knee wall and the beams above. On the outside, these walls will be clad in the same siding we will use on the cottage walls.

Knee Wall Framing
Two sections of knee wall framing.

On the inside I am planning on plenty of electric outlets to power things up and provide everyone a means to charge their all important cell phones.

Knee Wall View From Inside
Knee Wall – View from the porch.

After I ran out of treated 2×4’s I went back inside and framed up the temporary ceiling support framing at the location of the last new living room window. Much like the last kitchen window this allows me to demo the old window opening, frame the new opening, and eventually install the window.

Living Room Window Ceiling Support

Temporary Ceiling Bracing
Temporary Ceiling Bracing
Temporary Ceiling Framing
Temporary ceiling support complete. Ready to demo the opening.

The porch knee walls are on hold until I get more treated lumber (Lewistown Lowe’s was out of stock). Henry, Studger and Phil are coming in this evening so that will conclude the work on the Cot-Taj-Mahal renovation for the weekend. Be back in a week or so…

Floor Patching and Chokey Framing

Day #155

Back in October of 2018 I did some demolition in the old kitchen. During the demo I discovered some carpenter ant / termite damage. Today I will be patching the floor in this area and framing the rest of the water heater enclosure i.e. the “Chokey”.

Removing the damaged wood the resulted in a hole with multiple levels. I patched the various levels, one at a time up to the bottom of the 3/4″ tongue & groove pine flooring. The images below walk you through the process.

Next up was the rest of the framing for the water heater enclosure. I am moving the water heater out of the back closet so I can turn it into a hallway with an outside door to the porch. The new location for the water heater is hear in the kitchen. I immediately dubbed it the “Chokey” as a tribute to Matilda. Mark my words, if you don’t behave you will be sent to the Chokey.

As you can see, nothing fancy about the framing. The section of floor that I patched above is right inside the enclosure.

Chokey Framing
Chokey framing a.k.a. the water heater enclosure.

Next weekend I will start the framing for the last new window in the living room. I think Henry, Studger and Phil will be visiting too, so I can’t guarantee that we will be working the whole weekend.

Kitchen Window Framing – Railroad Side

Day # 154

August 15, 2020 – Today I’ll be finishing the framing for the last new kitchen window. This window is located on the railroad (south) side of the cottage. There was an existing window in that location but the new one is slightly bigger. Because of the size difference I need to frame a new rough opening.

South Kitchen Wall
Electric outlet and old window opening in the south wall.

The outlet for the old kitchen stove is also located in this wall. We no longer need this outlet so it needs removed. The first order of business is to disconnect the electric, then remove the wire and then the outlet from the wall.

Outlet Removed
South wall stove outlet removed.

To keep the roof structure from moving while the new window opening is framed, I install some temporary roof support framing out in front of the opening.

Temporary Roof Support Framing
Temporary roof support framing.

With the temporary bracing in place I demolished and removed the header, jack and cripple studs from the old window opening.

Old Window Opening
Old windows opening (Background).
Kitchen Window Framing
Outside view of the south wall kitchen window opening.

Then, I re-frame a new header, with jack studs, and cripple studs for the new window.

New Kitchen Window Framing
New kitchen window framing at south wall.

Once the new kitchen window framing is complete I can remove the temporary roof support.

Roof Support Framing Removed
Temporary roof support framing removed.

The last thing today, for this opening, is to temporarily close it in until the new window arrives. And there you have it, the kitchen window framing is complete!

Kitchen Window Framing
Opening temporarily closed in and ready for a new window.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing some floor patching and finishing the “Chokey” framing for the Trenchbull. Yep.

Ceiling Insulation Take Two!

Day #153

August 09, 2020 – Just a short blog for today. I jumped back on the the kitchen ceiling insulation and I was able to finish it up. The rafter vents and the batt insulation are complete! Kitchen ceiling insulation take two….done! Check.

Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
 Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
Down to the last joist space.
Kitchen Ceiling Insulation
Kitchen ceiling insulation is complete!

Next up, the installation of the remaining kitchen window and the remaining living room window.

Structural Remediation – Ceiling Joist Repair

Day #152

August 8, 2020 – Back at the cottage for the weekend. I changed it up a bit and did some long needed structural remediation. After taking down the living room ceiling it became apparent that we have a situation. The ceiling joists have slowly pulled away from center beam. The loss of bearing on the joist end is not good considering that the joists hold up the finished ceiling.

Several years ago, when in the attic for the water heater installation, I noticed this condition on a couple of joists by the bathroom. I did not realize the full extent until now.

The image below shows the large gaps that have developed between the end of the ceiling joists and supporting beam. You can see, these joists are notched out and bear on a ledger strip that is in turn fastened to the bottom of the beam.

Joist Shrinkage
Large gaps at the ceiling joist ends require structural remediation.

This style of framing is not correct for this type of structure. The ceiling joists are not continuous from one side of the cottage to the other. Any load on the gable roof above, i.e. snow, pushes down on the roof. This causes the side walls to push out and the joists to pull away from the center beam. Thankfully, the side walls are still plumb on both sides of the cottage so, it is my assumption that these joists have dried out and shrunk over the years. It’s amazing, in all this time we have not suffered a collapse!

To remediate, I added metal strapping from joist to joist across the bottom of the beam. My hope is to prevent further movement or separation.

Metal Strap
Structural remediation – Metal strap added to retard further movement.

To restore full bearing I cut and bolted on new joist ends (image below).

Structural Remediation
Reinforcement added to joist end to reestablish full bearing.

I completed this structural remediation for each of the six ceiling joists.

Structural Remediation
Structural remediation – Joist End Bearing Repair

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the installation of the roof insulation in the new kitchen.