Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Extreme physical exertion...

Extreme exertion, yes. Am I sore? Yes. Is it hotter and more humid than hell? Yes.

Does it feel good? You're darn tootin'.

I feel good, healthy, strong. I'm losing weight. I'm tanned from working without a shirt. I know, I know, I should be protecting myself with a shirt and sunscreen. I'm sleeping odd hours, but getting 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night. Work and sleep. I eat when I can.

I've done a couple of crazy things, like toting a 350 pound beam, on my shoulder, by myself, and worked it up two ladders to its final resting place 10 feet above the ground on top of two columns. I'm lucky I didn't fall and break my neck and then have the beam fall and crush my head like a watermelon. Augusto wasn't there to help me - he's vertically challenged anyway - I'm about three of him.

Yesterday, I almost broke my wrist twice muscle-ing a 1/2" 8.0 amp drill with a 2" auger bit 13" into the dead center end grain of a column. When the thing hawgs into the wood, sometimes it bites so hard that the resulting tweak goes from the drill to my fingers, to my wrist, torque-ing my elbow, and wrenching my shoulder.

Luckily, my cat-like reflexes allow me to react and absorb the energy - letting go of the drill and twisting with some tango contra-body torsion whilst cursing that would make a sailor blush. I have to be especially careful when drilling with this rig into the top of a column, standing on the top step (big no-no) of a 6 ft step ladder. I only have two more of these bearish monster holes to drill, and now I have scaffolding set up for better footing and safety.

That drill is deceiving in that it is so small and light, but it is a powerful little mo-fo. It must be 1 horsepower. Anyway, I'll be more careful - now that I'm almost finished with the heavy boring.

Now that I'm writing about it, I don't like it that I'm apparently taking some stupid risks. Me Mr. Safety Man. I've always been high on safety - except that time I chopped my leg with an axe. Straight on, right into the high point of my left shin bone. It didn't hurt too bad, but I got a little woozy when the flesh started to slowly part and I could see the bone.

I'll be careful, I promise. In the coming days I'll be framing the roof.

Here's the scarf joint - half of it anyway - I'll be setting the sister beam tomorrow. There are two scarf joints - dead center on the door when you walk out into the loggia. It's kinda my little signature thing to make it "special".

Scarf joint...

Here's a wider view. The small holes in the sides of the columns are for my custom designed nut thingamajigger - for the hidden structural connection using 1/2" threaded rod. The holes will be hidden/filled with wood plugs. I don't think I will even need to add kickers, but I probably will just to be safe for racking action/forces. The thing is bomb-proof.

Work in progress...

Here are all of my hand tools, collected at the end of the day. I decided to take a photo for posterity.

My hand tools...

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