Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rock Work

Many thanks to Lisa and Zack who got me a camera for Christmas. (Tyler's carhart cap is coming in handy too, as it's cold out there.)

Just before Christmas we poured the footings and they started the rock work around the front porch. Therese, Tyler and I collected the rock from around the farm. Some of it from stream beds, some from old rock fences that had fallen down, and some from piles of unexplained origin. Lots of rock here in Arkansas. Here is progress, so far.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I was working in the living room yesterday, and I kept smelling poo. Smelled like someone must have come into the house to do his/her business. Looked around and didn't find anything. Then the smell whent away. Then it was back. I looked down and there was Sammy, the stinker. He had wallowed in someone's poo. I suspect that, just to Sam's delight, a worker out here didn't know there was a toilet down the hill. Let me tell you we had quite a bath. Kinda reminded me of changing a few of the kid's diapers. Yuck.

Roof and Windows & my Christmas list

The metal roof is on, and the windows are installed. The plumbers are here running pipes, and the heating and air guys ran the duct work a couple of weeks ago.

I've not been posting pictures for a while because I've broken my second camera. The one that kinda works has a battery issue. It runs down after about 20 minutes... a real pain. Sooo, I've asked Santa for a new camera!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brackets & Eaves

It's been a nice week and the framers got most of the most of the eaves and brackets put up. They make the outside of the house look much more complete.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paint Weekend

This weekend Therese, Larry and I painted brackets and boards that will go up under the eaves. The picutes make it look like on Therese is working, but Larry and I did do som painting too. We really did. Yes siree. Really.

Tyvek On

The day after they got the framing done and the osb on the outside, they wrapped it in Tyvek, and we lost our windows ....

Walls Up, Windows Ordered

Costa and his 4 or 5 helpers put up the walls and put on the wall sheathing in 3 days. Would have taken Larry, Gary and me 6 weeks. During the framing the windows changed quite a few times. But we finally got them ordered last week. We're hoping to get them (and the siding) installed in early December. Here are pics of the house, without the brackets, eaves and gables. The 4 front windows look nice from the inside, will keep folks from looking into the living room from the road, and will permit us to put furniture below them (they're 4' from the floor and about 4' from the ceiling). But from the outside they increase the "church" or "schoolhouse" look. Therese says we can "fix" that with tall shrubbery. Ah, the ageold question -- do we want it to be good for the Ramseys inside, or look good for the Jonses from on the outside. Hmmmmm.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bracket Boys

Over two weekends Larry, Gary and I cut and put together the eave and gable brackets that will hold up the roof overhang. The timber frame doesn't extend out beyond the walls, so we need brackets. They kinda look like the fancy wood posts some folks put their mailboxes on. (For those of you who live in the city, folks who don't (live in the city) have a mail box on a post by the road.)

There are 38 brackets and 16 rafters (including 1 custom bracket in which Gary drilled an extra set of holes in the side before he'd had enough coffee to drink).

All in all it took three grown men about a hour to cut and assemble one bracket. Not much time for fun either weekend, except for the fun of working together (sappy but true). You can see the eve brackets behind Gary in his solo pic. They likda look like toy soldiers all lined up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mo dirt wok

Huey and two others (one or both of whom live on "Slow Tom Road" -- not sure if one had to drive slow on it or Tom was slow) spent a couple of days diggin and moving dirt around the back of the house. It makes a big difference. Hope Therese likes it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

roof decking

We had 3 good days this week without rain, so we got the 1x6 tongue and groove decking on the rafters.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Frame Done, Time for Roofing and Walls

All the rafters are up, and now if it quit raining we'll start on the roof and windows. Here are some pictures of the completed frame.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Forget the frame, Mickey D's is coming!!

Word on the street is that McDonalds is coming to Huntsville next Spring. Not a big fan of McDonalds, but I like the notion that Mickey thinks Huntsville is big and growing enough for them to build a store.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good Perspective looking East

This is one of our favorite views of the frame. We still have to add a bunch of rafters.

Valleys over Kitchen

Here we are flying and placing the kitchen roof assembly.

Frame Raising

We raised the frame on Wednesday and Thursday. Here are a few pictures. I'll add more pictures, and commentary after I'm rested. It's been a long few weeks getting this thing done. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is this our new Barn?

Clipper and Rocky were checking out the house today. I had to take down the electric fence that was surrounding the house for the dirt work. Huey ate lunch in Therese's studio, and he had to put some boards over the door because Rocky looked like he wanted to step in and walk around. I later nailed a board up over the door. The first time I saw them up at the house, I saw two asses, as they both had their heads in the windows looking around. Cute pic, but I didn't have my camera. My hunch is that they'll help fertilize the place too.


Huey came today and started pushind dirt up around the concrete walls. It's going to take a while. We're going to get the dirt we need for the back of the house from enlarging the pond. We can't actually enlarge it this year, cause it has to be drained and dry for a couple of months so the dozer won't get stuck. So this year we'll dig some dirt from the bank, and do the actual enlarging next year. I want to have a pond where I can catch some fish.

Weekend Update

Gary and Larry helped level the deck and tighten down everything on the "garden level." And we got Gary into the window well to waterproof it. Now all we need to do there is add rock and gravel. We also spread tarps on the deck to try to keep it drier until the raising, which I think will happen in about a month.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

House Site Update

All of the floor decking is on thanks to a lot of help from Larry and Gary. We're having to go back and shim under some of the floor trusses to level the floor up. Some parts are not quite 1/2" lower than others. Not sure exactly what accounts for it, and you really don't notice it when walking on the deck, but we wanted it as close to flat and level as possible, so we're shimming it. We should finish that this weekend, then the next work weekend we'll put in the posts and post bases that will sit on the basement floor and run up to the decking to support the timberframe. I'd estimate that we've got 6 more days of work at the house before it's ready for the timber frame. Probably means we have 10 as I always underestimate time. Hmmm. Anyway, the frame is almost done, and we're hoping to raise it mid-September. I hope.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So just how small is Huntsville?

So I was in the Huntsville City Offices today having something notarized. I explained that I was moving to Witter and was going to start a law practice. The notary said "so are you the one who wants to start a fitness center?" She'd heard of a lawyer moving to the area who wanted to start one. Um, nope that wasn't me, but nice to meet you.

Driving down the road I thought way back, and I think I might have told someone down here at least a year ago that Therese teaches water aerobics, and that it would sure be nice if there was a pool in town. I think this might have morphed into "the new lawyer wants to build a fitness center." Wow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whatcha readin?

I've had some lows in my summer reading. I hate to admit it, but I read a book called "Death Rides a Chesnut Mare." It as a buck at the used book store. It's about a girl pretending to be a boy who rides around killing the folks who killed her father. Can't beleive I read it. But now I'm on one of my higher points. For my birthday Therese bought me "A Short History of England" at an antique store in Yellville. I can't put it down. Why isn't this unAmerican history required reading in school? Maybe they did and I didn't, or maybe I just don't remember. Hmmmm.

"But where are all your women?"

For some reason I can just hear my friend and former colleague Ed saying "But where are all your women?" I went to the laundromat in Huntsville today for the first time. The last time I ran out of "clean" (Therese says they will never be clean again) clothes, I just went to WalMart and bought more. Not this time. I thought there would be women there doing laundry for their families. I know girls, this is a negative stereotype, but it's what I thought so give me a break. Anyway, didn't see a single woman. Bunch of old men, like me, and a few young hispanic men, doing the wash. I think the only guy in there when I left was only there for the television. I might have found an new best friend 'cause we don't have television down here in the barn.

"Say Hello to My Little Friend"

A coon has been sneaking into the barn at night to steal my bread. One night he stole my last muffin. Sam and Jack finally cornered him one morning for me to see. He sat up there on the ridge beam until, I guess, the dogs lost interest later that day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's too white ...

We're pickling, I think they call it, the ceiling tongue and groove. When we started I thought it was too white. Therese said "I love it." But it's too white... She was right, it dried lighter... Did you know that oil based paint is baned in some states, and Home Depot doesn't even sell it? Who woulda thunk it? We found it at Sherwin Williams. Anyway, we pickled about 600 square feet today, which is about 1/3of what needs to be done. Another long weekend coming up.

She Violated Every Rule in the Book

Many timber frames have wood tongue and groove ceilings. We're no exception, but we've added a little twist. David, our sawyer who owns the sawmill were we got the timbers for our timber frame, has circle sawn lumber. Most timbers and lumber is sawn on a band saw these days. The circle sawn lumber has a subtle arc pattern. It's going to take two loads from the sawmill to get all of it back here to the farm. I brought the first load last Friday. It needed to be sanded to take off a few rough spots, so we rented a floor sander, to sand the ceiling. We worked half a day and it started raining cats and dogs. Twas a good time for a nap. When we resumed work, Therese didn't put on here steel toed sneakers, and she was just slightly impaired. But no toes were injured in the sanding. Guess it could have been worse. She could have been smokin' on of her winstons.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Valleys, girl

Today we set up in the barn, the valley rafters that will become the kitchen roof. It looks just like it did when I drew it up using sketchup. Mike could have done it all without the computer and sketchup, but even he'd have to admit that it was handy to be able to draw it all using the computer to calculate lengths and angles. We often found ourselves checking sketchup vs actual.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Whoops, wrong pic

Larry called last night to tell me that I must have posted the wrong picture. Those old ugly guys just couldn't be us. After some digging I found the right one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Waterproof & Backfill

Larry and I worked all Sunday finishing the waterproofing on the below-grade concrete walls, then putting about 18" of gravel next to the waterproofing, then backfilling it all with dirt. We don't have enough dirt to terrace the yard as it will be when it's done, so for now it looks kinda like a big motocross ramp. Here is a glamor pic of us after our 12 hour Sunday. OMG, is that really what we look like??

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things are coming together

We finished the king post and braces for the bent that will span the middle of the living room. This is a picture of the right side, as I couldn't get far and high enough to take a picture of the whole thing. The posts are 16 feet apart. Then there will be 4 foot arcades on the outsides of the posts. The arcades are far from traditional, I realize. My hope is that they will serve not only as walkways around the seating area, but also as spaces to display and put stuff.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Timber frame update

I've been planing timbers the last two weeks. Not the most exciting work, but it will add someting to the finished frame. We're also working on the king posts. Here are a couple of pictures of work on the king post and cherry braces that will be over the middle of the living room.

About Me

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Witter, AR, United States
We are building a timber frame home in a small rural community in Northwest Arkansas. We created this Blog so our family and friends could follow our progress.