Thursday, April 30, 2009

G'day Mate

Some friends of Mike (FoMs, I guess you could say down here where they used to call Clinton's many acquantences -- no not the girls -- FoBs) visited today. They brought along their nephew who was visiting from Down Under. He helped Mike cut the tenon on an outrigger. He does have eyes under those lids. Funny how a camera is capable of waiting just until the subject blinks. We spent a good deal of the moring restacking our timbers into the new shed. I did look at the garden today. Looked fine. G'day in the garden.

Hope Springs Eternal

I've started a garden. I'm not good at gardens, as I tend to somehow think all you have to do is "plant it and forget it." Not this year. It's right outside the Barn, and I have big plans to care for it every day. Hmmmm, well, maybe every few days.... Anyway, the first tomato plants I planted were enjoyed by the deer. I bought some 4' fence to put up, and Larry and Pres chuckled. I went back and got 6' fencing. Got lettuce, brocolli, tomatoes, celery leaf flavoring stuff (Barbra at the Huntsville "Art Gallery and Nursery" fast talked me into these), as well as a couple of plants that I can't remember what they are. When we were plowing the garden (yep, used a 55hp tractor to plow a 150 sqft garden) Larry found a rusty horseshoe. Good Karma, I hope.

Barn Lean to

We needed a place to store timbers out of the rain so we added a "lean to" to the barn. Larry and Gary helped a lot, as ususal. We cut down a 20' cedar tree that had been damaged by the electric compay and the ice storm, then we cut off one side with the chain saw. We cut mortises in it, then tenons on the tops of two cedar posts. Then we put it up and Gary drove the pegs in the holes to keep it all together. Larry spent the good part of a day cutting rafter pockets in the beam. It feels good to sit under it, as the low roofline makes you feel connected to it. Think we'll have to have a low roof porch on the house.

Bents 4 & 5 Done

Back on the air. Been gone. Left my camera out in the rain one night. Left camera battery at home. Enough excuses. We finished bents 4 & 5 last week. We're adding the king posts to all the bents. These are the posts that run up from the middle of each of these bents to support the ridge beam. Here's a picture of Mike running the chain mortiser. It's a fancy electric chain saw that cuts mortises. The mortise below is for a brace.

Monday, April 13, 2009


It rained on Sunday, all day. Rocky stayed in the lean-to, but Clipper kept standing at the gate, shivering, looking like he wanted to come in. I finally tied them both up in the lean-to while it was raining. So, which is smarter, a horse or a mule? My little room in the barn smelled like wet dog and horse poo. The good thing is that you kinda get used to it.

Timber Framer Larry

I got Larry started on his timber framing career this weekend. Here he is cutting a brace.

Another lean to

This weekend our goal was to add a "lean to" to the back of the barn for storing timbers. This is how far we got. Not too sturdy, we had to use the ladder to keep it from falling over. Seriously, we hit a rock with the post hole digger and sheared off the shear pin, so no holes for the posts = no more work on the lean to. I'll go to town today and stock up on shear pins.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Can't Fiddle, but I Know a little Law, I Am Legend

I had my first Arkansas Traveler experience last night. About 7 I was eating, drinking, and sitting cozy in the "man cave." Jack starts barning, and won't stop, so I get up and look out the window. I see a red truck. It's a neighbor's truck, and he'd like for me to come over to talk to some folks about a legal situation. So I head over and spend about a hour with them. Good experience for all, I'd say. And on my way out the door they invite me over to breakfast on Friday. Kinda make me feel like The Legend, at least in my own mind.

The Legend of the Arkansas Traveler

The Traveler was exasperated. Lost in the woods with night coming on, needing food and shelter for himself and his horse, he had learned exactly nothing in a half-hour's conversation with a sassy Squatter who seemed interested only in endlessly fiddling a single tune.

"What are you playing that tune over so often for?" demanded the Traveler. "Only heard it yesterday. 'Fraid I'll forget it." "Why don't you play the second part of it?" "It ain't got no second part." "Give me the fiddle," the Traveler ordered. He tuned it for a moment, then swung into the second part. The Squatter leaped up and began to dance, the sleeping hound awoke and thumped his tail, the children hopped up and down, and even the "old woman" came through the door with a smile twisting unaccustomed muscles on her face.

"Come in, stranger," roared the delighted Squatter. "Take a half a dozen cheers and sot down. Sall, stir yourself round like a six-horse team in a mud hole. Go round in the holler, whar I killed that buck this mornin', cut off some of the best pieces and fotch it and cook it for me and this gentleman directly. Raise up the board under the head of the bed and git the old black jug. Dick, carry the gentleman's hoss around under the shed, give him some fodder and corn, as much as he kin eat. Stranger, ef you can't stay as long as you please, and I'll give you plenty to eat and drink. Play away, stranger, you kin sleep on the dry spot tonight!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bents 2 & 3 Done

We finished bent #3 on Wednesday. I'm getting faster cutting joinery, but Wednesday was a grind. Felt like work at times. Oh no.

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.