Friday, November 20, 2015

Balance and Being Higher Than I Wanna Be

Prefabbing a wee knee wall.

Early in June, our old well pump, tank, and foot valve all gave out within days of each other. While the well had plenty of water and the well casing was good, all the parts that make water come up and out of it were tired, and ... well, ...done.

When I built the pumphouse 3 kids ago, I thought it was roomy enough for someone to get in there and work on the system when the time came.

I even built the roof as a detachable component, since it was reasonable to expect that some future repair might require a drilling rig to access the casing.

Decades passed, and last summer that came to pass also. The roof would need to come off so the well guy could pull the pipe out of the casing to replace the pipe, fittings, and footvalve.

When he told me the roof had to go, I proudly announced that it was no problem, the roof was only clamped on.

It took 4 of us to remove it however as I had overbuilt it of plywood and shingles ... it was pretty heavy.
We lifted it off and leaned it against a tree while repairs happened.  Looking at it, I considered how worn around the edges it was, but it was cheaper just to put it back on after the work was done.
Then the wind blew it over and crunched some important parts. 
Decision made.
I would replace the roof and raise it about a foot by building a knee wall atop the very sturdy pump house framing.
But first, I needed to raise the building itself to get it back off the ever rotful Florida ground.
Working by myself, I lifted the pumphouse, one side at a time, by using a fence post lever, concrete block fulcrum, and numerous concrete chunks for just enough lift to float the side so I could level concrete blocks beneath it.

This is how the pyramids were built my friends.
Well, kind of how they were built.
Science helps those who help themselves.

The rafters I had so many years before were in good shape until the roof fell over in the breeze.
I spent an afternoon, driving out old nails, and screwing them back together with 3" Deckmate screws. When I finished, they were stronger than ever.
Salvage successful.

The photo above shows the kneewall and the recycled rafters in place and awaiting a lighter metal roof.
Before I could move to that final step, there was the matter of 3 large low hanging oak branches that were destined to die and come crashing down on to my new roof through storm action or just natural shade pruning of lower limbs.

I decided to take them out in a preemptive strike using all sorts of ropes, pulleys, sharp tools, a really long ladder, and a willingness, ... no, an EAGERNESS, to climb into the oak's upper stories. 

The video below is kind of long, 17 minutes or so, but it documents just one part of the tree trimming task on a day when multiple challenges were faced.

If you're curious click play, if not, that's cool too. 


Julie Zickefoose said...

0:49: Heebie-jeebies
1:43: sweaty palms
2:19: LOL
3:10: wheeze
4:19: chuckle
4:44: shudder
5:13: SMH
5:59: LOL
7:06: humming "What Kind of Fool Am I?"
8:28: horror face
9:01: as above
10:29: furrowed brow
10:55: chuckle
12:02: LOL
14:04: nervous laugh
15:57: huge grin
16:44: snort
17:22: WOW

roger said...

well done sir tree trimmer. quite an adventure up a very tall tree. i like your extra secure knot technique. working alone is a challenge.

R.Powers said...

You notetaker you!
Thanks for the laughs!!

R.Powers said...

Thanks roger,
I actually have a construction (not tree surgery) book called, "WORKING ALONE".
full of good tips.

R.Powers said...

Thanks roger,
I actually have a construction (not tree surgery) book called, "WORKING ALONE".
full of good tips.

roger said...

clamps. and more clamps. for working alone

Pleasance Faast said...

I had a similar situation happen to us on our farm. We kept putting off building a new roof for weeks after knowing it was falling apart. After a severe storm the weather called our hand. I was amazed how easy the job was and glad we got it done in record time. It almost looks as good as yours.

Pleasance Faast @ Shelton Roof