1st “floor” done – time to start on the loft

I finished the last wall of the main floor, a beast made with thirteen 2 x 6s all told. This wall was a pretty major departure from the stock Linden plan, which calls for a skinny centered door and two really tall, skinny windows framed with Parallam, an engineered lumber product. I didn’t want the door access/traffic hogging the central floor space in the main room, so shifted the door to the left and included a single, better proportioned window. Parallam is very expensive at $11 per linear foot (besides being more glue than wood) so I opted for 2 x 6s at less than half the cost.

Buttress wall
Buttress wall

The erected wall is plenty stiff and anchored to the deck by two HDU5 hold downs with 14 – count ’em, 14 – lag screws each. I used Loctite 271 (the red stuff) to keep the nuts from ever loosening, torqued to finger tight plus a half turn as called out in the plans. The resulting box on the trailer is getting increasingly stiff, a good skeleton for the sheathing that comes next and provides a lot more shear strength and rigidity.

Never shall we part
Never shall we part

Now it’s time to move up to the loft level. The loft rests on a bunch of 4 x 4 beams that I think will look too plain as is. I want some texture and like the appearance of rough-hewn wood. After mangling a bunch of 2 x 4s with an adze my uncle Pat loaned me,  I surfed Youtube and came across a cool power tool that might do the trick – the Festool HL850 planer. By amazing good luck and the miracle of the internet, I was able to trade/sell a little used live steam engine for a second-hand Festool with a nice fellow in Mendocino. I’ve spent about an hour playing around with it today – my results aren’t anywhere as good as this video (go to 3:00 for the effect I’m after https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4XM64oTnFs), but I hope with more practice, I’ll get some nicely textured beams. I just hope it’s not a Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hour thing.

Festool is German for incredibly expensive power tool
Festool is German for incredibly expensive power tool
Only 9,999 more hours till mastery???
Only 9,999 more hours till mastery???
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