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.
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.
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.