2 Forward, 1 Back

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

As previously reported the first frame went up easily enough. So did the second. The third, not so much.

The third frame is the one between the study and the living room. Subject to fire-protection considerations, it'll be the one which is most on show in the house as those two rooms are open plan with a cathedral ceiling.

Last year I did all of the purlins for the north side of the house (but not the greenhouse) and the two purlins for the main bedroom and the study on the south side so for this frame I needed to do the purlin for the south side of the living room. The purlins need to be cut and drilled with the posts to make sure the holes into the steel bracket between them line up properly.

Having got the drilling of those sorted last year I didn't think this would be much of a problem but actually managed to make a bit of a mess of it. I'd forgotten the trick I worked out last year of using the backing plate to guide the drilling (rather than the somewhat curved front plates) and clamping them up on one purlin to hold things in place for drilling of the second.

It wasn't a complete write off but I had to bevel the top of the post to get a firm connection…

… matching the step in the bottom of the purlins:

Not ideal but not a real problem, either.

So then I did the tie beam for this frame and got it all set up ready to hoist up. That was late on Thursday and, as Friday looked impossible due to wind and rain, I decided to carry on and get that one up and out of the way.

The first 50 cm or so of the lift went well then the rope guying the gin pole slipped down allowing the pole to slam down to the side hitting the post on the south side. At first I thought there was just a small dent then I noticed a crack at the bottom of the post where it bolts to the bracket:

So that's another post I've wrecked, though in a new and interesting way.

Friday was, indeed, cold, wet and windy so all I did was go and get some more rope.

Saturday, by contrast, was perfect - sunny with a light breeze. I “stole” the post previously earmarked for the north position in the gable between the house and the greenhouse, finding it fitted OK on the broken post's base plate one way round. Rather than bevel its top, too, I decided to redo the purlin setting aside the 3 m length one which had been drilled to be used as the 2.4 m long purlin on the south side of the kitchen (maybe reusing the already drilled holes or maybe chopping them off - I'll see).

Fortunately I hadn't yet drilled the joist holes for that post. Using the ruler-as-a-mirror trick I was able to transfer the reference level from the adjacent post using the laser level in bright sunlight where, even on the shaded side of the post, the laser line was quite invisible at a distance of about 3 m.

So I'm now back in the position I was towards the end of Thursday, with the third frame waiting to be stood up, but with a better alignment of the purlins.

I also have a “spare” (cracked) post which, it's occurred to me, would make a good cross-piece for the bottom of the gin pole making setting the whole thing up a bit easier. It'll still need guying to the sides for the actual lift but maybe I can make a better job of that if I'm not trying to balance a 3 m pole at the same time.

It looks like it might be a few days before I get around to that with rain and a bit of wind forecast.