Gable Start

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Still here. Finished the sarking under the floor. Started on the west gable.

The joists and sarking under the westerly three rooms (kitchen, bathroom and small bedroom) took a while.

To start with the east winds which made the other end of the house slow went round to the west, as you'd expect. Later the weather was actually pretty decent though often a bit miserable with thick haar and quite chilly.

The ground under the house slopes up from west to east. Not by much but enough to matter: there's about 400 mm of clearance under most of the east end but that drops to about 320 mm at the west end. This made things quite awkward as there wasn't room to manoeuvre the nail gun and quite often not to use it to put nails in straight. Skew nails are fine but usually need a few whacks with the hammer to drive them right in which is, again, awkward in the restricted space; you have to grip the hammer rather than letting it swing so that's a bit more jarring.

Consequently, I finished up with a quite painful lower back and right shoulder resulting in doing fewer runs of sarking each day.

Last Friday I'd finished all but the last piece of sarking (a fiddly bit round the end posts) when it was time to go off to an astronomy meeting for the evening. I left that at about 11:15 in near daylight, headlights weren't really needed other than as markers, and got to the site about 11:45 when it was actually getting dark to use my laser level to mark out verticals down the west gable.

Wobbly image as hand held with about one second exposure which would have been a good first proper use of my new tripod except that the laser level was on that.

Saturday I gave my back a rest and just cleaned up most of the mess in the main bedroom dropped by birds trying to nest in the rafters above. I think I've persuaded them that's not a good idea but each day on site starts with an inspection for any incipient nests.

Sunday I did some measuring for the first stud in the west gable and did the last bit of sarking underneath. Monday was miserable with haar so I stayed at home resting my back which seems to have helped.

On Tuesday I sanded off and made up the central stud including a sort-of fit check when it was still a bit over length. That taught me that lifting the stud by hand is a bit tricky with too much potential for things getting out of control and that once it's up working on your own there aren't enough free hands to do anything useful.

Accordingly, today I put it up using one of my trusty chain hoists which was all a lot less stressful.

Nailed in place.

Blocking top and bottom and for the connection to the tie-beam, of course, plus at 2400 and 4800 mm above the bottom of the cross beam for dwangs (noggins) to nail OSB cladding to.