Hand-Hewn Log Dairy Barn - Part 14

Blocking and Gable Ends

I can't believe we are almost finished with the outside of our dream barn! It's taken SO long but the time has gone by very fast. This building project is starting to look and feel like an old barn with the flavor of early colonial construction mixed in. This is So Awesome! Have a look around!


The downstairs milking parlor stalls.


The kitchen.


And the outside. I've asked the guys to find me some clear tin to roof it with, because I want to view the framework of hewn timbers. They are just laughing at me though?!


Next was the blocking. Uncle Peter is blocking the outside rafter between the purlins to prevent birds from flying under the tin and nesting in our hayloft.


And as a cool side note - MJW at three years old became the youngest member of the Law Family Homestead to ride a bike!


We weren't planning to frame the gable ends at this time, but due to our local ordering schedule for tin and a national holiday in the mix at the same time,


The guys decided to go ahead and do it since they had the time.

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We ended up waiting two weeks longer to get our tin here, so in the mean time we hired our sawmill friend Kirk back,


And had him cut some 2x6 studs to frame in the gable ends.


CW is learning to attach a taught string line without the use of knots.


North End gable framing just about done.


North gable framing finished, and the guys are getting ready to sheet it with 1x leftovers from the milling job.

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Mark volunteered to climb 24 feet to the top of the extension ladder, while Uncle Peter stood on the second floor hayloft, cut boards, and handed them up to him.

After cutting the peak sheeting piece, Uncle Peter and CW stopped to share a moment of hilarity at Mark's expense. It seems that Mark was taking exception to the way Uncle Peter set up his ladder. Being 24 feet in the air exaggerates any movement the ladder might have. Mark was finding this out, much to his dismay, and was complaining to Uncle Peter about his lack of skill in setting up ladders. They had to wait while Mark made his perch steadier by driving a nail beside the ladder to help stabilize it.


The moment of humor passed and it was back to work.


Uncle Peter now ribbed Mark for not moving fast enough on his now "stable" perch to nail the board off so he didn't have to hold it so long!


Nailing off the second board.


Uncle Peter marks the center of the 2 x 4 underneath to the top of the sheeting boards so the nails are in a straight line.


Here CW tries his hand nailing in the middle to save his grandfather a few extra trips up and down the ladder.


JW2 and MJW even got in on the act. We were trying to salvage as much 1x material as we could, so the younger crew took it upon themselves to start hauling it over to the ladder to be cut and fit.


Here the guys are attaching a 1x16 barge board, cut from a big beautiful cedar log on Kirk's mill. The idea here is to cover the end rafter so it is not exposed to the weather.


Uncle Peter was impressed with the quality of milled cedar that Kirk supplied us.


Having passed geometry only through blood, sweat, and tears with my father’s help, the fact that all these different boards in different positions line up at the exact same angle so you can sight down them in a nice straight line, is simply astonishing!


I had to add the bit of humor this photo represents. The bees have continued to be horrendously vicious this summer. As if the barn building itself didn't have its own degree of stress, the bees have added a whole new dimension to the process. The guys are continually fighting the bees off while swinging hammers and lifting beams in order to not get stung. There have been quite a few bee stings this season. In fact, one connected with Mark's kneecap a few moments before I arrived with my camera. Of course his first response was to swing at the stinging insect, forgetting about the hammer in his hand, and bringing it right down atop his kneecap! I will leave you to imagine the response, which had be tempered to a certain degree due to his perch atop the barn roof! When I arrived they told me the story, and while I was taking pictures Uncle Peter had a run-in with another bee, and the picture shows him the victor as he "dances" with glee, shouting at Mark "I got him, I got him," as he watches the bee fall to the ground!


The north end gable is finished - looking from the inside!


I think it looks awesome! A combination of red fir, and blued yellow pine. A great joy and surprise for Kit to behold as he returned home from a week of timber cruising.

Next is the south gable and then the roof, (still waiting on that tin), and then we will be finished for this year.