Lofty Goals

After pulling some more of our squash in from the garden following the frost I felt a new sense of urgency in our “when we can” schedule for taking the barn out of the weather.  It won’t be too much longer before snow is falling.  The persimmons have spoons in them.  A sure sign of heavy snows in the Ozarks.

Over the last two weeks we’ve made some significant progress.  Last weekend my friend Doug and his family came down from St. Louis to lend a hand.  Between Doug, Marie, Theresa and myself we placed all the remaining floor joists and got a start on nailing down the flooring.

Thursday evening after work and taking a vacation day on Friday enabled me to run the flooring to where we set the east row of posts for the roof.  The first row John had to cut pockets in the flooring for the posts to sit on top of the first floors top plate.  The fact That I hadn’t got as far on the flooring spared the need to cut pockets.

 Setting the posts on the west side was a concern for us.  John and I weren’t too crazy about the idea of trying to trim and notch the posts from the open side.  Safety and accuracy were the major concerns.  Since we had to cut the pockets in the flooring the posts could be set, plumbed and marked, then removed to cut to height and notched.  After fitting the posts they were re-set and braced.  Almost like we planned it that way if we were really smart.

The east side I floored to the point where we could set the posts, then complete the flooring after.  We will have a nice, flat and safe platform to trim and notch the post from after I run a few more feet of plank.

John couldn’t resist getting a start on the rafters.  He was saying how much he enjoyed the brain work on laying out, cutting and setting rafters.  It has been a definite learning experience for me.  A general knowledge has its limitations.  The real learning is in the doing.

We have a good ways to go.  The progress is slow and steady, but when the crew is me and Theresa during the week and  John and Marie with an occasional spattering of help from other volunteers, that is to be expected.  I could just hire out a crew to slap things together in record time.  It would eat a huge hole in my wallet and I wouldn’t have nearly the satisfaction of being able to say that we built our own barn.

Katy was helping with nailing the loft flooring down the other day.  She was apologetic about dinging up some of the 2×6’s in her endeavors of driving a three and a half inch ring shank nail through the 2x’s.  I couldn’t help but smile and tell her that it was alright.  “It’s a barn loft floor.  You’ll get better than you will ever want to be at driving nails by the end of this project” and that “every time I see those dings I will think of this day with a warm heart”.

You can’t get those kind of feelings hiring out a crew.



  1. Ed said,

    October 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    It's certainly starting to take shape now!There is nothing like doing something yourself and reflecting on it ten years down the road. From time to time I still put my hand within the hand prints I left as a kid in some concrete work my dad was doing.

  2. Ron said,

    October 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Looking good, lots of progress. Abby still brags about the J-bolt that she tightened in the wall in her room when she was 6… "I got it so tight that dad couldn't even make it tighter!"

  3. Woody said,

    October 15, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Ed…The memories are sore right now.Ron…I love having all the kids/grands helping out. It makes them part of the whole process and they should be proud of what they helped build.

  4. warren said,

    October 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Wow! This is really looking great! The wood is beautiful!

  5. Woody said,

    October 18, 2012 at 3:13 AM


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