Thursday, May 10, 2007

The barn becomes a shoebox.

Thanks, Dad, for helping to tear the final load of shingles off the barn last week!
The deconstruction pace picked up once the roofing was removed. In an afternoon, I pulled off the 'rafters' that The Boys had probably spent weeks building. The arch trusses consist of three 1X4s bent into the desired shape and nailed together. Opposing sides were toenailed into the toplate and connected at the peak with the smallest collar tie i've ever seen. I was told that the trusses were made by soaking the boards in the river, then letting them dry out while held in a curved jig (ie., stakes pounded into the ground out in the field). I still need to substantiate this method, since I thought that heat (steam) was required to successfully bend wood...maybe they stored the wet boards in their sauna?
The trusses are amazingly light- I was able to pry them off the top plate, pull apart the two halves, and carry them away on my own. In comparison, we'll probably need a crane to lift the new gambrel trusses into position....
The gable ends looked massive, as does the rest of the barn. They were built of 4X4 timbers, stacked on edge and sandwiched within an arched truss. I had planned to deconstruct it in place, piece-by-piece. I was anticipating a couple days worth of cutting and prying for this job. Then the lightbulb went off- who wants to work 20 feet in the air when you could be on the ground? Not me. So I cut through the bottom set of spikes holding the whole gable end to the top plate, then simply pushed it over. Once on the ground, prying apart the timbers went really fast. I was done with both ends by lunch, giving me time for a double workout today...Life is good!

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