Friday, November 6, 2009
This may not look like much, but for us it is a good day's work. For the last few days we have been siding our 24 by 24 workshop: first wrapping the whole building in sheathing paper, then nailing on flashing above doors and windows, and finally installing 4 by 8 sheets of a manufactured, fungicided, primed wood panelling made to look like board and batten. [Thanks, Jean and Jim, for the inspiration and advice!]
We started on the back, because it only had two windows to cut around and if we really screwed up, nobody would really see it. There was a somewhat grumpy learning curve, mostly to do with how to manoeuvre the heavy panels into position and keep them there while Kim nailed them in with the extra powerful construction-grade pneumatic nailer.
Today we got the next side done, the one in the picture. What I want you to notice is the door and, more impressively, the circular cutout for the light fixture above it, and the rectangular cutout for the electrical conduit coming out of the ground. We got the circular cutout in exactly the right position ON THE FIRST GO. Yay team! The very next panel along was the one that had to fit around the pipe, which unfortunately was not strictly vertical. That took some tricky measuring, the creation of a cardboard template and three tries at the shaping of the cutout. All in the pouring rain, with water dripping off the edge of the roof right down our necks. But we did it! Although it used up all our supply of patience with ourselves, each other and the weather, and so we had to retreat to the fireside with tea for the rest of the afternoon.
Kim and I make a good team for projects like this. She is best at jobs that require serious power tools (like the table saw and the nailer we're using for this project), gumption and heights. My speciality is fiddly tasks requiring lots of patience and (as our friend Jim calls it) "friggin' and jiggin'. I am also excellent with the jigsaw and good at reading instructions when things go wrong. My honey brings laughter and play to our work, and an infallible sense of when we really need to take a break, and I bring a good head for planning and thinking a few steps ahead.
It's hard work, but so satisfying. Sometimes when we stop for a cup of tea from the thermos, we look at each other, brush the sawdust from our clothes, shake the rain from our hats and are amazed at how lucky we are.