Laying out Beams

Well, yesterday we decided to try to actually lay out the beams for under the yurts. Not all of them, but to at least get a start at knowing where they were going to be positioned.

First we marked out very generally the edges and centres of the two yurts, using my tomato stakes.

Then, based on those positions, we set out the beams that we had already cut.

Originally we had planned on building a large deck, and then resting the two yurt floors on the deck. We planned on it being thirty-two feet long, so we cut up sixteen foot beams that we were going to butt together to get thirty-two feet. After rethinking the deck, we’ve decided to put the yurts directly on the beams, and then just construct a deck in front of the door to the size that we want. That will save lots on lumber and work. With the large yurt being seventeen feet at its’ widest point, we will be putting the beams on either side of centre, rather than having a beam under the centre of the yurt. I don’t see how this could be an issue.

I cut down two of our other sixteen foot beams into eight foot beams, and we’ll locate them as chords on the perimeter of the yurts. They should also provide much more than enough support.

We dug down to rock under the ends of the beams, and stacked up the rock that we had gathered. Some of them were rather precarious, but we did manage to level them, after lots and lots of work.

This morning Grandpa came up with the much better idea of positioning only one loose rock against the bottom of our hole, and then placing a log on top of that. We can much more easily cut the log to size to help us to level off the beams above.

In the meantime, we’ve adjusted our priority list to get the tent up. So today we cut up a bunch of two by fours for the walls. We’re going to go off-manual for the tent assembly. Grandpa is more familiar with traditional construction techniques, so we’ll just construct a normal wall and ceiling assembly, and drape the canvas over that. I can’t see any issue with that.

We didn’t have any nails though, so unfortunately, in spite of great weather, I had to drive to town in the afternoon to pick up nails. (I also picked up 8″ boots – my steel toed shoes were okay, but after getting my ankles bashed a few times, and realizing how vulnerable they were to the chainsaw, I relented on this purchase). Actually, I also bought a few other odds and ends, grabbed yet MORE cash (Grandpa agreed that cash is a very useful thing to have around).

I also received another load of gravel today – it covered the whole width of our road, so I had to pick away at it with the tractor from the opposite side. Hopefully I can find a way to dig through the centre so that I can turn around and begin to push it onto the bough road. That should be much faster and easier. I accidentally short changed the gravel man, but I phoned as soon as I realized it, and he was very understanding and said I could make up for it on the next load.

Tonight, Donna, Kenny and I returned to the yurt area to clean up some swamp weed, and then discuss some of the layouts. We also discussed briefly some of our thoughts on an eventual cabin. I’m beginning to think that four by four beams may be the best option. Of course, it’s still early, and we haven’t learned everything about anything.

That was about it for today. I’ll likely cut up a few more two by fours tomorrow to help finish up the tent. It sure will be nice to have that finished!

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