Thursday, 31 July 2014

Peace by Piece by Susan L.

  It was a good day yesterday. I spent the whole day in the yard carefully fitting barn boards to the shed's frame. Using smooth finishing nails, each piece was tacked in place to make sure it was level and the spacing was right. I wasn't sure how the boards fit, what space to use between them so the math took a bit. It's not my strong point.
  It was a bit tricky cutting out around the doors and windows for the front wall. Nevertheless, I get great pleasure out of this type of work; out of taking the time to do it right. The tricky bits have made me very thankful I have the tools. There's a couple of hand held power saws which were given to me by my step dad and uncle who no longer needed them. Truly a blessing. If I had to saw the wood by hand it'd be next July before the shed was built! I did leave a couple of the most complicated cuts for another day. Being tired by the time I reached them,  I didn't want to be handling heavy power tools.
  The rich, sweet scent of the pine boards fills the back yard and wafts into the house. It's a clean smell that delights my soul. It's the incense of newness, of creation. It means that something wonderful is taking place in the here and now. It means that nothing is becoming something. It means that this something is being done in a hope for the future.
  It means I am well. Achy, yes. A bit stiff but not overwhelmed, not anxious. It means my back is healed. That, too, is a blessing.
  It's a humble celebration of the gifts the Lord has given me. Not just the tools, but the experience, the knowledge and, dare I say with deepest gratitude, the courage to begin such a big job, to try. The video I watched on how to build the roof did a lot for that. The professional contractor being filmed used shims to disguise a cut that was less than perfect. I figured if he can make little mistakes, so can I!
  And herein lay grace. It's okay to make mistakes. God can teach us how to make them right.
  "For my eyes have seen Your salvations which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." Lk 2:31-32

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A Mistake by Susan L.

  I decided to go with board and batten to finish the shed. I realised because of the way the roof was built, there is nothing to nail it to at the top. Not an insurmountable problem, I'll just use plywood pieces and screw them in from behind, attached to the front rafter. Not only that, but the front piece of 2x6 is narrower than the siding so I'll have to face it with another piece of wood to give a bit of an overhang. Thankfully, I'm using an aluminum trim along the edge of the roof that will give me the overhang necessary for the shingles.
  Problem solved. I am only a lay person when it comes to construction. There were bound to be some errors. Thankfully, nothing needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
  I did sort of gasp at the cost of the siding, almost as much as the rest of the shed combined. Then I thought, hopefully this project will stand for years to come. I may as well use something that will last and be beautiful at the same time.
  I built a privacy wall years ago using found lumber and old windows. Age has turned the wood gray. The faux stained glass made by applying clear silicone and gray caulking has eroded away in places. It'll need to be redone once the shed is finished because it looks rather tired. Honestly I am surprised the thing is still standing. Saggy, but standing.
  One step at a time.
  "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." Prov 16:3

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Builder's Brain by Susan L.

  It took me a while to fall asleep last night. My thoughts were going a gazillion miles an hour thinking about the next step in the big build. In and around those thoughts were waves of deep gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for. On top of all of that, this project is once again a redemption of the latter years of my marriage where I learned the skills needed to take the shed on in the first place.
  The little tricks of cutting wood, making sure the saw blade is on the waste side of the cut line every single time. The kerf, as it is called, or blade width is an eight of an inch wide. That adds up over several cuts and can throw everything off whack if care isn't taken. That's just one of many little bits of knowledge that have made themselves available over the last few days.
  One of my dad's favorite past times was designing houses. He'd sit and draw floor plans as he savoured his after dinner coffee. I learned that from him. Although, a square shed doesn't require much of a blueprint, only a simple layout. I'm thinking too, since my grandson is so interested in building that when he gets a bit older, I'll teach him what I know. Who knows, he just may become an architect.
  The shed is now firmly anchored. I was able to borrow a hammer drill. It worked like a charm. Its vibration causes micro fractures in the cement and enables the drill bit to penetrate the concrete. It sure gives me respect for those who built houses before the dawn of power tools!
  I want to get going. I need to go to the hardware store and pick up the lumber needed to do the board and batten exterior. It looks like a beautiful day so I want to take advantage of it.
  "I will instruct you and teach you in the ways you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Ps 32:8