Barn Project Part 8

Well, It’s been awhile, but we have been working. Ever notice when you add that last iron to the fire, the one you know is pushing it, but your sure you can handle; life decides to make its own contribution to YOUR fire? That’s where we’ve been.

The first picture shows the interior center section. We have added the floor joists for the center section second floor. If you look at the top of the photograph, you can see I have started decking this section.

Center Section

The next photograph is a shot from the deck. This will eventually be the second floor.

First Third of the Second Floor Decking

I should complete the deck in the next two weekends or so. My weekend plan of procedure has been to cut down a tree, divide it into 12′ bucks and then saw into 4/4 boards on Saturday. Sunday morning I heft them 14′ into the air and start nailing them down.

World's Best Helper

I know, I know, many will say that the wood is green and should be air or kiln dry. I always wanted this project to be more like a 1900’s structure as opposed to a modern pole barn or Home Depot building. I also think that in the past, the gaps that open as the wood dried provided air circulation for stored hay. While my methods may be a hybrid, I think when its all said and done my barn will look like its been here a while. This is my aesthetic goal.

Cool Pic!!!

This picture was taken from the second floor looking into the storage section below. The door on the left goes into the temporary chicken coop discussed previously. Once my decking is complete and the upper walls are framed this view will no longer exist, but for the moment I thought it looked cool.

Until Next Time.

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Barn Project Part 7

The weather has not cooperated in the past few weeks. If it wasn’t a complete wash out, the prediction of rain caused us to set small goals insuring the tasks could be completed before the heavens broke.


Weekend Outlook!!

The next set of photographs show the installation of the center section second floor rim and double joists. The double joists run on each side of the poles and tie the three major sections together.

Installing the Rim Joists

Installing the Rim Joists.

Hoisting and Installing Double Joists

Hoisting and Installing Double Joists.



Installed Jamb For Center Alley.

Installed Jamb For Center Alley.

The following photographs show the planking of the interior walls. I choose to use board and batten for the interiors. I wanted to familiarize myself with this method and thought it would be a nice contrast to the lap siding exterior. All of the boards were sawn on a Saturday and installed on a Sunday. We installed these butted tightly together. Once the boards dry and shrink, We’ll install the battens to cover the cracks.

Interior Left Side

Interior Left Side.



I wish the progress shown would have taken place in a much shorter time frame. The weather was certainly a factor; Family obligations and surprise projects have contributed to the snail’s pace of progress. While the lower photograph is entitled “Dog Tired”, I can assure you that it is not from working to hard!!

Dog Tired!!

Dog Tired!!

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Barn Project Part 6



Over the past few weeks we have had to work at a greater clip. The chickens have out grown their current home and are in need of a larger shelter.

My focus has been to get the siding sawn and installed. It took 3 18″ dia, logs to side what is shown below.


West Elevation

East Elevation

East Elevation

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The Barn Project Part 5

Well, we’re moving right along after a bit of a lag.

Like all things, sometimes you need to step back and assess the project’s direction.

This project was executed a bit backwards. Our original goal was to get a chicken coop as quickly as possible. That’s why, as some may have wondered, we have started flooring sections before we finished framing. Within the next three posts we should be pulling away from this unorthodox plan of procedure.

Rafters stripped with sleepers.

Rafters Stripped with Sleepers.

The above picture shows the sleepers that will eventually receive the metal roof. In the mean time, We’re going to tarp this section to keep the rain out. We really need a place to store the materials as they come out of the kiln. It will also be nice to work out of the sun.

Below is a picture of the west side with the tarp rolled up and ready to apply.



Rolling the Tarp

Here I am rolling out the tarp. My wife and daughter are taking the picture. The wife had one hand on the camera, the other on the cell phone and 911 on speed dial.


View From the Tarp Covered Interior.

Completed Tarp

Completed Tarp

Not really being known for my patience, I just about stressed myself into a stroke installing this tarp. If you look really close you will see a splice to the right. I strove for a single piece installation, but it was not in the cards. It was best for my health to add this section and walk away!!  All I see is the added section. I can not wait to install the permanent roof.

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The Barn Project Part 4

Well, here we go! Finally, i think there will be a recognizable shape by the end of this post.

I decided to add a continuous beam to support the roof. We have no snow load here, but i was afraid that the span for the 2″x6″x16′ was to great. Better safe than sorry.

3x6x36' beam on the floor before install

3x6x36' beam on the floor before install.

shot of the beam fully installed.

shot of the beam fully installed.

Securing the rafters to the installed beam

Securing the rafters to the installed beam

Tread lightly!

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The Barn Project Part 3

Here’s where I hope that all of the verbiage starts to take shape.

We’ve been sawing pine as required to frame wall sections. I had intended to saw all materials from wood here on the property, but its mostly oak and of the trees had sawn earlier, 16′ material clear material, enough to satisfy my expectations, wasn’t very practical. I also only built the kiln for 12′ material and I now think one week in the solar kiln really helps stabilize the lumber.Soooooo….I broke down and bought the roof rafters.

Its memorial day weekend. I am excited to start the roof framing. My daughters school is closed Monday, so I had to take a personal day to sharpen my parental skills. I am hoping to get a couple of hours of framing while we are home.DSC00123

This pictures shows the north side wall framing. In the previous post I wrote about the ship-lapped flooring; I had to tarp this section in order to keep the rain from wetting the floor and causing moisture issues. I plan to recycling glass panes from an old front door and create the windows you see framed in the above photograph. We’re going to build the frames and sills from a 100 year old Catalpa tree blown over on my grandfathers property. I plan to post the photos of us processing these logs in the future.


Photograph from the tractor alley looking north……..and my daughter trying her umbrella.


Here you can see the rafters being placed on the ledger and the north wall.


Here’s another view, I thought it looked kind of neat; Notice Ruben in the decked portion.


The last picture is taken from the southeast corner of the building. You can see that all of the rafters are in place.

Overall, my goals for this long weekend were cut short by the weather. It rained sporadically most of the time. As soon as I’d get a break in the weather and pull out the tools, the rain would start again.
Next post we’ll start stripping the rafters to receive metal roofing and temporarily tarp the structure.

Until next time,Tread Lightly

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The Barn Project Part 2

In this post there will be a bit of a progress gap, as I did not take many photographs.

My over all design was to divide the barn in to nine equal sections of 160 ft2, not including the second floor over the tractor bay. The center section is defined by the poles as I discussed in the previous post. This will be a drive through and contains approximately 1/3 of the floor plan area. To the south side of this section, which will face the future pasture, there will be a total of 3 animal stalls (2/9) and the permanent chicken coop (1/9). To the north side, the proportions are the same. This area will be used as a large storage area (2/9) and a small storage area, temporarily functioning as a chicken coop

In part one, I mentioned the grade issue and not being able to level the ground. We live in Mississippi on a fairly decent hill (at least from the perspective of a guy who grew up in New Orleans). In order to deal with the slope, I stepped the large storage section of the barn down 18″ from the temporary chicken coop, this effectively reduces the elevation on the lowest part of the terrain. This side of the barn will now be elevated 38″ as oppose to the original 56″. I actually like this solution. I plan to use the large storage area to keep feed and hay. This arraignment places the floor just about pick-up truck level.

I accomplished my change in elevation by building the floor on blocks and using 6×6 posts, much like framing a deck with Dek-Blocks. However, the blocks in the picture are only used to hold the 4×4’s. The block itself is secured with re bar to a concrete footings dug below the frost line.


Unfortunately, I did not photograph the foundation work, the first stages of framing the deck or the temporary chicken coop, but below are some pictures of the mill sawing the pine logs for the walls. You can see my solar kiln in the background. Once I cut the 2×4’s (actual not nominal) I place them in here for a week and reduce the moisture content to 25-30 %. I have had no warpage issues to date. I attribute this to the partial drying of the material.


Future studs


Here’s a picture of my daughter helping me make the floor boards in my shop. If you look in the foreground you can see a stack of boards that we are ship lapping on the joiner. This is one of four piles we processed.

All of the material is pine. I salvaged this about six years ago from a Wienig moulder crate my previous employer purchased.It was going into the dumpster.Waste not want not! Besides,trees take a long time to grow.


End section of the shiplap.


The final product. It’s a bit dirty from tracking in dirt with all of the rain we’ve had, but hey, its a barn. Who cares. Only 480 ft2 left to go for this side!!

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The Barn Project

As if we don’t have enough irons in the fire. I will be adding pictures of our current project, the barn.

I originally had the idea to build this as an exercise in using my Woodmizer LT-15 sawmill. We are slowly clearing land and I wanted to do something other than burn the trees I’m cutting.

The construction is sort of a design it as you go project. Most old barns were framed with green lumber and that’s the technique I will be using here. We plan to saw all of the beveled siding from pine logs I received from a guy I know who trims trees. Not being a carpenter or a timber framer, I’m sort of using a bastardized method of framing. All and all it seems to be coming together fairly well.

The first couple of posts will be longer and with more pictures as I try to catch the blog up to our current construction point.


Getting help with the site survey


Scraping and Light Grading.

We wanted level,but the slope was to great. We’re not ready to dig a pond and I didn’t want to purchase dirt. More on how I overcame this late.


Pulling a stump from a tree downed by Katrina.


Cutting roots from the Post Holes

My target hole depth was 5’deep. Now, I consider myself active and healthy, but digging holes by hand is REALLY hard. Over coming tough situations always leads to some self-discovery. Here’s what I discovered….My physical limit for digging 18″ diameter 5′ deep holes is exactly 7. Unfortunately, I needed 8!! The eighth hole was ALL mental!!

DSC00001Finally, the eight posts that will form the center alley of our barn and house the tractors.


Even the dog was tired!!

Until next time, Tread lightly

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