Smiles and Sore Arms

I had Wednesday and Thursday off and both days were sunny 🙂 On Wednesday, Mum helped me finish the last three pieces.

6th piece!

6th piece!

So much floor!

So much floor!

7th piece!

7th piece!

All done :)

All done dry-fitting 🙂

I was so happy to get all the pieces cut and out of the garage, and then we had to take them all off to start screwing them down. As soon as you get good at one thing, it’s done and you have to learn something new. But I’m kind of glad to move onto something different.

I wanted to be able to practice on metal before I went and tried to put holes in my trailer. Luckily, I had a little piece of scrap metal that was in the trailer when it arrived. Mum and I practiced on that with the new impact driver.

Practice holes.

Practice holes through plywood into the metal.

All the way through.

All the way through.

I vacuumed out the area for the first piece and my mum marked the crossmembers on the edges. Then it was time for glue: We started on the first piece around 8 o’clock. You shouldn’t reposition after 30 minutes, so Mum and I wanted to get the piece secured and flat as soon as possible. But then it took over 30 minutes to put just the first screw in!

As we took the pieces off, we marked around them with chalk so we can put them back in the exact same place.

We weighed down the plywood with one of the patio stones and worked on getting the rest of the screws in. Mum tried to pre-drill a hole but broke two bits. I only finished half of the screws before it was too late to keep annoying the neighbours with power tools.

Done for the night.

Done for the night.

The first piece is one of the smaller pieces and it took over 2 hours to do half the screws! I was hoping to get two pieces down on Wednesday, and then get the rest done on Thursday before the rain today. The screws take so long though.

On Thursday, Dylan was around to help 🙂 We went and picked up another impact driver on clearance so I didn’t have to do all the screws by myself. Some screws went in more easily than others; some you just had to give up on and come back to.

All done the first piece.

All done the first piece.

There’s about 30 screws in that piece, 6 inches apart around the edges and 12 inches apart in the center. It doesn’t bend anymore when you walk on it! We put on the 2nd piece, weighed it down with concrete in the middle, screwed down the edges, then started on the 3rd piece. By the time we finished the edges, our hands were hurting pretty bad. We also went through a lot of screws. We snapped one, and melted and wore down the tips on a bunch of others.

Any ideas on how to fix that?

Any ideas on how to fix that? It snapped after it was partway through the metal.

Pieces 2 and 3!

Pieces 2 and 3!

I’m super happy I got any screws in the skinniest edge. And when the impact driver finally kicks in and you make it through the metal, it’s awesome. The pieces still need more screws in the middle, but we had to pack up and tarp the trailer before dark. 4th try with the tarp and it still leaks: I’ve been pushing water off it all day, my body hurts, and my arms are sunburned, but it’s worth it 🙂 And I couldn’t do it without Mum and Dylan ❤


Moving Along

We’re getting speedier 🙂 We put 3 pieces on today! They’re not screwed down yet though.

3rd piece.

3rd piece.

4th piece.

4th piece.

5th piece!

5th piece!

It’s not perfect, but it’s working 🙂 Every piece we put down opens up more of the future house; it’s exciting! I am worried about screwing the sheets down though. The crossmembers are so skinny, and I’ve never drilled into metal before, eek!

I don’t know how people build so fast and work full-time. I’m only working part-time right now.

When you look at pictures of other builds, it seems to go so quickly. The first picture would be of an empty trailer, then the second of insulation, then the third of a finished sub-floor. But it’s a slow process when you’re new to building. Measuring is time-consuming. And Dylan and I are easily distracted by ice cream on hot days 😛

The piece of wood we cut out for the porch makes a good table top for the colourful tools:

It’s supposed to rain a lot tomorrow, so I’ll be indoors working on framing plans and such things. And I still need to decide whether I’m using screws or ring shank nails for framing and/or sheathing…

The Death of a Saw

Dylan and I worked on the subfloor today, and after one cut, the saw just died. My dad’s saw is older than me though. I didn’t kill it; it was just its time.

We went out and bought a new saw on sale. There were so many options and almost all of them were on sale, but I just went with the same brand. It was the last day of the sale, so maybe it was meant to be 😛

Luckily, the new saw works with the fences I already made. And it’s so smooth to cut with!

The second piece of plywood is now in place:

There was a lot of fiddling around when we tried to put this piece in place. The trailer isn’t perfect, and we didn’t account for that. We made some adjustments and we will measure in more places before we cut future pieces. Hopefully the floor will work out at the end of the trailer! 😛

It’s important to remember in building that theory and practice are never the same. Fit your pieces to your other pieces; don’t make them to the measurements they were supposed to be. For example, my trailer is supposed to be 90″ wide. In some places it’s exactly 90″, in others it’s more or less than 90″. We realized that after we put exactly 90″ of plywood on. Things change as you build, so measure as you go; I learned that with my end table. But also make sure things are square!

Oh, and if you use tongue and groove for your subfloor (which is recommended), be aware you’ll have to make oval holes for some of your rods so you can slide sheets into place.

I really need to work on getting out of bed earlier… The bugs get SO bad in the evenings.

The Start of a Subfloor

On Monday morning before I worked, I paid the welder $250. Ouch. Then Mum and I went and bought another sheet of plywood, a sheet of 1/2″ plywood, some 1x4s, and more glue. I also bought some screws later.

The way the crossmembers are, I can’t get all the pieces I need out of 6 sheets, so I needed one more for the subfloor. We got the 1/2″ cut into 12″ strips to use for homemade fences/guides. After my shift, Mum and I made two fences, a four-foot one and an eight-foot one. I tried cutting again with the circular saw, but the fence moved again! We didn’t get much else done before dark.

It was supposed to rain on Tuesday so Mum and I put together a make-shift tarp out of some thicker plastic Mum had. We fit that as best we could over the trailer:

It rained a little overnight but ended up being a nice day. Dylan and I went up to see the property where we want to park and talked with the landowner, who showed us a couple of potential spots. Septic would need to be worked out, so I have to call someone about that, but it definitely seems doable!

Today, Dylan helped me 🙂 We worked on the subfloor. Here’s the test cut with the new fence:

Mum found better clamps for me, and Dylan and I also put clamps next to the fence as well. It worked! So we cut that to length, measured the location of the rods, and I drilled some holes.

It fits 🙂

Cutting holes is fun!

Drilling holes is fun!

Then we realized that there was water under the plastic as well as on top of it. We dried out the trailer with the shop vac and towels. It’s changing colour…

The center and right sections had water in them :(

The center and right sections had water in them 😦

The first piece of plywood is pretty darn square, but the crossmember it lands on isn’t. Dylan cut off a little sliver so the plywood ends in the middle of the crossmember.

Then we cut out the square for the porch:

Thanks for sharing your tools with us, Dad.

Baby steps!

I’m a Turtle

When I’m not procrastinating and I’m actually working on something, I work slowly. I rarely feel the need to rush. Things will get done when they get done or when I get around to them. Things like traffic and waiting rooms don’t really stress me out. If someone else is relying on me and I care about what they think, I will hurry, but even then, I find it hard to work quickly. I always fall back into my unhurried pace.

In high school, when I had a big project to do, I would always stubbornly want to do it all at once. Then I wouldn’t start until the very last minute because I never had that much consecutive time. Since I’ve graduated and started work on some of my own little projects, I’ve gotten better at doing a bit at a time.

So when things with the build take longer than I’d guessed, I’m okay with that. I’m doing a lot of things I’ve never done before and I want to get the important things right. As long as I do some work, I’ve made progress and I’m happy with that. Maybe that’ll change when it’s the end of summer and I’m running out of time to seal up the house before winter, but I’m not going to stress about that now! Hurrying is only going to cause mistakes, so there’s not much I can do to speed up the process except work as often as I can.

On Saturday, it rained a little and the plastic held up pretty well.

Water did get into one section at the very end, but I dried it off and there’s no harm done. The spray foam, once cured, does reject bulk water, but I still want to keep as much rain out of it as I can.

The rain stopped mid-afternoon, so I went out and did some measuring before work. The crossmembers were supposed to be 16″ OC, but as I’ve said, trailer companies don’t think like construction workers. Not only are the crossmembers a little skinnier than I’d like, NONE of them are evenly spaced. The distances range from 14″ to 20″. My mum and I spent an hour and a half calculating distances and trying to figure out where to put all the plywood pieces so that the ends land on crossmembers. The two sides also have to be staggered so the seams don’t line up and create a flex point.

Then, this morning, we spent another hour and a half discussing skill saws versus table saws. Apparently, table saws are super difficult to use with sheets of plywood. I haven’t opened the table saw box yet, so I might end up returning it. We went to Canadian Tire and I bought a new skill saw blade meant for plywood and an impact driver on sale.

Hopefully this lil guy will get me through my sub-floor!

Hopefully this lil guy will get me through my subfloor!

Being a person who likes to sleep in and who also works evenings doesn’t leave a lot of time for building. I managed to do a couple cuts with Mum’s help, but then I had to get ready for work. I cut off the edge of one piece to use the manufactured edge as a make-shift fence:

First cut!

Then I used that to start on the first piece of subfloor. Of course the first time I tried, the fence moved. Then I tried to cut off a quarter inch to make the edge straight, but that was too thin of a piece to cut off. But third time’s the charm!

It's straight, I checked!

It’s straight now, I checked!

I cut off a half inch the third time and tried my best not to push on the fence too much. Don’t worry, I started with the board that has the most excess, so this piece still needs to get cut down more. I didn’t cut it too short 🙂

I’m feeling pretty disorganized and unprepared, but I just need to get my tools organized and make a step-by-step to-do list. Tomorrow I’m going to get one more sheet of plywood and some more glue, plus some wood to make a better make-shift fence. I work the lunch shift, but I’ll be building after that!

And I remembered my sunblock 😛

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