Day 97: Starting the Furring Strips & Drip Caps

Monday
What a great Monday!  We made excellent progress.

Brian designed the metal drip-caps for the north windows, purchased the supplies and began cutting them down to size.  I arrived on the scene, congratulated him on his success, helped install one half of one drip-cap and then insisted that we get back to the inside of the house.  He can work on the windows as a solo project so it makes sense to forge ahead with the wall work that requires both of us.

We unrolled a roll of insulation to determine how long it was (see featured image above).  It looked as if we’d have a whole foot of excess which we felt was awesome.  That means we will be able to create a great seal where the endcap wall meets the arched wall insulation.  We held it up so that the bottom slid nicely between the underlayment edge and the metal base of the arched rib structure.

It took a few rounds of taping and sliding right and left, but we eventually got it nicely centered. Once on the wall, it turns out we only have about 2 inches of excess, so there is approximately an inch that will extend into the endcap walls.

Assessing the insulation situation. The crew did not leave any directions about which side of the foil went in, so we made an educated guess and taped it up.

Assessing the insulation situation. The crew did not leave any directions about which side of the foil went in, so we made an educated guess and taped it up.  You can see the first 2×4 along the bottom – this was before driving in any screws.

We took our first 16′ 2×4, and using our Auto-Perforante screws (spanish for ‘self drilling’), installed it against the beams.  The screws flew through the wood like butter and then required a little effort to get through the metal.  It was especially difficult on the first 2×4 because it was near the ground, requiring a hunched posture and creating a disadvantageous leverage position.

Once the 16 footer was in place, we set up a work surface outside, in the pitch dark, and cut the next 2×4 down to 7′.  We installed the 7′ piece and stood back to admire our work.  Next up was the same thing, this time 4′ above the ground.

We plan to use 4×4 sheets of plywood as our wall coverings, so we spaced our 2×4 furring strips as 4′ on center (44.5″ apart).  In order to get the next 16′ board against the wall and have it at the correct height, we decided to cut two pieces of wood that were 48″ minus 3.5″ (3.5″ is the width of a 2×4) long and use them as our spacers for each run.  With a spacer atop of the bottom piece and holding up the next 2×4, I stood in the middle and pressed the 2×4 against the wall, doing my best to defy gravity until Brian got two Mega screws in.  Now that we weren’t working close to the ground, we found the metal ribs to be slightly concave and had to graduate to auto-perforante screws that were bigger/longer to make it through.  However, despite that mega screw being more difficult to shove through metal, the whole process was much easier because Brian could stand.

Brian attaching the last screw on the 2x4 - body weight helps considerably. This is the last piece we can do on this wall before we have to put the ladder in play.

Brian attaching the last screw on the 2×4 – body weight helps considerably. This is the last piece we can do on this wall before we have to put the ladder in play.

Wash, rinse, repeat.  With the second board in place, we went back out to the darkness and cut another 7′ piece to finish that row.  Considering it was 8:30pm by that point and that we were quite hungry, we called it a night.  The progress is now tangible and exciting!

Our ladder reaches the cross beams in its A-frame conformation. To get higher, we will either need to rent scaffolding or put a board on the cross beams and somehow get the ladder up there. Considering how unstable and scary that sounds, I think we're going to go with scaffolding.

Our ladder reaches the cross beams in its A-frame conformation. To get higher, we will either need to rent scaffolding or put a board on the cross beams and somehow get the ladder up there. Considering how unstable and scary that sounds, I think we’re going to go with scaffolding.

Brian ran home to measure something during the day and noticed how well the overhang was working - notice the nice shadow. The shadow will decrease as winter approaches, allowing more light in; and then increase again as we approach summer, reducing the sun.

Brian ran home to measure something during the day and noticed how well the overhang was working – notice the nice shadow. The shadow will decrease as winter approaches, allowing more light in; and then increase again as we approach summer, reducing the sun.  See how closely it matches the predicted shading effect for this time/date:

2015-10-20 12.18.15

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.

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