Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Building a Yurt Floor, Part Five

The weather reports yesterday and today were not very favourable towards getting much work done.The rain was drizzling and cold most of the day yesterday, so I took the Yanmar up to the front entrance and used it and lots of shoveling to make short work of the pile of gravel that was waiting there for me. It was nice, I called my gravel guy, and told him to deliver another load this morning.

We worked until just after lunch to get it all done, and then headed to the local garden centre so that Mummu and Donna could buy some seeds and seedlings, while Kenny and I visited the farm "zoo" and then played in the children's play area.

Today dawned with all weather reports calling for rain every hour of the day. It wasn't promising, but Grandpa noted that it wasn't raining where we were, and the sky was only partly cloudy.

We decided to go up to the yurts and brainstorm how we were going to flip the larger yurt floors completely over. It appeared that the logistics were to flip one half of the large floor, onto the other floor, and then slide it over onto the smaller yurt floor. Flip the second half of the large floor into final position, and then slide the floor from off the smaller yurt, into its own final position.

It sounds easy describing it that way. In reality, we were in the bush, trying to flip an 8 1/2' by 13 1/2" floor that was already balanced up on two 5 by 5 beams.

We opted to get one edge of one floor onto the surface of the other, then use a winch attached to a nearby tree to flip it up and raise it until it was balanced on that edge. We then moved that winch around, and used it to lower the floor down slowly.

Of course, when the floor got close to horizontal, that sideways forces overcame the friction and it suddenly slammed down. Luckily this was more dramatic than anything else. We disconnected, and slid the large floor section onto the already flipped and finished smaller floor.

Suddenly we could hear the sound of a large diesel engine revving at the entrance - our latest gravel had arrived!

The fellow managed to get back a few feet further than the previous time, and dumped his load right up against the parked tractor.

As I paid him, he was in a talkative mood, and wondered aloud if I would be interested in letting him finish building the driveway for me. We walked together along the length of driveway I would need, and he was impressed with my sawmill and the work we had already done. Aside from materials, which I would have to pay anyway, he roughly estimated $400 in labour to finish building my driveway with his own equipment, as compared to me, who would likely spend much of the rest of the summer completing the job. I also imagine that what I spend in his labour, I would save in not pushing gravel into the wrong places.

In any case, I'm pretty sure I'm going to green light his suggestion, it makes sense on basically every level.

Anyway, after he left, it was back to working on the floor...

The second floor section proved to be more challenging. With the first one, we had raised it and placed its edge onto this second floor section - that provided lots of support and friction. Now we could only try to provide lots of scrap lumber across the beams to support the edge of the floor as it rose up. Unfortunately, before it could rise any appreciable degree, the sideways forces began to tip over our support beams!

We ended up raising this section entirely by hand, with Donna rushing in at intervals to brace it so we could adjust our grip. I then tied the beams together with more lumber and my ratchet straps. We began to winch down the floor section, and, as with the first one, when it got close to the end, it suddenly slammed down. Great for effect, but it didn't really affect the structure of anything else.

Amazingly, the rain held off, and so we clamped and screwed it together completely. I grabbed a bit of expanding foam and used it to seal up all the seams in the plywood. We covered up, and took a lunch break.

After lunch, in spite of the ongoing weather reports calling for rain, Grandpa and I loaded up the MTD with insulation, and headed back.

It began to drizzle pretty heavily, and I was feeling pessimistic, but we assembled everything we needed, and then waited a few minutes to see if the rain let up.

It did, and we rushed to install the insulation on the smaller yurt. Cutting to get things to fit into the corners wasn't that difficult, and we managed to get it completely covered with just two of the three suggested batts.

The rain was still holding off, so we got the vapour barrier installed too! What a day! I grabbed some more of my thin-sliced pine and was able to wrap the entire edge, sealing off the vapour barrier and finishing the edge of the floor of the smaller yurt nicely. I didn't have enough expanding foam to seal up the seams on the larger yurt floor, so we called it a day, which was timely, as it began to rain shortly after we covered everything in tarps again.

I grudgingly took this chance to go to town to the Arthur Street Canadian Tire and get more foam. I also picked up eighteen feet of threaded rod to anchor the yurts down when we get to installing them. Then I headed to Safeway to get some petrol. Donna had somehow earned a nickel per litre discount, so I decided to top up the Echo, and fill up my gas can as well.

Back in time to barbeque up some sausages for supper, and then out to the sauna - what a great, productive day!

 

Oh, and just to reassure you, while we were affected by the flooding, you can see that we have managed to adapt...
 

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