Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Has Arrived!

Since my last post we've had roller coaster weather.  First it would be beautiful and then cold and crappy which made it almost impossible to get out and get any work done.  Oh well, that's late winter, early spring in northern New Mexico.  Then I had to make an unexpected trip back East.  I'm home now, the weather has really warmed up and we've managed to get some work done on the framing. It's going pretty slowly because we're really trying to get this right - neither one of us really has any experience with framing.  Hopefully once we figure these first few steps - such as how high the posts need to be, etc. - it will go faster.

We first had to lay down the tar paper and flashing on the foundation.
Here's a nifty jig that Rick made that sure made bending the flashing a breeze!
All the tar paper and flashing are down.  We've had to put bricks and rocks all around to keep it all from blowing away in our spring winds!

The next thing we had to do is get the bond beam up on the big adobe wall.  We originally planned on putting up 3 - 2" x 10" boards but after some discussion with our adobe friends and realizing that there is a fairly wide span over the center window, we decided to go with 4 of them - giving us, in effect, a 6" by 10" bond beam.
Here's Rick adding mud under the first round of boards.
Second course going on.

Three courses down.

Here's all four courses.  Just adding this bond beam made the wall feel so much more substantial!

Next we decided we needed to get the two big 8 x 8 posts up.  These posts are the ones that will carry the weight of the huge diagonal truss that will span over the living room/dinning room and give us a wonderful open ceiling.
These are the two posts ready for shaping.

Since these are true 8 x 8s we needed to shave off a bit on the bottom so they would fit in the clips.

This post will have the beams from two walls meeting in this notch Rick is cutting out.

One done!

Both posts are shaped and ready for instillation.

Ready to go vertical.

One up!

Both up!  Progress!!

Here you see the section of bond beam that connects the adobe wall to the big corner post.  We had hoped to get more done today but had to stop on account of wind :-(

Monday, March 5, 2012

Late Winter Update

Late Winter Update
It's March 5th and while I know that there is still some cold weather yet to come (we are in northern New Mexico after all) the last few days have been delightful and I have managed to get out and finish the second trombe wall - YEA!!!

Here are the adobe blocks cut and laid out for the first two courses. Thank goodness for the circular saw we got for Christmas with the masonry blade. Made quick work of all the cutting.

First two courses done.

Here's what I managed to get done on the second day. Had to build the buck for the bottom trombe window so didn't get but one course of adobes laid.

End of day three - almost done! Probably would have finished but I ran out of dirt for the mortar. Had to go get more - thanks Ramey - yet again!!!

Weight training tools :-)

Second trombe wall done!! This photo shows the whole house with the big adobe wall and the two trombe walls.

This picture shows the inside of the house. This will be our office. My desk will be on the left and Rick's will be on the right. We will be able to sit, feel the warmth of the trombe wall and look out to the beautiful scenery around us. I can't wait!

NOW we get to start on the framing! I will be going to town tomorrow for tar paper and flashing that will go on the foundation for the bales to rest on. Clips for the posts will go down at the same time. Then the posts! I feel some good momentum building here and hope to keep it going. Maybe it will start looking like a house soon (and not just the remnants of an adobe house!) At least now that the adobes are laid we can actually work in the morning, eat lunch and then work in the afternoon. (We've had to stop work by 2 so the mortar would set up before the freezing night time temps.) And the days are getting longer. Excitement is building again.