Doug Rutherford

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A last minute project

October 2015
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There’s nothing quite like a last minute project. This one is brought on by my remembering that, since I’m having a knee replacement in February, I won’t be able to clean snow off the camper roof.

This has bothered me for a few days. I would like to get one of these temporary shelters but most aren’t tall enough to go over the roof of the camper. Last night, I thought about building a pony wall around the camper and putting the shelter on it. I put the idea to carpenter friends and they heartily agreed with the idea.

Converting this from an idea to a plan is another thing, since they don’t really provide full measurements. You get such things and the length, height, door opening, etc., but not such things as the height of the eaves, etc. So, last night, I took an expensive flyer and bought a 24′ x 12′ x 10′ shelter. This morning, once it was light enough to see, I assembled a frame and determined how much higher it would have to be to clear the edge of the roof and the air conditioner on the roof center. I figured I needed 2′ for sure, so went with 2′ 6″ to be on the safe side.

Next, I moved the motor home to a spot where it was reasonably level, leveled out the camper, and parked it. Next, I cleaned the last of the things that had to come out for the winter. Then, it was off to the hardware store to pick up lumber and nails.

Every good project starts with a pile of lumber.

Every good project starts with a pile of lumber.

Twenty odd pieces of lumber and a bag of HDG box nails, I was ready. I remembered rather quickly that framing muscles don’t seem to exercise unless you’re actually framing. And, my knee seems to be a bit more detrimental to carpentry work than I remember, as well. However, I quickly got the first wall framed up.

First pony wall framed.

First pony wall framed.

I cut the lumber for the second long wall, and went in for supper. After a quick bite, and serious inspection by the cats who seem fascinated over the smell and texture of sawdust, I went out and assembled the second wall. This leaves one about 12′ 6″ long. But, by the time I got this one finished, it was too dark to cut. Also, I need to throw a new, sharp blade on my saw. I also seem to have not picked up enough nails for the last wall, so have to do a bit of hunting to find some tomorrow. For some reason, the hardware store had a sign saying they were closed tomorrow.

I was also reminded of something else today. There’s the same amount of work… more even… involved in framing a pony wall than there is a full-sized one. And, one of these days, I really need to buy a framing nailer…


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