2009 "Ridge Pole Disaster!" "Broken Rib?"




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Ridge Pole Disaster!


Broken Rib?



Everything seemed to be going well. I spent some time with the family for a few weeks before I started work on the house about August 1st 09. Our roof and floor rafters arrived about the same time so I needed to clear a staging rack for their arrival. Working to get the rack ready I made a bet with my son that I could move the last four logs in two hours, by sunset. Well in my haste I made a mistake and slipped and fell right on a sacrifice log across my chest and thought that I broke a rib! Dr. said not broke just bruised badly. So my wife made me sit in my chair for over two week before she would let me do anything. So my wife started peeling the rafters and said that I could finish them in a week or so when I was feeling better. After two weeks, my wife let me tried Peeling the Hemlock Floor and Roof Rafters with the power washer, but with varied results. They just don't peel like the red or white pines do. Again, my wife came to my rescue and finished peeled every single one of the 30 roof and 15 floor rafters with the spud. She is amazing! I just can't do spudding without lots of pain. I will lift one end of a 1000lb+ log 3ft off the ground, no prob, but something about peeling with a spud for hours gives me such a pain in the neck, you just don't know. So, then I started prepping RPSL, Girders and other logs for use, re-power washing them and adding extra preservative to all, re-rigging the B&T's, prepping the upper staging area for the peeled rafters, while she did the peeling. The Cap Logs were already up on the walls and next was the end RPSL's (Ridge Pole Support Logs) on the East and West walls. We started the RPSL about Aug. 22th and It took us about 9 days to get the two 22" X 29 foot RPSL's up and secured on both end walls, then another 4 days to put up the smaller ridge pole lifter logs. After the ridge pole was lifted into place we needed to lift the two special logs we have in our log home, the Chandelier Logs. These are logs that run across all the upper part of the bedroom areas and also across the cathedral ceiling in the living room.

Ok, about the 9th of Aug. the ridge pole is up and I am inspecting it, when I notice something doesn't look quite right. When the ridge pole was raised up over the top Overdangle logs it had ripped a very large hole in the log. I mean a 4" deep, 7" wide, and 18" long hole. After even closer viewing and poking the dry rot was much worse than I could have ever imagined. The rot went the length of the log. Here is where I went wrong, this White Pine log, the pride of our litter was 51+' long, 24" at the big end and 19" at the small end. I had wanted to keep the prize log close to the small house we built in "05" and were still living in. so we could keep an eye on it. The problem was, the areas where we were keeping it, was in the shade and the log never got proper lighting or ventilation. Also, and this is a big one, it was never rotated properly. It should have been turned 1/3 turn every 3 to 4 month (not including the 6 or 7 months with 2 to 4 feet of snow) on it. It was rotated maybe 4 times in the 3 years after it was peeled. Shame on me! Lessoned learned! So, now this once wonderful log needed to be brought back down to the ground and a new one needed to be found. So I rolled it to the edge and let it go for a 25 foot drop. New ridge pole plight, we called all the loggers we know and not one of them were working logs that big at this time. My wife remembered that a year earlier one of her friends had mentioned they had some big pine tree they wanted to get rid of. Well it was worth a look. There were three trees that might work, all about 45 ft tall (usable log length). Shorter then we wanted but we can't be picky at this point. Then I remembered something that I saw in the wood on my neighbor's property about 2000 ft from our log house was a nice lot of pine, of course it was not on my property, and all we have is hard wood. Anyway I went up into the wood and scoped them out, and found one that was almost perfect almost straight and 48ft of usable log and it was 23". at the large end and 18" at the small. You see my neighbor is a wonderful man who used to be one of the local Pastors and his house was right down the road so we went down to see him and tell him of our situation. Being the great person he is he walked up into the wood and said which ones are you looking at. We showed him the one we were interested in and he said if we cleaned up after ourselves we could have that tree. I asked how much he wanted for the tree and he said he would leave that up to us. My wife and I agreed we would pay him the same as our original ridgepole from 3 years ago, $110.00, more than mill rate at this time, and he was very surprised we offered so much and we told him we were more than happy to pay him that much. Onward, now it has been another 8 days from the time we found out about the old rotted ridge pole. We got the new Ridge pole peeled and it and both chandelier logs up and secured in 3 more days. Next is the rafters, they are all peeled, nubbed and marked for the roof. We don't have a big 4x4 or even a truck at all. We use the 550lb 4x4 quad and the 1100lb Polaris Ranger to do all the muscle/mule work. Well no matter how we tried we couldn't get the rafters to go up easily, a matter of fact it was getting to be quite dangerous. The main problem was that we were using wet hemlock at 27' X 13" big end logs that weighed well over 1200lb. if they had been dry there weight would have been about half and we would have been able to work them more easily. The weight of the log was more than ranger could lift, and then we tried to use the Block and Tackles but with little results. So what was happening was the log was too heavy I couldn't get it to come up and around the ridge pole and stay very easily. It took us 14 days to get up 3 rafters. (NOT WORKING) I only have a certain amount of time before the funds run out and I have to get my butt back to work to support my family. We looked for some other way, Telahandler, Man Lift (two man platform style) or maybe a local Crane Company. There are no Telahandler available in the area we live in to be rented by the general public. A Man lift was $1200.00 a week but too small to handle the loads of the logs we needed to lift, but one of the Crane Companies seemed to have the answer. They had a 95' "10 ton Boom Crane" with a climbing operator to assist me, if I needed it, for $135.00 hr. this seemed to be a great deal. We decided to go with the crane and it arrived on Oct. 12th 2009. I estimated we would need it for about two days max, and about 6 to 8 hours a day. The operator was great; he really knew what he was doing. He came up with many ways for me to save time in the operation. After all 20 rafters were secured to the ridgepole put in the 40' girders and then we lifted 6 units of T&G 2600sq. ft. between the walls and chandelier logs and we were done in less than two working days about 12 hours total. Very, very cool. Next was the 2"X6" TG (Tongue and Groove) now it is about the end of the third week in October and I am scheduled to be back to work (by my schedule at least) on the 1st of November. (Before the snow flies) And that leaves us with about a week and a half to finish the first half of the two layered roof. T&G, T&G, T&G, T&G, T&G, there is a lot of T&G on our roof total 27' X 47' of it on two sides. OK to make this move along, we finished the T&G, tar papered and Trapped the whole thing by November 9th, 09. Not bad for being a month behind schedule with all the delays and mishaps. We are doing some insulation/chinking prep with the "Ka-Chink Nailer Gun" right behind. We will have to wait until the temps get above freezing before we can start the Chinking/Mortaring.