Saturday, April 4, 2009

2nd Woodshed

With a small lot and limited space it was a challenge to find a location to build an additional woodshed. As you will see from the photos the new woodshed was built on rough cut yellow cedar 4X4 posts.

I ran out of deck sealer, so I still need to get a bit more sealer on the yellow cedar post and stairs, etc. These stair treads like all the stair treads on our decks are mortised into the stair jacks.

This is the view looking down on the old and the new woodshed as seen from the entry deck that runs from out garage to our house. The door in the photo is the door to our guest apartment that is located under out garage

Since the new wood shed could not be built parallel to the garage because of the terrain I decided to build the roof of the shed parallel to the garage roof. Rough cut red cedar 2X6’s make up the roof decking in both sheds. This keeps roofing nails from sticking through as they do on a plywood roof.

As they say firewood heats a person more than once. Since both of our wood sheds are down a set of stairs from our living area that means that the wood needs to be carried first down then back up the stairs. Of course there is also the chore of splitting wood. As you can see in the photo I keep my exercise equipment near were it will be used. Who needs to go to the gym when you have a wood stove?

Since it can take a good year to truly “season” firewood so that it is dry enough to get the maximum btu’s out of each piece of wood I wanted 2 woodsheds. This will give me enough room to keep ahead of the curve of supply and demand.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yellow Cedar Dock

Before we started construction on our home we had already looked into building a dock. Since Swan Lake is a shallow lake that is mostly surrounded by what I’d call a marsh, it is very hard to launch a boat from the shore. Hence, the dock that extends over the marshy area into water that is deep enough to launch and tie up a small boat.

I had always heard that getting an Army Corps of Engineers Permit was nearly impossible. But my experience has not shown this to be true. We of course consulted with the Corps when we built our house and found at that time the guidelines to build were simple to follow. When I applied for a permit to build the dock I again found it very easy and the Corps responded quickly and issued a permit for the dock.

The dock was build under Army Corps permit POA-2006-33

We hand dug holes through the grass and other organic material until we hit a layer of fractured rock at about 3 feet of depth. We then hand drove 1 inch galvanized pipe another 4 to 8 feet through the fractured rock until it refused to drive any further. Then Commercial Sonotubes were used as forms to pour 1 foot diameter concrete piers to support the deck girders. All in all we pour 2.5 yards of concrete for the project. The first yard of concrete was transported by wheelbarrow and the remainder of the concrete was carried in 5 gallon buckets.

Jud drills a pilot hole for one of the last spikes that holds the dock bull rail.

I though it would be fun to cast the shape of a duck and a swan into the concrete bulkhead that holds the dock to the shore.

We had never planned on using any pressure treated lumber because I did not want any toxic chemicals leaching into the lake. I was pleased when I read the Corps Permit requirements that banned the use of most treated lumber for any dock on this lake.

I of course am a very big fan of Alaskan Yellow Cedar. In my experience yellow cedar will out last most pressure treated lumber, it’s less expensive than pressure treated lumber, it grows locally and it is much less toxic to work with, so why in the heck would I use pressure treated lumber anyway!

When we applied for the permit we were told we were the first people to ever apply for a permit to build a dock on Sitka’s Swan Lake. This means this is the first legal dock to be built on the lake. Of course there is only a hand full of dock on the 22 acre lake anyway, but it’s nice to know ours is a legally built one.