Finishing the Base, Starting the Roof

We sure got a lot done this weekend, between rainstorms, of course!


On Saturday, we secured the base to the foundation. Remember the problem we had with the bolts that wouldn't fit because the heads were too  big? We ordered some replacement bolts, and the smaller heads worked great with the special drill bit extender we found.

Helpful hint: Dip the ends of your screws in a bit of dishwashing liquid, and they'll go into the wood far more easily. The soap is slippery and will reduce the friction, helping you to keep the screws going in straight and reducing the heat generated by your drill. 

We actually needed two drill bits for this job - the one on the bottom of the photo to the left drove the screws in, and the one at the top drilled the pilot holes.

Second helpful hint: We were lucky enough to have a friend stop by while we were doing this, and he loaned us an extra drill. It saved a LOT of time not to have to switch drill bits every two minutes!

Third helpful hint: Before you drive all those screws into your foundation timbers, make sure you square everything off. We measured and re-measured every time we sunk a new set of bolts, alternating sides of the structure so things wouldn't get skewed.

Use a square to make sure the corners are straight.
About half an hour after we finished securing the base to our foundation timbers, it started pouring rain, so that meant work for Saturday was done.


Sunday's weather was glorious, so we spent most of the day assembling the roof. First, we assembled two pediments (the end parts of the roof). These were pretty fussy - a lot of parts, plus the polycarbonate window panels. We got the hang of it eventually - the second pediment was far easier than the first. After that, it was time to assemble the roof skeleton, and attach the cables that will stabilize the structure and the brackets that will hold the windows later.

Fourth helpful hint: Some of the parts fit very, very tightly, so dish soap came to our rescue again. Dipping the parts in soap and water helped them snap right in. If you don't want to use soap and water, silicone spray will also do the trick.

Here's the roof, sitting next to the base. Can't wait to get those window panels in!

What's next? 

I'll be providing a  seedling update in a few days, and we'll be putting up the wall supports and installing all the window panes next weekend, as long as the weather holds.

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