Building the First Level
September 1st, 2010
  • Raw, Structural Strength
  • As much the second level was characterized by the elegance of the angles and cross members, the first level is characterized by structural strength.

    Of course, with great stength - comes great weight...

    Although not measured, the average, calculated weight for each of the eight first level walls is based on the weight of then southern yellow pine framing (45 lbs / cu. ft) and the published weight of fiber-cement (88 lbs / cu. ft). For a standard wall this is:

    Element Dimensions Cubic Feet Material Count Total Weight
    Wall Studs 112" x 3" x 5.5" 1.07 cf Southern Yellow Pine 3 ea. 144 lbs
    Cant Posts 112" x 3" x 7.25" 1.41 cf Southern Yellow Pine 2 ea. 127 lbs
    Sill Plate 78" x 1.5" x 7.25" 0.49 cf Southern Yellow Pine 1 ea. 22 lbs
    Top Plate 60" x 3" x 7.25" 0.76 cf Southern Yellow Pine 1 ea. 34 lbs
    Sheathing 7935 sq. in x 3/4" 3.44 cf Southern Yellow Pine 1 assembly 155 lbs
    Hardi-Siding 1083" x 8.25" x 5/16" 1.62 cf Fiber Cement 1 assembly 142 lbs
    Total 624 lbs

    Needless to say, the first floor walls were a remarkable challenge for everyone who came out to participate... and the heat of the summer days slowed our work considerably.

  • Siding the Walls
  • Once the framing and sheathing were installed, the next step was to apply siding and trim to the exterior. Although nail guns were available, this was a job best done by hand to ensure that each fastener was in just the right place.

  • Windows and Doors
  • A pleasant break from the heat, the construction of the windows and doors allowed us to work in the shade of the workshop... of course, we had to venture back outside for fitting and installation.

    Note that this was the second set of doors that was built for the mill. The initial design used a single 36" door on each opening, but we quickly discovered that the wider door encroached too far into the already tight space on the first floor. By splitting the doors, the space required was dramatically decreased and the entry has a much more colonial feel to it.

  • Roofing the Dormers
  • With summer coming to an end, the high temperatures broke and it became pleasant to spend time outside again. To save time and steps, I rolled the table saw into the driveway and milled most of the cedar shingles outside. Naturally, the final fit could only be done with a handsaw.

  • Volunteers
  • The first floor was certainly the longest single part of the construction process. Special thanks to the volunteers who came out to make it happen...

  • Dean Golembeski
  • Jefferson Lab
  • Brian Wroten
  • Troop 123 of Seaford, Virginia - Boy Scouts of America
  • Daniel Akers
  • Troop 123 of Seaford, Virginia - Boy Scouts of America
  • Ross Davenport
  • Thomas Nelson Community College
  • Madelaine Akers
  • Old Dominion University
  • Evelyn Akers
  • Jefferson Lab/The Twisted Oaks Foundation
  • Walt Akers
  • Jefferson Lab/The Twisted Oaks Foundation

    For additional information, please contact Walt Akers.