Monday, September 11

Raising to prevent razing


At some point in the last dozen years or so our beloved neighbor hooked a tractor axle on one of the 6x6 posts and broke it off at the ground. As the years have passed, the bottom of that post has begun rotting away. Gravity has been relentlessly at work this entire time and the roofline is begining to sag as you can see in the picture above.

This situation is complicated further by the addition of two Percheron draft horses with a penchant for scratching their large posteriors against vertical structures. During one rear scratching event I could visibly see the roofline move up and down and hear the metal of the siding and roof pop and bend. Of course it's time for the geek farmer to come to the rescue.

I purchased two 16' tall treated 6x6 posts at my father's surplus lumber auction a couple weekends ago. At $20 bucks each, they were a steal. I only needed one for this project but they were sold as a pair and I'm sure another use will arrise.

I consulted with Coy Dan who offered to help since he damaged it years ago (I'm sure he would have helped even if he didn't cause the issue). We decided it would be sufficient to scab the new 6x6 against the old, securing it with several bolts and a new concrete footing.

This last weekend, with the help of my cousin Aaron, we began the task of reparing and raising the barn. We dug a deep hole to accomodate the new post and concrete. I hammered several nails partially into the end of the post so that a good inch was sticking out on each nail. We set that end into the concrete. Our logic here is that will help to tie the post to the concrete and prevent the weight of the barn from pushing the post through. I needed to keep the post fairly close to verticle during this time so I temporarily tacked it to the old post.

I had purchased several gates for on-going fencing projects and made a temporary barrier to keep the horses from scratching on my new post and wet concrete. I've been letting the concrete cure for a couple days now and hopefully I can finish the project this week.

The remaining tasks include using the high-lift jack and a metal pole to jack the roofline into position. At that point I'll drill holes in both posts for the bolts and tighten the bolts into place. Releasing the pressure from the jack should effectively transfer the weight of the roof down the old pole to the bolts then to the new 6x6 post and finally to the conrete on the ground.

Hopefully this re-raising of the barn will prevent my hay-burners from razing the barn.

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2 comments:

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Aaron always seems to be around when you have hard work to accomplish. Give that young man an award (and maybe a break, too)! Then, send him down here - I could use the help.

Ed Abbey said...

I normally just pour a few inches of dry concrete at the bottom of the hole before setting the post in. Once the ground moisture solidifies it, the post isn't going to settle any.