You can avoid fires by building the storage facility from fireproof
material. I have word from a reliable sources (Ben Carson) that they
used stone to build the pyramids so the stored grain would not burn them
Meantime, that is quite the restoration project. Glad it is being done
to save a nifty looking building.
On Monday, November 9, 2015 at 7:33:53 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Look up the history of Portland Maine. City hall burnt down twice,
once during the Great Fire of 1866 and then again in 1908. The 1866
fire was the largest fire in the US up until Mrs. O'Leary's cow
caused some minor damage in Chicago 5 years later.
After the second fire, they rebuilt City Hall using granite, concrete,
slate and other fire resistant materials. This was a state of the art
building in 1909. Many others took their cue from City Hall and began
to build fire resistant buildings.
In 2012, Portland's "new" City Hall celebrated it's 100th birthday.
On Monday, November 9, 2015 at 1:00:26 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:
I have to say, I really admire your project, but admire this aspect of it j
ust as much. Sometimes folks just need a hand up for a while. Good on ya'
for giving a man a chance. Surprisingly, being an employer for almost 33
years now, I still find a good man to bet on now and then.
I hope you continue to post pics of your barn project. I don't think you n
eed to hold your hat in your hand about it not being "fine woodwork". Almo
st without exception, I can easily take my cabinet makers out to a job site
and ask them to establish the size of a common rafter and then cut jacks b
ased on wall perimeters and requested pitch and they don't have a clue. Th
ey don't know standards framing walls to loads, rigidity, nor do they know
all the million little details that go into installing a waterproof roof, h
ow to stabilize/repair structures, etc. They don't know practical design el
ements needed to create well functioning purpose built structures. Convers
ely, many of the guys that are conversant in those skills can't easily buil
d a piece of nice furniture.
I started out in the trades more than 40 years ago (sigh...) with my trade
being woodworking. Over the time I have that I have been doing all manner
of wood contracting for a living and learning more skills along the way, I
learned years ago to appreciate the skills needed to do what you are doing
just as much as I do someone that builds fine furniture.
The work looks great from here! I hope you continue to post more as you go
On 11/10/2015 2:25 AM, email@example.com wrote:
He was an unusual duck; extremely talented mechanically and an excellent
worker but absolutely unable to maintain a long-term job if it was
tightly structured. Had all the certifications for aircraft mainframe
maintenance and repair, had been in Rome w/ TWA when they went belly-up,
eventually had gotten on w/ Boeing in Wichita and got hit in the big cut
there. Had some experience in plastic injection as a kid growing up in
Miami so had heard of a supervisory position available in El Paso was
why he had ridden the freight down there. W/ not buy one or two teeth
left, unkempt hair to his shoulders and all he wasn't exactly corporate
America's vision of supervisory talent so that didn't pan out! :)
He did yeoman work and was about 90% of the labor in the paint prep and
painting while I was doing the other structural and rebuilding the
couple of doors and so on as he wasn't an expert woodworker w/ all his
other talents...As you can see in the one where he's working on the west
end, it was sanded and washed over every square inch before painting--a
tremendous amount of time and effort; I've no idea how many manhours we
did spend in that prep work, I regret not keeping a better diary.
I'll try to post some of the detail work and as said, I'm trying to get
ready for I think the third winter to get the windows done over the
winter plus hopefully the mow floor areas that buckled owing to the time
while the roof was leaking badly.
What do you have in mind to do with the barn once it's finished?
(Assuming "finished" is even an appropriate word).
Nice. For *both* of you, it sounds like. I can't say I've done anything
like that. But I can trace a tile floor to a period of time when one of
my friends was out of work for a while. And a kitchen backsplash too,
but that was a different guy. I've got another ugly job that needs
doing - one I really don't want to tackle myself - but unfortunately
(ha!) all of my friends seem to be gainfully employed at the moment.
Well, my goal firstly was to prevent it from falling down; couldn't
stand the thought of it going to pot (and thankfully have enough
resources could afford to do so). It is, afaik, the last one in the
county from the initial settling time frame in any shape at all; the
neighbor to the mile south had one of almost identical form built by the
same chief carpenter/crew just after this one was finished. It fell
down a number of years ago owing to neglect and that it never had the
poured floor slab and always was surrounded by the corrals such that it
suffered much worse from the waste. Also, they got into enough
financial difficulty that there were no resources available to be put
into it when it could still have been saved.
I had (not sure if I still do or not) original idea that could move the
woodworking shop into the mow which is completely open with the
exception of a column row under each gambrel break but there's 14-ft
between the two rows and the sidewalls are 6-ft high at the edge so the
whole loft is essentially well above head height. It's almost 30-ft to
the ridge in the middle. Failing that, while ceiling height is fairly
low, there are long open areas on either side of the drive on the main
floor such that the shop could be arranged to be quite useable there.
It is too low and the driveway too narrow anyway for any current real
use from a farming standpoint other than for storage. There is a small
feed mill in the NE corner with an elevator leg to the bins that were
built in the loft that is still functional altho I've about quit running
cattle given recent years of drought which led to no winter wheat
pasture for three years running and subsequent increase in prices owing
to the major reduction in cow herds (we ran a stocker/feeder operation
buying weaning heifers in the fall, running on wheat pasture/milo
stubble over the winter and selling the largest part of them in the
spring to the feedlots to farm during the summer months other than a
small (300 or so) number in the feedlot depending on year) so
replacement costs got so high seemed excessive risk plus I've discovered
I've continued to get a year older every year...
So, the real answer is there is no "plan"...
Was pretty leery the first few days as he was pretty rough-lookin' dude;
I figured after that first day when I gave him his day's wages and took
him back to town it'd be unlikely to see him again...but, he was ready
the next morning and to my initial surprise I never did see any evidence
he was into any drugs or excess alcohol or anything despite the
appearances...turned out to really be a pretty nice guy and was, as said
above, an excellent worker for the task at hand. Wouldn't have been
much of a farm hand; was a city boy from Miami and had very (as in no)
interest in the farm work going on around. The few times tried to press
him into that service were less than successful... :)
Your supposition is correct, nowhere near a coast; it's far SW KS (and
hence, there are no "woods" anyways close to be in a neck of! :) ).
At the moment I have virtually none of the interior and it's also
currently in such a mess I'm ashamed to even let anybody else inside.
It's interesting, but as you can tell from the one where were replacing
the sill plate it is conventional frame construction, not beam and post
or the like. The lumber is all SYP but is far removed from what one
commonly finds today; very fine grained, slow growth virgin timber and
lengths to 28-ft in the loft columns which are multiple 2x nailed
together rather than large dimension stock. Some of those even that
long are essentially knot-free. The 3-1/4" siding and 2" mow flooring
is fir; I had a small shop in Wichita run some for the replacement;
could not find it available at all any longer other than the 5-1/4".
There was only one corner are that had a pretty solid roof over it w/o
too many leaks when we returned; it had been converted into use as a
grain bin for storing seed wheat back in the 50s, even, so has a second
inner wall on the north wall and had interior walls to near ceiling on
the interior with just a small entry area with slatted cross boards in a
corner. I took one of the short walls out, removed some the siding down
to about 4' on the long inside wall and wired it and added some
additional light where I have crammed in the TS, jointer, BS, and the
small shaper. It's been enough to "get by" but is cramped and low
ceiling which is part of the reason not much else in "real" wwing is
getting done. I had the original intent of eventually moving the shop
to the mow, but there's been "issues" with that as well...
I'll not burden the newsgroup w/ more unless is actual interest...
I found your post much more interesting, and informative, than posts on the
merits of straight vs curved cauls, or the merits of various style clamps.
Restoring a barn may not be "fine" woodworking, however, this group isn't called
rec.fine.woodworking. I would like to hear more about the progress of the
project. Moreover, since there are many off topic threads, I think hearing
about farming in SW Kansas would also be interesting.
On 11/09/2015 10:59 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Well, today is one of the those W KS days w/ wind sustained 30-40+,
projected as much as 60 gusts, so not a lot I'm wanting to do outside... :(
So, here are a few from haying a few years ago when had some rain and
things looked pretty good. From the start, looking east back towards
the home place; good eyes can spot the white of the house towards the
south end of the larger group of trees; the broad view of bales is west
towards town; can just make out the sorta' square shape located on
horizon about halfway between the two full bales in the foreground
towards the right and the shiny water tower closer to the right hand
side. Those are about 5 and 6 miles, respectively, to give an idea of
the terrain (it's pretty flat :) ).
The last, over the collected-up group (I took all these the day we were
hauling and was running tractor loading and between loads would "gather
up" the 34 that fit on a semi so could load them all in "one swell foop"
instead of having to keep moving truck every time) looks off to the
southeast. On the horizon is the hint of the row of sand hills that
leads to the "breaks" that run along the Cimarron River as it makes a
big bow from the very southwestern most corner of KS out of NM/OK then
back to the southeast on into OK. We're located just 2 mi from the OK
line about 60 mi from CO.
This is all native grass re-established in the mid-90s; a mixture of a
multiple species the primary including big- and little-bluestem, sand
love, blue- and side-oats grama, buffalo, sand love, Indian grass, ...
You are jogging my memory of when I was growing up in the '50's and
in farm country.
These were the days when crop rotation (corn, alfalfa, wheat and oats)
followed closely since corn took so much out of the ground.
Got 2 cuts of alfalfa and brought the "tedder" into play as a means of
The wheat was chocked, especially in Amish country.
Later, the wheat was cut and baled in one operation with tractor
baler and spitting bales of straw out onto the final wagon where they
The baler had a guy on each side it insert baler twine into bale.
Definitely not a particularly safe operation, but it was an
Watching those operations convinced me I didn't want anything to do
I live on the eastern edge of the plains in Oklahoma. Our winds were only about
20 miles an hour with gusts to 35 mph..
Here is a link to a wind map that you might like. It does not auto update, it
has to be manually refreshed.
Yes, it is. After living over 40 years in the rice country of northern
California I miss that. (We went to California to go to college and wound up
staying 44 years until we retired.)
Here, the horizon is usually less than a mile away. I have to drive several
miles to get to the top of the highest hill around close. From there the horizon
looking to the West is about 10 miles away.
Unless I am mistaken that puts you a little West of Liberal Kansas. It's been a
while since I was through there. We stayed a couple of nights south of Liberal
at an RV park. Liberal was an interesting town, and we drove around the
countryside checking things out. There were some very large circular irrigation
plots interposed with dry land farming.
From Liberal we went West over to the Cimarron National Grasslands as we slowly
meandered westward back to California.
Excellent. It's heartwarming to see parts of the Great Plains being restored.
Can you purchase a mixture of the natural grass seeds or do you have to mix them
yourself? Where I live here in Oklahoma Johnson grass is the preferred grass
for hay. Where we lived in California it was considered noxious and the state
tried to eradicate it as did all the farmers and ranchers.
This summer I did something that I never intended to do again. I helped an old
friend haul hay. He's a grumpy old fart and he got mad at his wife because she
wasn't driving the truck the way he wanted. She jumped down out of the truck,
told him to go to hell, and went to the house.
He called me and I went over to drive the truck for him. Before we started I
told him that if he started shouting at me I wouldn't go home until after I
dragged him off the tractor and kicked his butt. We got along okay but we wasted
a lot of time because he really didn't have a plan. Rather than driving in
straight lines we just meandered all over the field. Before long, I was wanting
to shout at him but I didn't. I just grinned a lot as I maneuvered the big
truck and trailer around wasting a lot of time and fuel.
The second cutting I drove the tractor and did what you did. By the time he got
back with the truck the next load was gathered up and ready to load without
moving the truck. It saves a lot of time, but I got the distinct feeling that
he wasn't happy. It wasn't the way he liked to do things.
On 11/13/2015 2:55 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Well, peak we recorded was right at 50 instead of 60 altho Garden City
did hit 60 and farther north closer to the center of the low was as
strong or stronger. Still broke some ground loose, though, particularly
some of the later wheat where we didn't have as early rain to get it up
and covering the ground.
Pretty kewl view; I hadn't seen that before. Thanks.
Well, I was rounding pretty liberally (so to speak :) ); that is Liberal
in the background and the place is just to the east of town a few miles.
The edge of the major irrigation areas is just to the north and west;
much of the north half of the county is irrigated and probably 2/3-rds
of Haskell County to the north. There's water under us but not good
gravel formation so it's difficult to get a good quality well that can
pump hard enough for irrigation purposes without excess sand. KS has
since we've been back closed the Ogallala for new irrigation as the
water level is dropping drastically but OK hasn't yet acted except in
the most minute of ways. It's inevitable that the irrigation as being
practiced today is going to come to an end.
Speaking of being in the non-flat areas, I spent 30 yr, roughly in
Piedmont VA area and then E TN (Oak Ridge) which is in the hills of TN
and there isn't a flat and level spot much bigger than a quarter.
There, even if you get to the top of the ridge, it's tree-covered so you
can't see out and even if can, there's just another ridge in the way.
Even the top of the Smokey Mtn's are tree-covered with the exception of
a single peak so even there it's hard to find good vistas. Pretty
country but surely did get tired of being "closed in". To make it
worse, I spent some 10 yr of that time servicing/installing/supporting
online coal analyzers in the E KY, SW VA, WVA coal country which is even
more tight valley structure than E TN.
It's pretty easily obtainable now altho one waits until drilling to do
the mixing as there's such a difference in size that it all settles out
by size in shipping if try to do it in bulk. Back when they first
started establishing these stands in the beginning of the CRP program,
it was pretty hard to come by as there just wasn't that much of some of
the native grasses still around, particularly the taller varieties that
tended to get grazed out leaving mostly just the buffalo (although
there's certainly nothing wrong with it; and there were large areas in
which it was essentially the only grass even before being broken out.
Johnson grass has had a metamorphosis in its assessment indeed. It
depends on whether it's in the place you want it or not--in wetter
places than here it's a bane for other crops as it is so invasive and
hard to eradicate.
Hey, we old guys are pretty typically crabby!!! :) It's in the job
They are; there's no way to economically justify the investment in this
one; it has no real functional use in a modern operation; too small in
driveway width/height to get any equipment in larger than a half-ton
pickup, too small in capacity for animal usage; as another has already
said, hay storage is also passe with modern large bale handling and the
I did it simply for the nostalgia purposes of being the home place and
perhaps eventually some shop space.
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