Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

March 28, 2012

Playing catch-up again......


I think I left off last time with the heater cap being placed.  Seems like a year ago.... anyway, late December I climbed up on the heater and with my trusty sawzall, I made an elliptical cutout in the roof.  We were committed at that point, and Ivan and I had the insulated metal chimney all assembled and ready to stick it through the roof.

And here it is in place, and we scampered outside to fit the flashing and make the roof weather tight again.

Luckily, our December weather was quite mild and we had picked a day when it was in the low 30's to work on this phase.

Again with the slanty ladder, roped off to the roof ladder on the other side of the roof.  I'm getting quite comfortable climbing on a slanted ladder..

And of course, the trusty wheeler parked against the ladder base to eliminate a chance of slippage.

Here is that chunk that I cut out of the roof.

During early January I had worked on getting the pieces of the stairway glued and screwed together.  We hauled the parts, lower case, landing and upper case, to Marquip where we work.  I begged for some space in the R&D area to do the varnishing.  Here you see the landing set in place, the first piece we put in.

Next the lower case was put into place and attached to the wall, landing and support posts.

When we got the upper case installed, it was time to remove the iron staircase.  Ivan and I used a block and tackle to support the stairs while I sawzalled the metal stringers at the top.

We lowered the stairs, got them placed on a four wheeled dolly and out the door it went.  We had our first look at the (nearly) completed project!!

It was a sad sight to see the stairs out in the snowbank.  Hoping that Russ and Bee would forgive us for this, I attached a chain and towed the stairs out to the north field.  We are hoping to someday use the stairs to go from the little upper 'deck' on the south side of the house down to the deck that we intend to build on the south end.

So we have a functional stairway and a working heater.  We got the stairs done near the end of January, at which point I kind of got a case of brain freeze, or something.  Since then, I have puttered around on a few small jobs (don't have the railing up yet....), and finally tried to get the snowmobiles running.  Just when we got Peggy's sled going, the track drive sprockets broke.  It's a 1972 sled, so I guess they just got brittle.  I found parts and got it back to service about 1 day before the snow all melted.  Par for the course, I guess.

Meanwhile, I was also working on my sled.  The gas tank was leaking and it took a while to find another one, clean it up, paint it, etc.  I got it put together and had some trouble getting it going.  When it did fire up, it had a really tinny, awful sounding motor. 

I pulled the heads and cylinders and found a badly scored cylinder and junk piston.  My local parts guy got new pistons and rings for me, and I set out to find a usable replacement cylinder.  Weeks later I found a couple a local shop.

Now all the parts are cleaned up and I'm ready to throw it back together.

Maybe this weekend I can get it back into the sled and see how it runs.  It did not see any action this winter, but on the upside, they should both be ready to fly next winter.  Into the shed with them......

Yesterday I was feeling pretty ill, so I stayed home from work.  I made a fire mid-morning.  Early that evening I loaded a charge of wood into the heater but waited to light it.  During the afternoon, the heater was hitting it's stride, with the east face at 150° and the west side at 160, I decided not to light the fire.  The temperature on the north end of the house ended up at 75° and I was feeling rather warm. 

So I left the wood unburned.  Tonight I opened the fire door and was greeted with the nice aroma of wood that had been baking in the heater for a day.  I touched a match to the kindling and had one of the nicest fires yet.  That pre-warmed wood catches quick, and soon the whole batch was ablaze. 

 Since the warm weather has left us, I have been firing the heater and enjoying seeing the fire and staying warm without the loud fan on the gas heater having to run.

Well, that's enough for now, I'll try to write again, sooner this time.

I gotta go, Carlo



Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! The finished project looks fantastic!!! It's amazing how much space there is now in the dining room with the old spiral staircase gone! Didn't realize how much space it took up until now! Anxious to see it all on my next trip south :-)


Anonymous said...

It looks so neat and tidy. It was pretty weird to see that staircase out in the yard, indeed. Or to think of it out in the field. I like your idea of reusing it for the porch in back...perfect.

Your new staircase solution makes sense. The masonry details are a nice touch and the woodwork is a natural match.
Nice work, Congratulations!

Carlo said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and thanks for the compliments...

Comment #2, who are you ?

I gotta go, Carlo

Anonymous said...

Everthng looks great.
The fire looks very inviting.
Snowmobiles, what did I get myself into?

Anonymous said...

Greetings everyone. hoping everyone has a great long weekend, travels safely, enjoys and appreciates their loved ones, takes time to thank a veteran, has more than enough to eat, and most of all, knows that we love them. take care... hugs ps

Anonymous said...

HAPPY 4th-ov-July ta yuzall!!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I officially miss the updates! Anything new happening in Ottertail Country? Kristi

Anonymous said...

I second Kristi's sentiments!
Mary A.