Almost ready for roof trusses

Of friend of ours, Dick Mueller, built this model of our house so folks can get a better idea of what our finished home will look like.

Been busy adding the final big beams needed to support the house roof.  Matt is clamping a temporary small beam into place that will hold two verticals in place while they are welded.

Gandalf contemplating his clamping system.

Welding a horizontal beam on top of the two verticals we have clamped.

I have a fireproof welding blanket over my lap so the sparks don’t build up and catch my pants on fire.  The scaffold is holding up the horizontal beam I am welding so I needed to don my rigging gear to get into position.

Doors, etc.

Made 3 big (14ft high by 6fy wide) movable panels to enclose the shop.  The open door shown here is part of the left panel.

Panels in open position.

Welding vertical posts in place on the south end of the house.

Nice shot from Bob’s drone.

Moving big steel

We now have 4 of the 8 38ft beams installed.

Each beam weighs 450lbs.  Just a tad bit of grunting to move them into place to be lifted by the electric winch.

The containers get a bit hot in the sun so I have a small piece of carpet that I kneel on.

Big steel and concrete

Yesterday we had 10 38ft 5×5 box beams delivered to the local building supply because the truck would not fit down out driveway.  They used their forklift to load two beams at a time onto my truck rack and we brought them home.  My handy bridge crane was used to unload.   These beams run the length of the house and will support the roof trusses.

This morning we mixed up a mess of concrete and poured the footers for the south wall of the house.  The ground is steeper than it looks so we dumped the concrete onto a metal slide.  As you can see we trimmed the jojoba bush just enough to get the footer in.

I’ve been busy – really!

It has been awhile since our last post.  Other than a 17 day rafting trip thru the Grand Canyon we have been hard at work.  Now that the shop is mostly done I have been spending some time on client blacksmithing projects when I’m not working on the house.

These are the gutters that went on the south side of the garage.  8ft long sections from 14g steel – very beefy.

This is the 2500 gallon tank we installed next to the garage to catch rain water from the garage and the shop roofs.  Eventually we will build a rock gabion to cover the tank.

On of my helpers (Gandalf) mixing brown dyed concrete and pouring into 12in by 24in forms to make a basket weave pattern on the patio in front of the house.


The garage roof and east wall are up.  The trailer is now in the shade!

We had a downdraft evap cooler.  Put it on a stand and ran flex duct up to a cardboard box over the roof vent on the trailer.  Life is now very cool.


Made in the shade – almost

The garage roof steel is almost complete and we have started on the plywood.  Next week we will be moving our trailer into the garage to get it out of the sun – it is starting  to get a tad toasty inside.

Parts & Trusses

We know a couple that are building a container home about 10 miles away.  They gave us 4 doors (in the truck bed) and a bunch of cut-outs (on the ground to tight of truck) that we can use in our project.  Yay!  Less steel for us to buy.

Six of the nine garage trusses are up.  We are rushing to get the roof done so we can move our trailer into the shade.  The trailer heats up like an oven when the sun hits it.

Started on the garage

The shop is mostly done (except the north wall and doors).  My power hammer is up and running after a year of silence.  Only had to replace one dried out o-ring and it was running smooth.   The garage will be the same design – just a few feet shorter.   The posts and side rails are up.  Next will come the 9 roof trusses.   The red blob at the top of the scaffold is a new 1 ton electric winch I got to make it easier to lift the heavy loads.

Before I do any welding or grinding on the edge of the buildings I wet down to the nearby desert to prevent any fires.


The roof on the shop is done.  The walls are going up.  The roof and walls are the same material.  It will rust to a nice brown.

Yes – I am tied in.  No – I did not drop anything on Terrence’s head.