It's gotta be a jinx

sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)August 31, 2006

I know I sound like I'm whining or exaggerating when I talk about things that happen when I'm involved. Those things really do happen and sometimes I think I am just being paranoid but this must be proof of something or other. This last weekend I didn't go to the last plant sale and garden walk because my allergies were acting up and I was just too cranky. To my surprise no one e-mailed or called to tell me about it. Today I went over to make some cuttings and to my shock, the bench I built on the shed (to add a little re-enforcement for the garden roof weight)was laying on the ground in splinters. You wouldn't believe some of the really nasty things that went through my mind. Now this was not a spindly little thing. It may have been 10 feet long and only a foot wide but I did the math and it should have been able to support a minimum of 715 pounds. There were no less than 4 braces built with 4 and 5 inch screws fastened into the studs. 2 of the braces had the front ends snapped off and 3 braces were ripped away leaving the ends of those screws exposed. I found a couple of scrapes that looked like a pry bar had been used and I was just sick over it. No wonder no one had called me. Then the Hort. Agent showed up with his fiance and gave me the real story. It seems a barber shop quartet decided to sit on my bench while performing. The bench broke under them. The agent swears to me that each man weighed over 200 pounds. The fiance who swings a mean hammer herself took a look and said they must have been jumping on it. With some help, I'm going to rebuild it but this time it will be with 3 additional braces. My jinx found me and I wasn't even there! I think I have a headache. I'll take odds that the next time it will be a quintet. Sandy

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LOL!! Hey, when life's gettin' you down, Sandy (oh, I know what you mean, TRUST me!), check out Neil. If you don't feel better after that, then I believe cocktails are in order. And maybe some boxing the same time. :D


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:29AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

And while you are drinking that cocktail, think of the looks on their faces as they went down (assuming no one got hurt!).

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:40PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Oh Sandy, I am sorry about your jinx but I can't stop laughing. Imagining the looks on their faces! Perhaps it was the quartet having the cocktails :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 12:16AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I think that after the bench is rebuilt I am going to put up a sign with weight limits on it like you see on bridges. Somehow I never thought that a weight load of 715 pounds would not be enough. The new one is going to carry a minimum load of 1000 pounds. Someone made a comment today that just struck me and I better check it out tomorrow. She said it's a wonder they didn't tip the building. OmG! All that bracing so the building wouldn't slew north to south. What if I didn't brace enough for east/west? No, that couldn't happen, could it? The posts are set in 20 inches of concrete with 10 inch bolts through the corner studs. Where's my level? Sandy

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 2:58AM
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LOL!!! If that building comes down, then I will totally agree that you're jinxed, Sandy!

Barber shop quartet a la green roof...with a side of PO'd Sandy. :D


    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:49AM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

"The fiance who swings..."

As I was SLOWLY reading this, I had no idea where THAT statement was going! :-)

My motto is (and always will be): "Think overkill". If you build the next one for a quintet, don't think of the Jackson Five performing on your bench... Imagine Fats Domino and his grand orchestra sitting on it! Yes, this method might take more time and WILL cost more but as an old timer woodworker once told me: "this way you'll only cry ONCE".

As far as the roof itself, I think setting the posts in 20" of concrete is more down sufficient. I would be more concerned with lateral stress than downward forces. What's the span on your horizontal beams? 16" centers?

BTW Sandy, I think you might appreciate the that I just finished designing to go on the pond deck. Needless to say, it is going to have a chess theme. Construction will begin tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 9:19PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

The beams are not as you would expect 16" centers. Remember when I first told you all about this project, I mentioned it was the cheapest structure of all times. Those horizontal beams are 23 3/4 inches apart. That doesn't count the thickness of the beam itself. I remember that number because I had a marvelous helper at the time who was between jobs as a computer programer and was working out his OC tendencies on the project. Each and every brace we cut to go between beams was measured twice and cut once. There are 6 braces between each roof beam and if there is an eighth inch deviation I'll unscrew each and every one. That's right! No nails on this project. We used decking screws, so a hole had to be drilled through the beams and into the ends of the cross piece before putting in one single screw, three screws per end. (He decided on 3 rather than two) Maybe I am a little OC myself? All I know is that I wrote the plan for only one side and 3 crosspieces each because I figured I would get all sorts of flack from my volunteers. When he asked if I wouldn't prefer to put in 3 on the other side too, I started grinning like an idiot and took off for the lumberyard. Do I hear over-engineering from the audience? Those lateral forces scare me silly. Up and down is easy! I was planning on coming back and doing the other side of the roof myself when no one else was around.
I'm glad I'm not cutting the pieces for that bench back. My cheap tools would never get through it. Would love to see the finished product or a photo of same. I gave up on chess except when I was teaching the kids. We had some neighbors from H*** who invited us over for drinks. The first thing he does is haul out the chess set and start bragging. We are not that good at it but we could figure out we were better without too much difficulty. He challenged DH first and when he was beat, challenged me. I decided I would lose as fast as possible and get us out of an uncomfortable position. To my horror after 3 moves there was a sudden silence broken only by DH's struggle to avoid laughing. I looked at what I had been doing and saw I had played a classic fool's mate. I did the necessary and stood up abruptly, knocking the board off the table and saying his wife needed help in the kitchen. While it saved his ego we were never invited back. Gee, I wonder why? Sandy

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 3:22AM
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