Barn Raising: Day Three

Day three. June 20th. Meghann and Sam offered to stay with us for one more day to complete the high work on the ridge. We couldn’t have done it without them. Fifteen hour work days had become the norm and they eagerly signed on for one more.

Soon after first light, we were pegging the final truss in place (above) and readying for the ridge beams.

Meghann and I hold tethers, attached to each end of the first ridge beam to be raised, while Sam, aboard Henry, handles the controls (above).

Meghann guides the ridge home (above).

Sam waits for instructions (above).

The first of three pentagonal ridge beams fits perfectly in place.

Raising a frame has no place for a fear of heights. Up and down the ladders we go. Once the second ridge beam is in lowered in, I screw a 2×4 across the joint to hold things together until we can insert and peg the spline.

The intensity of the effort over the first three days of the raising was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. The physical effort spanning multiple 15-hour work days, along with the rewards of seeing this frame come together so beautifully, combined to make this one of my life’s most memorable moments.

High on the frame. High on family and friends. It doesn’t get much better.

Ridge beams in place (above).

The view from the top, with Sam at the controls below.

Marion takes it all in on this beautiful June afternoon.

At this point, we had the frame for the main section of the barn in place and all of the high work complete.

Next, came the raising of the first of two bents for the outer shed sections of the barn. We assembled the timbers on the deck, then, with Henry’s help, lifted the bent and lowered it into its mortises on the sill. With the bent still supported in the sling, we leaned it outward to give us room to fit the ties and braces that connect it to the main frame.

By the end of day three, we had one of the shed sections nearly complete. Winches and straps held it tight (above), ready to be pegged the next day.

As we sat at the edge of the forebay that evening, I couldn’t begin to describe how grateful I was for the contributions that family and friends had so willingly given to this effort. I pushed the team hard – very, very hard. There was nothing left at the end of each day, with barely the energy to eat and crawl into bed. Meghann, Marion, Sam, and myself – the A-Team – have a lot to smile about at the end of day three.