Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Custom Made Cupola for the Barn

 What is a barn without a cupola?  Boring, and that won’t do at Camp Daniel, so after checking out pricing for pre-made cupolas, Little Tony set out to build his own.  He found out the basic sizing information online, and decided on 42” square for the base.  They don’t look that big once on the building!  By the time he had bracing inside, siding on top of the chip board, and the hip roof, it was very heavy.  Tony and the guys used the extending boom forklift that we had for the weekend to get it up there.  It still took a group to get it into place.
 Jen got them to stop for a minute to pose for a photo.  Nick is probably inside it to attach it.  I’m not sure why the tallest guy there got that job....
 Tony knew that the cupola needed to be complete before the roofing went on, because after that, the roof will be very slippery, and difficult to paint.  For months, Karol and Tony had been studied each barn they passed on the road, in hopes of replicating the distressed barn board look. Karol worked on a sample board to come up with a 4 step paint process to achieve a worn and weathered barn look.  The black squares are the background for fake vents.
   Above you can see the paint steps involved in the trim.  We started with plain 1x4 dimensional lumber.  It was then painted a solid background color.  Then two coats of dry brushing, in two shades of brown was added.  Finally a dry brush technique gave us the white paint that is more solid in some areas, and almost all the way faded and chipped off in others.
 Even the vents were expensive to buy, at $100 a piece, so Little Tony, and the Mandich brothers made these from scratch.  After the paint job, they look like they’ve been around a while.
 Finally, the “rusted” (really just spray paint) metal top and weathervane were added as the finishing touch.  Now we are ready for the roof!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finishing the Dorm Floors

 We are working hard to finish the Trapline Lodge.  Karol had been waiting for warm enough weather to dye the last two floors, which seemed to take forever.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we had warm enough weather so that the windows could be opened and the furnaces turned off.  The processes are so caustic, that these precautions are a must.  Karol trained Nick throughout the process.  The first step, taping up the plastic, took Steve and Nick more than a day.  All of the walls, doors and plumbing, must be completely covered.  Then, the concrete is etched so that the dye and clear finish will adhere.  That process is done with muriatic acid, and a vinegar neutralizer.  That was another full day with a respirator.  We then get to the photos.  It’s too hard to take photos while doing these jobs, so there’s not many action shots.    The blue floor in the photo above and below is the White Tail Deer Cabin.  The dye is acetone based, which is a nasty chemical that eats through plastics and such pretty easily.  Each floor has two different colors to achieve the final look.  The dye is applied with a garden sprayer.  It must be applied quickly before the hoses and parts of the sprayer become too corroded.

 The bathrooms were a real job as the countertops had to be acid etched and dyed too.
 The Black Bear Cabin has a black floor.  Naturally!
 After the floors were dyed, Karol and Nick applied three coats of a concrete finish, which is applied with a paint roller.  One day per coat.  Then after that was cured, Karol and Tony applied two coats of wax with the buffer machine, as seen below.


Monday, May 12, 2014

A Work Day with Variety

 We had a great work day at Camp Daniel last Saturday.  But first, some of the stuff that’s happened since our last post.  Jerry R., a retired plumber from Crivitz, is graciously helping us with all the finish plumbing in the Trapline Lodge.  He had the interns and the guys all helping him plumb.  Above, Steve and Nick are installing a toilet.  This one gave them some troubles.  Jerry is doing a great job of teaching them all, and helping out when they get hung up on something.
 Tony and the guys finished installing the porch railings during the week.  It’s amazing what they add to the building.  They really give a feeling of coziness and character.
 For the work day, we had a variety of workers and a variety of jobs.  The Able Church brings a group each spring and fall for a work day.  This year, 13 were driven up in our large van, and a few others drove separately. It was a blessing to have so many hands at work!  In the photo above, I captured them tackling the less than glamorous job of raking the road back into place.  During snow removal, some gravel and sand ends up in the grass, so it must be raked back into place.  They did this all around the gravel roads on the campus.
 The forklift was used to load some huge logs onto our flatbed trailer, which were then brought to the local sawmill to be milled into 5x5", 10x10s, 5x10’s and 1” boards.
 We were excited to have the help of two couples  from New Life Church in Menominee.  One of the gentlemen brought his chainsaw, and cut up more shrubby growth and trees in the area of the future  septic system.  A group of guys from The Able Church cleared the brush and heaped it onto the ever-growing burn pile.
 A camper, Drew, and his parents also helped out at the work day.  They live in Suamico, and this was their first time here.  Tony gave a few tours during the day, so that they, and the other new people got to hear some of the stories and philosophies of Camp Daniel.  Intern Steve oversaw the staining crew with, Drew, his parents, Donna and Howard from New Life, and a small crew from the Able Church. They worked until we ran out of stain!  They stained all of the new railings on Trapline.  Also on trapline were some hard to reach places that still needed stain.  In the pic below, they are staining the porch floor of the Factory.  There was also fencing painted, and one railing on Lumberjack.  What a relief to get so much done in a day!

 After the brush crew finished with that, they moved on to leaves.  We have oaks that don’t lose their leaves until spring.  So more fuel for the burn pile!
 Here’s a photo of part of the tired crew just before they left.  There was a bunch of other stuff done that I just didn’t get pictures of.  For example, some of the ladies helped Trish with drinks and lunch. After lunch, they all headed outside, where Trish led many of the helpers in getting out the 40+wood benches, 100 chairs, and 15+ tables onto the property.  The benches are spread out over the entire property, so I know that she was very glad to have help with that.  The Mandich crew worked on hooks in the dorms.  The new bunk beds needed hooks installed, and the hooks for the bathrooms were mounted onto boards.  The tile on the walls has proved difficult to mount the hooks directly.
Lots of sunburn was seen at the end of the day, as we all enjoyed the thing that we forgot was called the “sun”!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Camp Daniel Barn Board Salvage

 The power of Facebook!  For the chapel area of our new building, we want to use barn boards on the interior ceiling/walls, so we put a plea out on Facebook last week.  Tony’s sister, Lora, reposted it on her wall, and a friend of Lora’s from Oshkosh saw the post and contacted Lora.  She knew that her sister and brother-in-law were getting ready to tear down an old building on their farm in Antigo.  Tony and Karol drove there last Saturday to speak with the owners and access the feasibility of the project.  The original plan was to bulldoze the building, so the owner allowed us to take what we needed, and leave the rest to be dozed.  Our crew, with an open trailer and closed trailer, arrived at the farm on Monday morning ready to work.  In the picture above, you can see our staff busy tearing down the insulation that was on the ceiling.  That was all hauled from the building to a construction dumpster that was on site.  The interior walls were also insulated and covered in metal roofing panels, which all had to come down.  After the bulk of that prep work was done, we were able to start harvesting boards.  Tony was on the inside, hitting the boards with the sledge hammer, while Anthony and Karol pulled and twisted the boards the rest of the way off.  The boards were then piled off to the side, to be later stacked into the enclosed trailer.

 After the boards were all off, we could see and appreciate the old beams that were used as the main structure of the building.  We were able to harvest only a few while the structure was still standing.  The building was an “L” shape, and the owner wanted to save one part, so Tony cut through the roofing and other beams that connected the two sides.  We didn’t want to inadvertently pull down the good part when the other part fell.
 Those beams were strong and sturdy and it took a while to pull the building down with the owner’s skid steer.  Once it was down, we set to cutting off roofing sections to get to the beams underneath.
 This beam was the largest we salvaged.  It took all of the these guys to carry that one!
 This is what the building looked like just before we left.  We were just able to get the trailers stacked and tied down as the darkness was settling in.  We were a tired crew when we got home at 10:45 that night.  Ibuprofen all around and lights out!  It was well worth the trip, as Camp Daniel now has a lot of wood with age and character to design the interior of the chapel.