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Bill's Cabin
Robinson Deck

Robinson Deck

This was one of my most ambitious projects since building foot bridges at the castle. The deck proper was planned to be about 8' x 24' with a shed roof over the door, and eave extensions sheltering the house edge. It required hand-dug footers, for support on the outside edges and a combination of ledger and footer/beam support along the house wall. the deck spans 2 separately built structures, the older being a dry stone foundation with a simple wood sill, and the new addition completed last year having a block foundation supporting the floor. To make things a bit more complicated, there is a concrete block supporting the back door which protrudes into the planned deck area, as well as having the septic access cover within inches of the planned wrap-around stair.

I have enlisted the help of my good friend Chuck Henry to assist in this fiasco. We plan to start this mess around the 19th of july, and work to completion, or until we depart for Falcon Ridge, whichever comes first. To facilitate the continuous work, we have decided to pitch a scaled down version of Camp Coq Balse in the robinson's back yard, so we don't have to travel back and forth to massena every day. it will be a good dry run to iron out all the bugs for the real thing a mere week later.

The deck is finally done!!! (well, except for bits of the roof and trim)
We of course picked the hottest day of the year to do it...and Chuck and I both had the sunburns to prove it!

In actuality most of the basic construction went as planned. There were very few minor setbacks in building the deck frame and platform itself, mostly due to high percentage of boards that looked like corkscrews or had the curvature of a boat hull!

The project came to a screeching halt (as I had thought it might) when we finally dug into the roof on the new addition to attach the eave extension over the main portion of the deck. that's when we discovered that the rafters had been notched too deeply where they were attached on the sill plate to slide the extensions up into the main part of the roof. Originally, the plan was to carriage bolt the extensions to the rafters in front of AND behind the sill plate, having 3-4 feet of board joined to support the roof under the load of winter snow. in the end, we had to make 21 feet of crib bracing to go underneath instead, and only bolt the estensions to the 16" of rafter overhang.

In the end we ran out of time and daylight on the day before falcon ridge having only to put about half of the metal roofing on, and none of the latticework or trim. in all there's about a good day's work left. Overall, I'm pleased with the results, the deck will most certainly be standing long after the main house has collapsed in on itself, and as a bonus, it looks damn good!

UPDATE (Again)!
The deck is finally done!!! and this time I mean it.... Chuck and I finished putting the roof extension and metal roofing on and finally called it a done deal. Of course we don't do anything the easy way, we had no way to stay on the roof without putting nails or screws in the brand new metal roofing for scaffolding or roofing braces, so instead we fell back onto our ropes course skills from 4-H camp, and I comfortably wandered around the roof in a hand tied Swiss Seat, with a line thrown over the peak, and Chuck tending slack and braking on the other side. The finished deck can be seen below, nicely stained by Bill himelf.



Copyright © 2006 Devon R. Jacobs. All Rights Reserved.