Thursday, June 14, 2012

Barn progress, first day of summer help.

Laying on old wheat in granary on my back looking up at roof.  Turned out great.
Just killed the barn today!  Reagan had his first work day today.  He is my summer intern (hired help).  He was still getting over being sick and was dragging butt most of the day, but he toughed it out and we got a lot accomplished.  So much that I am looking forward to him being healthy and whole. 

Second hay room, soon to be doorway/door.
I decided to just go gangbusters and cut everything out today.  We started with new outside door to the second hay bay.  I used the sawzall to cut out the vertical boards and then cut through the nails on the large 6x6 beams.  The beams would not come out.  So I got on the tractor and poked and lifted them with the bucket until they fell out.  Much easier than when Doug helped me with the other hay bay.  That took forever to get the beam out, just when you thought you had it, it would hang up.  Tractor power made it much quicker. 

Hay bay #2 external door.
I had Reagan start tearing out the granary chute and dispensing box.  They had this box with a lid on it that allowed you to scoop out grain.  Only problem was it was all made out of wood.  This was fine until you got to the fact that there was way too much animal access.  He found two "flat cats" in the bin (old dried up dessicated dead cats) and was not sure what to do with them.  I told him I had found lots of those all over the farm and I had no idea what killed the cats. 

The chute was made out of tongue and groove one inch thick boards.  They were only 2.5 inches wide and so incredibly old.  All of the one inch board cracked and splintered every time we tried to salvage it.  We finally gave up and it went much faster. 

I had to go in and totally tighten and adjust the intersection of two doors.  Both doors did not operate well, causing me to take the loose nails out of the hinges and reinstall them with screws.  I had to use lots of WD-40 to loosen up the hinges and clips to hold the doors closed.  One support had shrunk by 1.25 inches so I had to add a spacer.  I put screws in everywhere to tighten the whole thing.  It worked very well.  I just need to add a latch to keep the granary door closed.  Most likely I will use one of the horseshoe chains I had made to keep the door shut. 

Reworked gates.
Partially dismantled grain chute
 I decided to cut the doorway for the tack room today.  This will allow us to clean out all the old grain and install a ceiling.  To get at the wall we had to move the old grain cracker out.  It is on a wooden sled like arrangement.  Again, the tractor came into play, we hooked a chain up and attempted to yard it out of the barn.  It would not budge.  I had to give it a few running attempts to get the thing dislodged and moving.  Once it was out of the way we started to clean up the floor and cut the door for the tack room.  There is about 1.5 feet of grain left in the bottom of the granary.  I started to shovel some of it out, but it is going to take several hours to get it all out. 

Belt driven grain cracker for old tractor PTO drive was in barn, "Young Giant"
The granary had several metal cables welded to rod bolted through large beams all around the granary to keep it from expanding outwards.  We took down all the low ones today.  Once I get a second story floor in place we will remove the higher ones.  Because of the need to open up the granary we just started cutting into the wall of the second granary tower.  It is "L" shaped and sixteen feet high.  I am going to make two rooms from it.  One will be on the bottom floor and an attic room above it.  The attic room will have to be accessed by a ladder most likely.  This will be a home for those things that we don't want to get rid of, don't know what they are or just don't need, but cannot dispose of them.  Or it will be a place to store my good wood until I can get around to it.  I am betting good wood storage area.

"L" shaped granary.
If you look near the entire length of the top of the picture, you will see a large 6x6 inch beam.  There was one low also, but we hooked a chain onto it and jerked it out with the tractor.  It broke in half, but will still be useable for framing in my doorways into the "L".  We will take out the upper one next week after getting the cables removed from them.  Surprisingly, the cables were easy to remove, the nuts came right off with a little wire brushing and WD-40.   Reagan's job for tomorrow is just to clean out all the barn.  Throw out all the wood (junk to the left of the door outside and reusable to the right), shovel out all the dust and grain.  Make the place look good. 

Barn entrance, tack room just to the left, future stairs.

Future tack room