Sunday, January 29, 2012

Playhouse Roof! (2012-008)

I got four of the five biggest roof panels up on the trusses today.  I've been concerned for a while about how I was going to do this.  Since the playhouse is 12 feet long, it would seem panels cut to 4 feet and 8 feet could span the length off the roof.  I thought I would need a friend to help me lift up a big 8 foot long panel.  But since the roof hangs a little over the walls, the roof itself is a little longer than 12 feet.  So it actually made sense for me to use three smaller panels that were about 48 and 51 inches long to span the length of the roof, and I was able to lift them up on to the roof by myself.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playhouse Dormer Roof Continued (2012-005)

Today I added reinforcing connections to the roof edges I installed yesterday.  Then I cut and temporarily installed the removable panels.  I need some time to think about how I will make the mounting features under the panels.  I'm glad I could at least temporarily close the dormer roof, because the forecast is for rain by Friday and throughout the weekend.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Playhouse Targa Top (2012-004)

I started building the new dormer roof design today.  I installed the roof edges, which will mate with the removable rigid panels.  The dormer roof will be like the targa top on cars that have a removable rigid roof panel.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Playhouse Dormer Roof Redesign (2012-003)

So I've been redesigning the playhouse dormer roof as I build it, because I have a last minute inspiration to allow the dormer roof to open up to the sky (under adult supervision of course so no body falls out!).  Recently I discovered that Renee enjoys astronomy.  Last month, we took the kids to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.  One of the things we saw was a planetarium show, which displayed the different constellations, and Renee remembered a lot of information from the show.  About five days later when we were driving home at night, Renee recognized the three stars of Orion's Belt in the night sky.  She remembered the story of how Orion the hunter protects the stars of the Seven Sisters.  I am quite impressed that she remembered, so much.

As I sometimes work on the playhouse at night,  I discovered that on a clear night, the playhouse loft has a great view of the stars.  So I plan to build removable roof panels.  Then we can still look up and see the stars.  When the playhouse is done, I'll get a little astronomy telescope for us to star gaze with the kids.  Maybe Renee will grow up to be an astronomer or astrophysicist!

So I sketched the concept below, which I think will work.  It took me a while to figure out how to make the roof relatively easy to open and still keep the roof rain water tight when closed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rafters From Hell

I'm still struggling to get my carpentry mojo back.  I spent about eight hours working on the playhouse, and I still have little to show for it.  But I figured out a way to deal with the compound angle cuts I need for the rafters in the dormer roof.  It won't be pretty.  The joints will have a fair amount of gaps, but they will hold since the dormer roof is so small.  I have most of the wood cut, so that the next time I work on the playhouse, I should get the dormer roof done pretty quickly.  (I hope!)