The Project

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This was one of those projects that started as a casual discussion, then I started looking at the space, and the materials on hand, and decided I could do it right there and then.

The idea started with wanting to put a shade structure over the weights that we have outdoors, but if I put a shade structure where the weights were, it would block our view of the mountains.  I decided that if I cleaned up the junk on the side of the shed, I could put up the shade structure we had over the deck for years, until I cut down trees and remodeled the deck in 2008.  Between rain showers, and with a little help getting the roof on, the project is complete — not bad for a day and a half worth of hard labor, and zero trips to the hardware store.

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From 2003 to 2008, the shade structure now over the weights covered part of our deck, providing filtered light for our bonsai trees in the summertime (Tristan painted the design on the main support). Large crabapple trees provided shade over the rest of the deck, but the crabapple trees were old and dying, so I cut them down, took out the shade structure, and put a canopy over the deck. We put an outdoor kitchen where the bonsai shelf is in the above photo.

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I also decided to take down the power pole that was installed in 1963. It had rotted out and about fell over in 2004. The power company told me the pole was my problem, so I propped it up with an old railroad tie.  We got an electrical upgrade in 2013, so the pole has been standing, unused for the past three years, but I hadn’t gotten around to taking it down. I had to cut the top half off first so it wouldn’t smash a couple of rose bushes when it fell over.

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After I took out the long bolts I used to secure the power pole to the railroad tie, it started to fall over after a little push.

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After a bigger push it lingered at 45 degrees, held up by some other supports I had driven into the ground in 2004. It finally went down, but the railroad tie was difficult to remove because of the creosote, which made it hard and dense.  When I finally got it cut down, the 6 feet of railroad tie weighed as much as the power pole.

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View of the frame for the shade structure without the power pole (compare it to the view in the first photo).

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We had set the roof to the shade structure along the south side of the property after I took it down in 2008. Many elm trees had grown up through the spaces between the slats. I cut down all the elm trees growing through the roof when I cut out a few hundred trees along that side of the property some weeks ago (you can see where the porcupines have been eating the bark of the elm trees in the background).  The problem was how to get the roof over to the frame, and then up on top of the frame.

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I talked a couple of cute, blue haired beauties (Jamie and Tristan) and Laurie into helping me carry the roof over to the frame, but it was too heavy for us to lift with all the slats on it.

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I removed all but five of the slats and then Tristan and I were able to lift the roof up and get it in place on top of the frame.

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I put all the slats back on the roof after I secured the roof to the frame. It was a lot of screwing as I had to take out 180 screws to remove the 9 slats, and put 180 screws back in to put them back on.

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After I got all the slats back on, I leveled the ground and moved the weights and equipment under the rebuilt shade structure.

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24 thoughts on “The Project

  1. Zero trips to the hardware store? That alone is incredible. (For most of my projects, I consider myself lucky if I get away with less than 3 trips.) Nice work with the project — clearly it was a productive day for you!

    • Thanks, Lavinia! We are happy to put the shade structure back into use. I was really beautiful over the deck, but one the crabapple trees started dying, I had to change the deck layout.

  2. Glad to know I’m not the only one with “odds and ends” outside. (Odds and ends sound better than junk, LOL.) My dad is another one who knows how to fashion something functional out of scrap lumber, salvaged nails, bolts and nuts, etc. I’m sure my dad would find a use for that section of power pole you took down. (Would make for the perfect scratching post for your cats.)

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