I don’t know what the bigger job was, making the wooden wall for the second floor, or getting the timber up to the building sight. Our street was made hundreds of years ago when the only way of transport was a donkey or in the case of being rich and noble, a horse. Even though the Templar Knights were thinking big, they never could have imagined huge trucks, cranes and bulldozers. I had to go and pick up the wood myself at my supplier and it took 4 rides with my (Iveco) van to get from there to the hilltop. Being on a tight budget meant using standard 260 cm long Eucalyptus planks again.
Normally these are used to make moldings for concrete and scaffolding boards over here, and that’s why my supplier, who lives a few villages away, always keeps stock. Now, they’re not all the same, the thickness is more or less 28 mm, but they come between 8 and 30 or more centimeters wide. You just buy per square meter, and have to work with whatever size is there.
What was I thinking when I made the whole wall in one piece, laying down on the second floor… I did it because it gave me the opportunity to lay out all the planks, combining small and bigger ones. Because of the wood being fresh I made sure to overlap a good 3 cm on both sides (witch in some cases even turned out “just enough” after it dried out) There was also the connecting roof to consider, so the outside bottom of the wall had to be in a 10 degree angle. In all, I just made it according the plans in my head….
After a few attempts with some ropes, a carjack and some supporting beams, it just wouldn’t move. Luckily I have someone looking out for me and she decided to call some friends…. 10 minutes later the wall stood straight up.
Having the wall in it’s place, time came to fill the gabs between the wood and the old walls. Maybe it’s just the other way around from how such a process would normally take place, but using random sized and shaped stones it’s just easier to have a guiding surface on both sides.
Now, there’s one issue to be explained. Why not make the whole building out of stone…. Portuguese laws would force me to get a permit for any new constructive alterations, but… they don’t see wood as a permanent material (you can still build a house out of timber without getting any “aviso” (permit), I already stretched the rules by putting up one wall on the front, so… that’s the answer to that.
Walls that have survived hundreds of years, now suddenly are considered structural unsafe, although there are aquaducts in the vicinity that were build 800 years ago, without using any cement, and are still standing tall, sometimes up to a 100 meters high.
No, they want you to use inferior hollow bricks and concrete pillars….. (but are there any building regulations that make any sense, made by some clerk behind a desk)
Next time; Putting on a roof.
-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal http://www.notjustsawdust.com