Sunday, June 25, 2006

More Construction - The Garage

Almost as important as the cabin is the garage - and storage. The accumulation of more possessions dictated the need for a garage and storage.

Garage construction is different than cabin construction. Deep foundations, insulation, and interior finishes can be omitted.

A 22 foot by 28 foot garage was built using the thickened edge of the concrete floor as the footing for the load bearing wood frame walls. A compacted sand and gravel fill was placed below the garage slab to support the slab and the garage structure and to keep any frost action from lifting the structure.

Pre-engineered roof trusses were used to span the 22 feet between the exterior bearing walls. A Micro-Lam beam was used over the 8 foot high overhead garage door.

So often the case, the beams over the 16 foot wide garage doors are undesigned. The potential snow loads on any roof are high in our area, as the building code would require up to 46 pounds per square foot of snow for the design of the roof trusses and supporting beams for garages.

Beveled pine boards were used on three sides of the garage and log siding was used on the front of the structure. The log siding recalls the log structure of the cabin. The stain used on the garage is the same as used on the cabin and the roof shingles are also the same. The service door is painted green to match the door to the cabin.

When the floor slab and concrete apron were poured, I was surprised when the contractor did not use any curing method to help cure the concrete. So, I quickly applied a coating of water over the top of the slab and then a covering of contruction plastic was placed over the entire slab. A curing method should have been applied to minimize potential slab cracking of the concrete which happens when a rapid evaporation of the water in the concrete occurs.

Some small cracking did appear in the slab after a number of days. After about a month of curing, a high quality penetrating sealer was applied (Hydrozo Clear 650). This sealer acts as a water repellent sealer which prevents water, salts, acids and freeze - thaw cycles from deteriorating the concrete.

The 220 volt electric wiring was extended from the cabin into the garage. A number of ceiling lights were installed along with a number of electrical outlets. An outlet was installed near the overhead garage door for a future garage door opener.

The garage is a great addition to the property as it provides cover for a boat and motor and a number of other items, such as a work bench and storage, a lawn tractor and small wagon, snow blower, and of course a place for the family automobile.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What Shall We Fish For?

June is a good month for fishing in this northern climate. Our favorite fish is the walleye or walleye pike, a member of the perch family.

The walleye pike is common in the Great Lakes and the Upper Mississippi Valley area. The walleye likes clear water with rocky or sandy lake bottoms. Its size may be anywhere between 2 to 20 pounds. The most common length is 10 to 12 inches. The walleye may be caught with a simple pole and hook. It is easy to catch, and will bite almost on any kind of bait and may be caught any time of the year.

The walleye that weighs about 2 to 3 pounds is the best eating. It has a very pleasant taste for a fish and has few bones.

It is best to fillet the fish before cooking the fish in a fry pan or grilling. My own preference is to grill the fillets.

Of course, northern pike, bass, crappies, etc. are all fun to fish and are good to eat; but walleye pike is the local favorite.
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