Thursday, May 12, 2016

Upper Goose Pond Cabin Gets a New Porch Deck

Well, it's been awhile, but winter's over (what we had of it) and spring is in full bloom!  Time to get back to some fun in the woods on the Mass sections of the AT.  If you've been to Upper Goose Pond cabin in the last couple of years you may have noticed that the porch decking was none to healthy in spots.  So while last year's big project was up above ( a new roof for the cabin), this year it was time to pay attention to the deck. 

Over the last few weeks, Pete procured the materials and applied stain to them in his driveway in preparation for this weeks series of days to actually do the work.  On Tuesday, we lashed our canoes together to make our catamaran barge and loaded the new decking and materials for the cabin opening into the barge at Leisure Lees dock.  With a fair wind it was an easy trip back to Upper Goose Pond (sorry no photos of this we were to busy enjoying the scenery and the beautiful day) where we unloaded the wood, propane cylinders, bags of sawdust for privy duff, etc.  While Pete, Jim N, Jim P and Joann were loading and transporting the materials, Cosmo was starting removal of the old decking.  Our new battery powered circular saw sure did help with this chore.  After lunch with all hands at it the old deck was soon history as shown below.

The rest of the day was spent prepping the joists for the new deck boards, lugging the new boards up from the beach on the pond, clearing away the big pile of pieces of old decking and carefully fitting the first board.  It was critical to get this board right or suffer the consequences of misaligned boards as the decking progressed.  Here's a picture of Pete fitting the first board.

By the end of the first day we had ~1/4 of the new boards down and things were looking pretty good.

Wednesday, Jim arrived a bit early and went to work on crafting sisters for the joist ends at the center beam of the porch.  Five of the six needed sistering as the old joist ends were either rotted or not well supported on the center beam.  Our crew of Pete and Deena installing new deck planks were joined by a new volunteer, Tim, who came in from Boston and helped with cutting and fitting the planks speeding up the process.  Below is a shot of the crew about mid afternoon showing great progress.

By end of day 2 we had progressed with the new decking all the way across the doorway.

Thursday, Jim was again at it early, meeting a north bound thru hiker who had just left the cabin after spending the night on the partially completed new porch deck!  This time the attention was to the north end of the joists and the 2 X 10 pressure treated frame.  The frame was leaning out on top by a substantial amount and the gap between the new pressure treated frame and the original framing was filled with mouse treasures, mostly acorns.  All was resolved by fishing the debris out with a paint stick and a hack saw blade, addition of some blocking and sistering 5 of the beam ends.  Lastly, timberloks were screwed into the upper part of the canted frame bringing it back to near vertical position and tightly up to the old framing.  While this was going on, Dan and Deena were quickly nailing down the new boards and it wasn't long before the new deck boards were reaching the end.

A quick count of our remaining supply of boards confirmed we had enough to reach the end and our measurements confirmed that the last board would be less than 1/4" out of parallel with the edge of the deck frame.  Pete meanwhile was busy putting the trim boards back around the posts. 

After some fiddling, fitting and cutting the last board was nailed home!

After finishing up the odds and ends including trimming the board ends, staining the raw ends, sweeping, picking up our tools, etc. it was time for a picture of the satisfied crew on the newly finished deck!

A great job well done that will last many years!  Great bunch of volunteers and good fun was had by all.   Thanks to all who pitched in.

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