Squaring the Walls

Now that the walls have been erected, it is time to square everything up. The wall frames contain notches at their corners where support boards will be placed to hold the tops of the walls steady as we build. By setting the upper width equal to the lower width, the wall becomes a rhombus, and slight adjustment will convert it into a square.

These support boards can be seen hanging out beyond the wall frame. They are nailed into place but need to be removed as construction progresses. Nailed boards can be reluctant to release, so the ends hang beyond the frames so we can bang them upwards to remove them at the appropriate time.

Now that the frames are all tied together, it is time to square the structure. The lateral slant was addressed first, then the fore/aft slant was taken care of later. To set the lateral slant, my mom stood at the corner of the structure with a square and measured as my dad and I pushed on the wooden stays to align the walls. The principle is simple, the stays inhibit the walls from falling towards them, and since they are all tied together, the structure is stable. If we needed to go in one direction, we would lift the stays out of the grass on the side we needed to come towards and push on the opposite side. This would pull the frame over and straighten the whole assembly. We oriented the short side first, then the taller side.

To set the fore/aft slant, I tied a bowline to the top of the front wall and led the line to a strong attachment point in the bed of the truck. I tied a bight in the line and formed a truckers hitch which gave me a purchase system to pull the assembly forward in a controlled manner. Once it was square, I tied off the truckers hitch and verified that the structure appears straight in respect to the trailer.

Once both axis were rectified and squared, we began sheathing the structure in 1/2 plywood. This locked the structure into place and prevents any wracking of the frames. As the plywood panels were installed, we began taking down the wooden stays.  

Our next step will be to fully secure the plywood sheathing to all the studs.

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