The progress of a project: Bobby Evans reports on Skinner Cabin session 2
The progress of a project: Bobby Evans reports on Skinner Cabin session 2

The progress of a project: Bobby Evans reports on Skinner Cabin session 2

Bobby Evans is on-site at Skinner Cabin, right near his hometown of Fruita, CO. A long-time volunteer, Bobby graciously accepted the task of blogging and photographing the project from start to finish.  Here’s his recap of week two on the project:

Tuesday, September 20

juniper-roof-beams-beforejuniper-roof-beams-afterLogs, logs, and logs.

[How do you build a roof?  Very carefully, with plenty of safety protocols and lots of teamwork! See the process below.]

The first photos on the left show the before and after of hand-worked roof beams. They are not required to be pretty just flat enough to not roll when installed. The type of wood used for the beams is juniper.

The next photos show moving the purlins into position. [“A purlin is used to support the rafters between the plate and the ridge of a roof. A purlin is a horizontal or longitudinal member in a roof frame.”]











Thursday, September 22

[Volunteers are getting plenty of work done despite the weatherbrent-martin-and-sean-mcconnell – it’s been pretty windy and dusty out at the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, and rain came through the area at some points. But our volunteers are a hardy bunch and kept working despite these minor setbacks!]

In this first photo, volunteers Brent Martin of Iowa and Sean McConville of Fruita share a moment of levity. Well almost levity – in the distance, there’s a rain squall obscuring the Book Cliffs!

Next, we see the duo blocking the purlin into place before mortaring it in permanent position. Fellow volunteer Mike Pascucci works around the corner, delicately pointing the mortar between stones.







In the meantime, Katie Morrison, foreground, and Sharon jon-williams-sets-the-sill-into-mortar-bedkate-morrison-and-sharon-leiterman-mortar-pointingLeiterman, background, are doing the tedious, vital pointing, tucking mortar into the joints to finish the stonework. The final photo shows site supervisor Jon carefully setting the sill into mortar bed.

[This project is a team effort, for sure – everyone was happy to pitch in doing various tasks, every person performing a vital activity for restoration.] At the same time you could have Katie Morrison coaching Bill Yett of Delta Colorado on what needs to be done to roofing logs; Sean and crew leader Eric finessing a purlin into place; or Jon working out the finished roof angle.


14470389_1277533735610593_2485427312397711309_nThursday the BLM fire crew delivered  thirty-four more juniper logs, easing our concerns about having enough roofing material. Here’s a photo showing the BLM fire crew teaching logs to fly (aka unloading another 34 logs for roofing members). Each one gets worked over with adz and drawknife.

[Check out Bobby’s first blog post to see how volunteers take logs from their natural state to ready-to-use for construction purposes. Click the link here to read up on session one!]


Friday, September 23

As of Friday field staff members Jon and Eric were well pleased with the progress. 14502760_1277533948943905_6992382594869281721_n-1To show his appreciation for all the hard work volunteers are doing, Collin Ewing brought two one-dozen boxes of fresh donuts for an end-of-week mid-morning pick-me-up.

Work still continued on this last day of session two: laying the sill course, Kathy Martin pointing interior masonry, Jerry and Sean finishing up chimney work.

In this final photo, I am hand-dadoing a sill beam. The dado is a channel two inches wide, half inch deep and up to eight feet long – hand chiseled into the wood.












Saturday, September 24

Saturday I was on site working with BLM and Colorado  Canyons Association installing fence posts. Attending were McInnis Canyons Manager Collin Ewing and BLM Archaeologist Natalie Clark whom were both extremely  pleased with  the progress.

Here’s a before-and-after, east elevation upon arrival session one:
And here’s how the crumbling east wall looks now (photos on bottom). Black plastic is used to keep sill mud from drying too fast: