So, as I said, I had a goal to get the tiny house weather-ready before the first winter storm. It’s kind of irritating how the interesting weather this year has been concentrated on the weekends, but whatever. Anyways, the forecast for this weekend hasn’t changed in the past 2 weeks or so: we’re supposed to get rain all day Saturday, and snow on Sunday, so I took yesterday off and put everything into high gear to get the outside of the tiny house done, since I wouldn’t have any other chance to do it, and still beat my goal.
Here’s what i had on the list:
- Build the second swing wall.
- Finish and install the opposite-side big window.
The window bit was the easy stuff so I saved that for last, and concentrated on the swing wall. The first swing wall took me about a week to do (in little bits of time after work here and there), and I expected this second one to take more-or-less the same, but I started out the day with the idea of finishing it in one day (all those bits of after-work time crammed together, plus, waiting for glue to dry).
I built it the same, ripped down the stock to 3″ widths and mitered the corners. One big change I made here from the first effort was that I measured the gap in multiple places and based the swing wall framing dimensions on the smallest dimension. That ended up being 44.75″ x 68.5″, so subtracting 1/4″ from all sides, and the frame would be 44.25″ x 68″, so that’s what I built. Since I wouldn’t be able to open the swing wall all the way, due to the fence on the side of the yard, I had to come up with an alternate method, which basically meant relying entirely on the math. I figured it’d be worth a shot. So, after cutting all the frame pieces, I took the top piece, and clamped it in the center of the gap, measured out for the hinges, triple checked my measurements, and then screwed the hinges in to both the frame, and the top piece of the swing wall. Then I knocked out the hinge pins and proceeded to the construction. I mitered the corners with the plan to glue up the frame – which I did – but I reinforced the corners with corner plates so I could speed up the whole process. I used a 2.5″ wide piece for the vertical support in the center, and 1.5″ for the cross-braces, to save weight.
I also changed the way I built the surfaces for the lock bolts, by putting the back support piece mid-way (see the photo) instead of on the end, so I would only need 2 clamps to glue them (on the X and Z axes) instead of three (on X, Y and Z).
The other major construction difference I made was instead of holding up the siding to the frame, and marking out all the supports, I found the ‘true square corner’ of the siding, measured to its centerline and marked that out, then put the frame on top of it, butting up the siding to the hinges, and checking everything for alignment.
Then I let the glue dry for an hour or so before hoisting it into place and hammering the hinge pins back in and test fit. It fit like a glove, even better than the first swing wall. Who says I can’t learn from my mistakes?? All I had to do was shave off some of the siding from the bottom and one side and then it was a perfect fit. A coat of priming before it got took dark, and I’m ready! Today after work, I’ll throw on the first coat of paint, cut the side trim (which I painted earlier this week), and hopefully the swing wall will be ready for the rains and snows.
The window was easy. I used some more plain pine stock and finished that stuff. There were a couple of bad nail jobs from before, and I pulled them out and did them over. A couple of weatherstripping pieces really suck, and I’ll handle them another time. I mounted the window (and had to pound it in, it was a super tight fit), screwed it to the frame, and then installed the lock bolt. It needs some adjusting to match the swing wall trim, so hopefully I can get that done tonight.
Overall, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. Sure, I’ve only got primer on that swing wall, and I haven’t finished it (needs insulation, and an interior wall), but if it were to rain or snow today, I’m 100% confident it is ready. The rest of the work that my tiny house needs is all interior stuff, so I’m ready for the winter!!