Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Stable

It all started with an innocent email from my pastor's wife asking if I could build some sort of stable for the Christmas production. After thinking about it for a little while and meeting with her to find out the extent of what she was looking for I agreed.

The first step was to try to find an old barn from which I could scour some materials. I wanted to make it look old and weathered as opposed to building it with new lumber. I remember from when I used to live out in Memramcook that there were several barns that had fallen down over time and on one of my trips out there I found one that I thought could work.

After knocking on 3 different houses, I finally found someone who knew who actually owned the property and he said he'd find out whether I could use some of the wood. The next week I had to go back out to Memramcook so I stopped by his place and he said that I was allowed to take as much as I needed.

The next day I loaded up the van with some demolition tools as well as Nathaniel to go for a little "Bid and Destroy" adventure.

I envisioned the entire stable to be constructed in sections that were small enough to carry and assemble by one person as follows:

Left wall: 3'-6" wide by 5' high
Right wall: 3'-6" wide by 5' high
Back wall bottom: 9' wide by 2'-6" high
Back wall middle: 9' wide by 2'-6" high
Back wall top: 9' wide by 2' high (triangular)
Front support beam: 9'-8" wide by 2' high (6x6 lumber)
Left roof: 4' wide by 5'-6" long
Right roof: 4' wide by 5'-6" long
Hay storage part one: 3' high by 3'-6" wide
Hay storage part two: 3' high by 2' wide

All of these are held together by 37 lag bolts. I designed it in a way that nothing should be confusing and none of the lag bolts could get lost so after everything was taken apart into its sections I drilled 37 holes in the back of the main support beam to store the lag bolts for future use.

The barn in all its glory
View from the inside
Nathaniel scouting out the "woods"
Measuring and cutting up the required lumber with the chain saw
Miss Ellie and Mel came for a visit
Van full of boards and beams
View after I had cut out a bunch of lumber
Back home in my shop after the second load of lumber was just "harvested"
Building the walls first, all in sections that one person could carry and assemble
The cut-out for placing the main roof support beam onto the wall and post
Building the top module of the back wall
One roof section
It's coming together nicely
I had to remove all the cedar shakes from the wobbly section I had cut out of the barn to re-staple them on a new base for the roof
I ended up welding a piece of metal bar to my air powered mini jack hammer to pry the shingles off the old roof
This is about a quarter of all the shingles needed for both roof sections
Starting the build-up of the roof sections, one shingle at a time
Finished roof section
Almost done
After I built a little area for putting hay bales
Some of the larger left-over pieces that I drove back out to the old barn
Lag bolt storage

Lag bolt storage
The bottom two rear wall sections
Rear wall, side wall and roof sections
After it was set up at the church
Another Angle

During the production
Another angle with the wise men
A nice close-up shot


Chain saw, hammer, crow bars, 5' breaker bar, vise, chain saw sharpener, measuring tape, pencil, marker, table saw, mini-jack hammer, air stapler, air compressor, planer, jig saw, reciprocating saw, framing nailer, cordless drill, 1/2" and 5/8" socket and ratchet, chop saw, ladders, drill bits

Old wood from barn, 37 lag bolts, sun bleached wood stain to fix minor imperfections, nails




Looks good, but then again, that's just my opinion


Anonymous said...

Jeff says, It looks great Chris, I liked the video!

mel said...

great job chris! i love you and i love the get back to the list i gave you to do....mawahhhhh

wk-eigenheer said...

Didn't know that all the practice in the old barn and house in switzerland gave so much skils and fun for later on. Congratulation to the realy nice "Betlehem -Stable". Love it . Muetti

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