Castle Construction in 2007

Early in 2007, I decked level five. The next project was to prepare for the roof cone. Level six is only half of the circle, the other half is open to view the interior of the cone to the peak. To facilitate the installation of the cone, I built temporary walls and a floor system over the void.

Due to the complexity of the cone framing, and the long rafters, I could not imagine how I could build the cone in place. So I built a replica of the top of the tower on the ground. It had the appearance of a small corral. I built a ring that capped the corral, this formed the plate that would sit on top of the towers’ top timbers. Then I placed pipe staging in the center and built a smaller ring of wood, which was placed on top. Due to the height of the tower, the rafters had to be in two sections. Each lower rafter is 20’ long. I notched the first one and slid it up a ladder. Then the subsequent rafters were slid up against each other. Once this 20’ section of the cone (truncated because its top section was not yet built) was finished, I checked into the cost of having a crane lift it to its spot on the tower. A crane large enough to lift it as a completed component (with shingles) was too large to get to the castle. Since I would have to climb the tower to shingle the roof anyway, I thought the expenditure too high.

At this time a previous volunteer, Neil Wasser, wished to help. I gave him the choice of two safer projects but he wanted to help erect the cone. With that as a plan, I deconstructed the cone and winched all of the material to the top of the tower with the jeep. We were ready, except Neil couldn’t come; Robert Oakes again came to the rescue. The two of us were able to recreate what had been done to assemble the cone on the ground. The difference was that we had to hang the rafters over the edge to slide them into place.

After the lower section was installed, we built the upper peak in place. Then the roof sheathing was taper ripped on the table saw and installed by hanging out through the rafters. The lowest pieces that created the roof overhang required many trips up and down the ladders to nail both top and bottom.

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