I need a little help. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I need a little help.

Hello everyone.
I've lived on a farm my whole life, and have always been a confident, and competent woodworker.
Last year, I suffered a TBI which resulted in a bout of frequent seizures. They are relatively controlled nowadays with meds, so I'm fine.
However, conceptualizing numbers doesnt work for me anymore. Its hard to explain. I know what numbers are, but doing mental-math is completely broken. Even measuring cups of flour one after another doesnt work. I forget where I am in the process.
I can still read a tape-measure and make cuts one at a time, but I can't plan at all anymore.

Basically, I am looking for someone whom I can commission to write up some plans for me. Yes, I will pay.

The most frustrating part is, this isnt even a complicated project, at all. But when I try to write out measurements and angles, I go blank. It will only take a day to frame and sheathe it. Small build. Honestly, I could probably just eyeball everything and have it turn out fine, but thats not the right way to get it done.

Anyone willing to help me out so I can get back to building?
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...Hello everyone...I've lived on a farm my whole life, and have always been a confident, and competent woodworker...Last year, I suffered a TBI which resulted in a bout of frequent seizures. They are relatively controlled nowadays with meds, so I'm fine.
Dear Jack,

Welcome to the group!!! I would also promise you from my own very bad TBI in 1997 that it will get better than it is now, just be patient with yourself...

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...However, conceptualizing numbers doesnt work for me anymore. Its hard to explain. I know what numbers are, but doing mental-math is completely broken. Even measuring cups of flour one after another doesnt work. I forget where I am in the process. I can still read a tape-measure and make cuts one at a time, but I can't plan at all anymore.
First...don't try to "use numbers" at this time outside of "therapy." It can be both exhausting to you physically and depressing psychologically which leads to other issues you don't need or want...Again, be tolerant with yourself...

If you can use a calculator at this time it will become your best friend, as will the graphic schematics that are necessary to make there "meanings" significant...This speaks to you knowing "where" you are "in the process." I am glad to go into more detail as time goes on with you trying to get back into woodworking again. You have to "relearn" your approach to it...and...you probably are going to find "tradtional methods" of more use now than before for a number of reasons...

The primary reason I was able to still timber frame, is the methods I use are traditional. Because they are traditional they also tend to be empirical in nature as well. As an example, my first dozen frames I was part of, and the first I designed and built myself...never involved a "tape measure" or numbers as we think of them today. Woodworking of the past seldom needed "measuring" and "numbers" as we think of them today...per se...but relied more on geometric proportionality, golden mean/section, and...just simply...the way it "looks" to you the designer, builder and user of the item made...

As to Planing, you may require outside assistance and/or "outlining" for you to get going again. That to is achievable, but I can't speak to it more now other than generically...Lets see where things go, what you want (and expect?) of your self and the first few projects you try to tackle...

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...Basically, I am looking for someone whom I can commission to write up some plans for me. Yes, I will pay.
I'm not sure Brother...if ethically I would be comfortable taking your money without know more first, and help further...YOU!!!...dealing with becoming the "new person" you now must become to surmount the challenge life has put before you. I do design professionally and if you actually need my services in design...then, and only then would I ever consider remuneration of any kind...Let's see where it goes?

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...The most frustrating part is, this isnt even a complicated project, at all. But when I try to write out measurements and angles, I go blank. It will only take a day to frame and sheathe it. Small build. Honestly, I could probably just eyeball everything and have it turn out fine, but thats not the right way to get it done.
Actally Jack, "eyeballing" it is the "right way" of doing it, and the way it was done for millenia and many of us still know how to do it today...and...do it well. I would rather see you try, and fail a few times than give up. You can make huge gains in your own healing process by taking the step to challenge yourself like this...and...there are many out here that would love to support you in this process...

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...Anyone willing to help me out so I can get back to building?
I will, and many others here to (and else where) can be made available to you...Give us an idea of the project in question with any photo examples of similar objects/architecture like it you can find?

Again, welcome...

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 08:23 PM
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Start out small .....

I would suggest building a bird house or on a slightly larger scale, a dog house. If you don't have a dog it would make a nice gift to a friend or a rescue shelter.



I would suggest making patterns in cardboard first. If you own a "T" square and the 2 triangles 45 degrees and 30/60 degrees they will come in handy for drawing verticals and slopes. The patterns can be traced onto plywood for the final build. They can be taped together as a mock up to see how things fit, like the dog ..... and the proportions. Dogs like to get up high, lay down or just look around. A slightly sloped roof would allow them this option as opposed to a steep gable roof, OR a flat platform resting on top of a gable roof needed for shedding snow or rain. That's my suggestion.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 08:37 PM
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It's not necessary to hire someone to make plans for you. We would be happy to help you. Just post a picture or sketch of what you wish to build with some dimensions.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 09:09 PM
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Not sure how much I could help but I certainly would try if asked. I live in a house full of people with brain issues. Two of us have had brain surgery to remove liaisons and our daughter who suffered a severe tbi in a bad car accident. Each of us have different challenges and degree of challenges as a result. If nothing else I, at least, have some understanding of what you are dealing with.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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I understand where you are coming from, it is good to see you reaching out to this community, I recently lost a bother from other complications but he also suffered from a BTI for the last couple years due to an auto accident. He never figured out that it was okay to admit that he had limitations and sometimes needed help. I am sure there are many of us that will do what we can to get you back on track.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-24-2019, 09:24 AM
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You shared a most touching story. Hoping that your issues will improve as time goes on. I'm far from an expert in WWing but the response by the members is one reason I keep in touch with this forum, even just to scan through the threads and learn from them. They are helpful and, as evidenced, a caring bunch of people.

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-24-2019, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Wow. I honestly didnt expect this much kindness. You all have my gratitude.

Jay C. White Cloud.
Thanks, bud. Yeah, I'm hoping I heal up, in time. I could have been much worse-off than I am.
You served me a bit of bitter medicine which I was half hoping for, and half dreading, but definitely needed. I just need to get it done. To be perfectly honest, I came looking for plans because I didn't want to have to ask people I know. Its just stubborn pride.

I know how to build it. I know the steps. I can build it all in my head, minus measurements. But when I think about certain measurements and angles that would normally be second-nature to me - no different than tying my shoes - there is a big blank-spot in my head. Incredibly frustrating.

Im sure I could wing-it and get it done, maybe not perfect, but structurally sound. My only fear is wasting money on lumber from my flubs. Though, this might be... no, it is... something of an excuse.

Hooo boy. Alright. I'll eyeball it and get it done.


By the way. I'm building a new duck-coop.
I know it might seem a little silly making this much fuss over something as small as a coop, but this is something of a challenge I've been putting off for months.

Basically, this is what I am thinking.
A-frame, 8-feet equal on each side and bottom of the triangle. 12 feet deep. 2x4 frame, quarter-inch ply sheathing. All pressure-treated. Why? I'm gonna seal it with roof-cement and bury it. :D
The idea of making a hobbit-hole for my ducks got me excited to build something again, so I latched onto it.
The front and back will be exposed from the hill, with doors on each end so bedding can be shoved out the other end. I'm thinking of laying down linoleum on the floor for easy washing, and adding a drain to the bottom.
Im making it so tall because it kills my wife's back to bend over to get into our current coop, which is also getting old.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-24-2019, 03:05 PM
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Glad you came...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...Jay C. White Cloud...Thanks, bud. Yeah, I'm hoping I heal up, in time. I could have been much worse-off than I am...You served me a bit of bitter medicine which I was half hoping for, and half dreading, but definitely needed. I just need to get it done. To be perfectly honest, I came looking for plans because I didn't want to have to ask people I know. Its just stubborn pride. ...
Hi Jack,

First, you are more than welcome. I would literally not be alive if it wasn't for the friends (new and old) and family that gathered around me when I was injured.

As to "stubborn pride"...well???...if your a "woodworker" you are, to one degree or another, driven to create with your hands. That alone tends to be inherent to people with independent personalities. So, your desire not to..."ask people,"...you know is perfectly natural. I would suggest, its also probably a good thing for you psyche. I (we here on the forum) have no vested interest in placating you or giving you the answers you may want, but rather (by the circumstances alone) giving you the solutions you probably can use best...

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
... I know how to build it. I know the steps. I can build it all in my head, minus measurements. But when I think about certain measurements and angles that would normally be second-nature to me - no different than tying my shoes - there is a big blank-spot in my head. Incredibly frustrating...
That is very typical Jack, and in the beginning it can be very frustrating to be sure. However, we don't yet know "what gifts" may also come with this TBI? Most of us just learn to reconfigure our lives, while some actually gain certain abilities they never had before, like music, art, mathematics, or less tangible aspects like higher emotional cognition.

Again, your frustration is to be expected, but try to let it go and put it to the side within your mind. Focus soul on the task before you and little to nothing else. That "blank-spot" will become much smaller as you retrain you mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...Im sure I could wing-it and get it done, maybe not perfect, but structurally sound. My only fear is wasting money on lumber from my flubs. Though, this might be... no, it is... something of an excuse. Hooo boy. Alright. I'll eyeball it and get it done...
If this is something that would cost thousands, then I could understand a strong reservation to not wanting to "waste time and money," with such errors. However, you have now come to a place like this forum. With this support you have a network for not only organizational aspects of the project's process, but a broad "sounding board" to specifics details as well. This then augments your own thinking, and just leaves you to the task of "building" the project...with patients, and focus...for not only the project its self...but you too!!!

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...By the way. I'm building a new duck-coop. I know it might seem a little silly making this much fuss over something as small as a coop, but this is something of a challenge I've been putting off for months. ...


Well, that isn't silly at all...!!!

I work professionally as a Designer, Timberwright and Traditional woodworker. The shop I work in (and its owner) is also a traditional farmer. Part of the reason we work together is our "outside interests," one being sustainable agriculture, and traditional living.

Ducks (most likely Indian Runners for the eggs, and some Muscovy and Geese for meat) will be gotten this year for the farms production augmentation of meat chicken, turkey and pig.

Helping you with a design of a Duck Coop is awesome and something that we (and others) could possibly use!!!

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
... Basically, this is what I am thinking.
A-frame, 8-feet equal on each side and bottom of the triangle. 12 feet deep. 2x4 frame, quarter-inch ply sheathing. All pressure-treated. Why? I'm gonna seal it with roof-cement and bury it. :D
The idea of making a hobbit-hole for my ducks got me excited to build something again, so I latched onto it.
The front and back will be exposed from the hill, with doors on each end so bedding can be shoved out the other end. I'm thinking of laying down linoleum on the floor for easy washing, and adding a drain to the bottom.
Im making it so tall because it kills my wife's back to bend over to get into our current coop, which is also getting old ...

I like the general concept very much. I even know of several traditional vernacular buildings for animals like this...

I do have some concerns about the load on the roof from the back fill, durability of materials over time as I don't believe it would last much longer than a few years before structural comprise would start to take place within the roof/wall diaphragm of the structure? These concerns and others can all be addressed though (I think) and still not change too much the design and goal for a very exciting project!!!

I got myself a cup of coffee and blew out a quick model for you to see and consider. (See image below) I am also wondering if you have a piece of equipment that will excavate the bank you intend on placing the Coop...or...do you plan on digging it by hand?


Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-24-2019, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Jay.

Thats a killer model you made. In my head, I imagined the perimeter of the floor to be a box of doubled up 2x4s, but I really like your model.
I think I'll use your model, but add a ridge beam, a few purlins and collar ties.
Your point about structural longevity under the weight is more than fair. What do you think about increasing the sheathing thickness to 3/4" and adding king-sttuds on the edges and in the center?

And I have a tractor, but I'd rather grab a shovel with my sons and put us all to work. Its good for ya. :)

Also, regarding drainage, that wont be a problem. My property is near limestone quarries, and it is built on the edge of a "Test hole" dug back in the 50's when they were prospecting. The coop will be very close to the test-hole.

I've been curious about raising geese (and emu, honestly), but the missus is in love with our Muscovies. Great eggs, the best meat, and SO DAMNED HARDY. Years back, when my flock was mixed chickens and ducks, i had a fox come and kill my head roo in the front yard. My wife saw the drakes fighting it when she let the dogs out.
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-24-2019, 08:30 PM
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...Thats a killer model you made. In my head, I imagined the perimeter of the floor to be a box of doubled up 2x4s, but I really like your model. ...
Hi Jack,

Thank you...I'm glad you liked it...

Its a lot easier now days to "design" and share with folks than it once was. Just this simple conversation about a good design for a Duck Coop would have taken days if not weeks to have by letters. Even in person, "back in the day" I wouldn't be able to access the information I have and relay it graphically as fast I can now.

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Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
...I think I'll use your model, but add a ridge beam, a few purlins and collar ties.
Your point about structural longevity under the weight is more than fair. What do you think about increasing the sheathing thickness to 3/4" and adding king-sttuds on the edges and in the center? ...
A "ridge beam" is an excellent addition. It goes in hand with what I began thinking about the design from the moment I read your first description.

The vernacular versions of this structure are (of course) not built with modern 2x "sticks" but actual timber or log members. With me doing "what I do" I can hardly bring myself to design with 2x stock...LOL......and immediately go to "timber frame" for anything architectural...

Your project is no different, at least in my head and in the tradtional format as well. The benefits of this are many. The wood is usually less expensive (by the board foot) so even if there is more board footage, it often cost less. The structure can be made to last longer, does not require hardware to keep it all together (or very little of it) and is a much more robust armature to resist any types of loading it is subjected to...just to name a few.

I like all your additional ideas as well. Before I take the time to render them graphically, would you be open to building this as a Timber Frame? I can share, from experience, that it is really not that much more difficult to build in the grander scheme of things, and most find the experience more rewarding as well. It can take a wee bit longer to cut the joinery, but putting it together is much faster...Let me know what you think? I'm fine helping with it as 2x stock if you not...

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...And I have a tractor, but I'd rather grab a shovel with my sons and put us all to work. Its good for ya. :) ...
That perspective, both as a father, and as a teacher, I could not find more pleasing. Time with our children like this are irreplaceable and too few!!! I also don't think a structure this size would take that long at all to "dig in" with two of you working...

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...Also, regarding drainage, that wont be a problem. My property is near limestone quarries, and it is built on the edge of a "Test hole" dug back in the 50's when they were prospecting. The coop will be very close to the test-hole. ...
That is fantastic, and means you have plenty of stone around your property as well I will presume? It goes in hand with the work I do as well. All my designs sit on stone foundations, and it would be nice to see yours sit on the same as well. Stone foundations really are the "bed rock" of good architecture...pun intended...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Davids View Post
... I've been curious about raising geese (and emu, honestly), but the missus is in love with our Muscovies. Great eggs, the best meat, and SO DAMNED HARDY. Years back, when my flock was mixed chickens and ducks, i had a fox come and kill my head roo in the front yard. My wife saw the drakes fighting it when she let the dogs out....
My drake (a large "wild caught" black from Florida) that I use to have not only killed cats, but anything else that got near his hens!!! Raccoons and other unwelcome critters all got run off by him. At over 40 pounds he could really mess up a marauding miscreants day...LOL...

The are my favorite "duck" (but not a duck) in the world. They have meat more like beef than duck in many ways and when feed clean feed before harvest are some of the best eating animals out there...at least to me...

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-25-2019, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Jack,

Thank you...I'm glad you liked it...

Its a lot easier now days to "design" and share with folks than it once was. Just this simple conversation about a good design for a Duck Coop would have taken days if not weeks to have by letters. Even in person, "back in the day" I wouldn't be able to access the information I have and relay it graphically as fast I can now.
For sure. I imagine whatever program you are using is a great resource once you have its' mechanics down.

Quote:
A "ridge beam" is an excellent addition. It goes in hand with what I began thinking about the design from the moment I read your first description.

The vernacular versions of this structure are (of course) not built with modern 2x "sticks" but actual timber or log members. With me doing "what I do" I can hardly bring myself to design with 2x stock...LOL......and immediately go to "timber frame" for anything architectural...

Your project is no different, at least in my head and in the tradtional format as well. The benefits of this are many. The wood is usually less expensive (by the board foot) so even if there is more board footage, it often cost less. The structure can be made to last longer, does not require hardware to keep it all together (or very little of it) and is a much more robust armature to resist any types of loading it is subjected to...just to name a few.

I like all your additional ideas as well. Before I take the time to render them graphically, would you be open to building this as a Timber Frame? I can share, from experience, that it is really not that much more difficult to build in the grander scheme of things, and most find the experience more rewarding as well. It can take a wee bit longer to cut the joinery, but putting it together is much faster...Let me know what you think? I'm fine helping with it as 2x stock if you not...
I wont say that I'm not interested in trying timber-framing. Though I am apprehensive about the joinery, what measurements/angles that would entail. With modern lumber, its just real easy to cut your 45s, 60s, etc and know that your wood is uniform, and will fit. But, seeing how this will be a challenge anyway... I am open to it. Could you tell me more about it? If I still bury the structure, would the timber not be more prone to rot?
By the way, I live in North Florida, so there is very high humidity, here.


Quote:
That perspective, both as a father, and as a teacher, I could not find more pleasing. Time with our children like this are irreplaceable and too few!!! I also don't think a structure this size would take that long at all to "dig in" with two of you working...
I feel the same. Fatherhood seems to be a neglected practice, these days, so I do my best by mine.

Quote:
That is fantastic, and means you have plenty of stone around your property as well I will presume? It goes in hand with the work I do as well. All my designs sit on stone foundations, and it would be nice to see yours sit on the same as well. Stone foundations really are the "bed rock" of good architecture...pun intended...
Lol. Nice. And yeah, I can practically go pickaxe as much limestone as I need from around my area.

Quote:
My drake (a large "wild caught" black from Florida) that I use to have not only killed cats, but anything else that got near his hens!!! Raccoons and other unwelcome critters all got run off by him. At over 40 pounds he could really mess up a marauding miscreants day...LOL...

The are my favorite "duck" (but not a duck) in the world. They have meat more like beef than duck in many ways and when feed clean feed before harvest are some of the best eating animals out there...at least to me...
Your WHAT was 40lbs???
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-27-2019, 11:10 PM
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Hey Jack,

I didn't get an update that you had responded...Sorry.

I will get you a quick sketch tomorrow or this weekend...if that good for you?

j

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Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-28-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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For sure, Bud. You are doing me a favor! It is at your convenience! :)
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-04-2019, 11:56 PM
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For sure, Bud. You are doing me a favor! It is at your convenience! :)
Sorry for the wait Jack...Here is a 4"x6" stock version that is just a tad larger than your original plan to accommodate the joinery and loads this frame will see being under ground...Let me know if you think you would like to go this route? I can then flesh it out further if you do wish to try it...

Regards,

j


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Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-05-2019, 12:57 PM
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Jack,

Please tell us where you are located. Not the street address, but the City, State. One of us might be close enough to come by and help you build this, mostly by just being there for you as you work through this. Doing it will help you in your recovery by giving you confidence again. I do much better when someone else is with me, even if it's just someone to talk to who also holds things in place for me. My wife isn't right for this, so I tried at first to get my #2 son to help. Unfortunately, he now gets impatient with me working too slow now and takes over. I'm 77 and have many other health issues, but I still enjoy making things, even if it takes me longer than it once did.

I too had a similar brain problem from an infection that destroyed my short term memory. In the last 30 years since then I have managed to improve to the point that no one realizes my problem any more, but it's not completely gone. I'm doing much better, but I've just learned ways to work around the problems that I still have. Numbers and calculations are still difficult for me, to the point that I won't trust myself to try to do my income taxes, but I can now do most of the calculations needed to build things. I just sometimes need to do them several times over before I trust my answers.

Charley
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