Wall Form Loadout and the Beginnings of a Hobbit House Roof!

Ah yes, if a Hobbit house were only a little simpler. As a friend of mine said” If it was easy somebody would have already completed one”. So here we are fans of Middle Earth on the precipice of doing something big and not having the time to do it. Or as Gandalf once said, “300 lives of men  I lived and now I have no time.” But I am not alone in this respect and I realize that. I knew this was coming and now that it is here it’s still hard for me. I wish I had more time.

But we are here. We have finally reached one of the most interesting parts of the Hobbit house project. The roof. So many people have asked me how I did the roof for the Hobbit shed I can’t begin to tell you. I didn’t tell them either because it is kind of a complex thing to explain in a few words. So I will be taking quite a few weeks to put this all together for you going one step at a time….

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here either. This weekend we got rid of all the symmons forms we used to form out the walls. The whole thing was a little dicey all week. I wasn’t sure I was going to get the EDC truck for Saturday and I wasn’t sure I would get any help loading the truck either. My son Jude and his friends all play football for the most part and they had a 1:30 home game Saturday. (It was a pretty good first game of the season. They lost but they have  some potential .There were  a couple of broken plays and a few penalties they had on big plays that hurt them. I think they will do fine though.) I had Terence and his friend Peter help and Jude was able to get Mikey, Zack, and Taylor to help as well. It was a tough job and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

I picked up Peter at 7:30 and drove over to the house. Peter is a hard guy to describe. He has a lot to say about things.  He comes out of his house eating an egg sandwich. Like, an egg sandwich that has only one bite out of it. I mean when you have to go to work in the morning isn’t it just a bowl of Captain Crunch and out the door you go? It smelled good though. Like I said Peter has a lot to say. We get there and he says something like, “Wow this is like some sort of mystical place or something.” I look at this kid and say to myself, “What fourteen year old says stuff like this?” I put him and Terence to work right away. Soon the other three guys-Zack, Mikey,and Taylor show up and I had everybody doing some of the little things that were left undone. No sign of a truck.

At 8:15 I was getting nervous. I had called Friday and confirmed the truck for Saturday morning. Didn’t I???? If this truck gets here really late I’m going to miss this football game and I’m not going to be happy. I give EDC a call. No answer. I call the EDC Bat phone. You know the one that commissioner Gordon uses to get a hold of Batman. Yeah that’s right I have access to the Batphone. Somebody always picks up the Batphone. It’s not commisionner Gordon but Fred from EDC. Fred says, and I quote, “He’s not there yet????!!!!” No Fred why do you think I’m calling. Fred calls back ten minutes later and tells me the guy will be there in ten minutes. Sure enough 10 minutes later the truck is backing in. Praise God!

Just keep in mind Symmons forms weigh in at around 90 pounds a panel and we have close to 160 panels to put on the truck. Maybe more. On top of that the guys loading these forms never did it before and are not used to heavy work like this. So I set it up like this. Two guys on the truck two guys on the ground. Bottom guys stand up the panel and pass it up to the guys on the truck and they stack it. Repeat 160 times. Here they are at the beginning.

form loadaout: Zack and Taylor on the truck Mikey and Terence on the ground.
form loadaout: Zack and Taylor on the truck Mikey and Terence on the ground.

After they did the first two rows of panels we backed the truck up and loaded up again.These guys did a hell of a job and I really appreciated them coming out early on a Saturday morning to help me out. I really don’t know what Iwould have done without them. I would probably still be loading forms onto the truck.

Loadout continues.
Loadout continues.

The beginning was pretty straight forward because all the panels were the same size. The end was tricky. I wasn’t so sure we would get everything on the truck. It was pretty cool though. The truck driver and the kids got into it and started finding homes for all the odds and ends stuff.Here’s a picture at the very end finishing off the loadout.

This truck went back fully loaded.
This truck went back fully loaded.

It took a good 2 and a half hours to load it out. Pretty much what I had figured. We wrapped up just before 11AM.

The Loadout Crew: Mikey,Terence Peter,Taylor, and Zack.
The Loadout Crew: Mikey,Terence Peter,Taylor, and Zack.

Good bye Symmons forms,see you on the next Hobbit house we build!

Thanks to this group of hardworkers we were able to pick up my nephew Luke and make it to the game with time to spare! ( Jude played the whole damn game though. Every single play offense,defense special teams. It was a hot day! I think we may need to have a word with the coaches. Maybe he can be on the sidelines at least for the kick offs?)

On to the roof! The beginnings for the Hobbit House roof I had actually started quite a while ago.(I had started this and then realized I was jumping the gun so I put that on ice til I was ready) Now we’re ready. The first thing you have to do is set up a full scale layout of the roof line. If you read any of the trade journals like “The Journal of Light Construction” or even “Fine Homebuilding” you will find that quite a few master craftsman use full scale layout in their work. Especially guys doing stair railings and the like. It’s very interesting to see how they figure out the minor details and how they get them right by using this step as part of the construction process. I used it when I did my Hobbit shed.

So what does this actually mean? The first thing we have to do is build a table 16 feet by 32 feet. I want to be able to draw the roof and the door to the hobbit house full scale on one sheeet of paper if you will. I began this step on Sunday. I don’t know if you are going to “get” this picture but this is the start of my table.

Beginings of table for full scale layout.
Beginnings of table for full scale layout.

Like I said I had started it in the spring so it kind of got a little overgrown in there. I know a lot of you are probably saying what the heck is that. It will become clearer next week if all goes according to plan. I’m hoping that next weekend I will finish the table and do the layout for the roofline. Once that is done we can start manufacturing the pieces we will need to build the roof.Here’s a picture of the site with the forms gone.

Forms gone Phase three begins.
Forms gone Phase three begins.

One of these days I’m gonna have to figure out the whole phase thing for everyone. I’m too confused right now.

I came across an interesting website over the weekend. I believe its called myhobbithole.mymiddleearth.com. It had some pretty interesting stuff in it if you are interested. Middle Earth fans should get a kick out of it!

Take care and have a great week!

P.S. I think Peter is right…this is a mystical place.





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