Finishing the subroadbed – It’s not easy.

Well, had a bit more than a week off in terms of construction due to a nasty flu…anyway, came back and picked up where I left off. Finished cutting the roadbed for the section from the end of the plywood to McCormack Creek (it’s that big hole beside the helix) but problems began arising extremely quickly.

My method for checking the height of the risers has been this: Measure from the floor to ensure an accurate height. Here’s where the problems arose…that wood that I made the pulp mill out of? It had a warp in it. I thought I took care of it…I sat on the bow of it while screwing it in to flatten it down, and used heavier screws and risers than normal. Somehow, the south end still had a 1/2″ sag in it. Made another riser ( visible in the close-up shot of the side of the plywood) that was supposed to raise it to the proper height and try to flatten out the bow. It seemed to work, so I moved on to the rest of the risers, putting cedar cleats on them. Cedar isn’t recommended for this application, but it was the only cheapish 1×1 at my crappy local lumber store, and it smells REALLY good. Anyway, after finishing all the cleats, I come back to discover that there’s a 1/4″ discrepancy between the end of cut roadbed and the plywood. I re-measure the plywood to discover it’s sunk by 1/4″ since I screwed it down. EXTREMELY VERY NOT GOOD. After some investigation, I found that the warping of the wood was so strong (It was 3/4″ ply) that it actually managed to bend the L girder where the web was joined. You can see the bend in the photo, but keep in mind it’s shot from below – it’s worse than it looks.

So now I have to go back and redo 3 or so risers, as well as try to fix this bending benchwork. The plan is to add another pair of braced legs after taking off the plywood sheet. Thing about that is that I screwed it from the top so I could get my weight on it, so I filled in the screw holes with drywall patching stuff. Now I have to dig that up, put more on and sand it down…too much work! I also plan to add about a 5 foot section of 1×3 (or whatever I have for scrap) to the underside of the lip of the girder, going from the plywood to the other side of the join in an attempt to shore it up. Then, with luck, everything will be level and I can move on…



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