Thinking of the best way to level heavy railroad ties was intimidating. Our space had an electrical outlet, 2 thick cement rounds, and mud-management grids attached to 2x4s in the ground. It felt like an obstacle course around on the space.
I started by cutting down two telephone poles that held up the front of the roof on the old goat barn. I tried to chisel down the cement, but it is hard as a rock.
On Thursday 11/11 farmhand Will Burke came over to help by removing wire fencing, digging, and listening to consultations by a handyman (roof estimate) and my friend Rich (leveling tips and tricks). We didn’t get much done. On Friday, I dug out soil and leveled the ground. I spent 5 hours digging and leveling the ground to prepare for Will to come help again on Saturday. I wanted a wide ditch so that we had room to line up the railroad ties and also backfill with gravel.
On Saturday, we moved and aligned the railroad ties. We were told the barn was 21ft. x 12ft. when we bought it off craigslist, but we really had no idea. We had to start installing the sides to determine length, which ended up at 18ft. long.
Next, we organized and moved all the side pieces which were labelled L1 – L5 and R1 – R5, and it was like a puzzle to figure out the ends and if L1 went first or last. It worked out great thanks to Will’s ability to puzzle it together.
The way we redesigned the barn, we put the two inside pieces on the front with a center door opening. There were two pieces left and also one railroad tie. This extra material motivated me to do the back wall. On Sunday, we dug, leveled, and cut off end pieces of the RR ties for a 13 ft. back wall. We had just enough material.
I am cutting a door in the first panel adjacent to the horse stall for easy access. I will attach two 8′ 2x6s from the extra panels to the front opening. I will seam together the back wall panel with extra boards. Lastly, we will add redwood bark milled ends over the whole building.
The roof is scheduled to built by a handyman on November 30 and December 1. Very exciting to see it done. It would not have survived over the winter since the wood is fir and prone to rot.