Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Poutre Project

Because the Manitou will not arrive for a day or two Barry and Jules decide to start with the poutre. The poutre beam is the single most important support beam in the barn roof. It is some 25 feet long and the thickness of a large oak tree. It actually is a large oak tree. One end has rotted out because of a multi-decade roof leak and the beam has fallen about 14 inches. It is propped up with one of the jacks and another oak tree limb. The position of the beam is such that the roof line has a major sag. There is a beam lying under a foot of straw that looks to be the same length. And another one the right size to be a support post. After a lot of discussion Barry and Jules decide to build a support structure similar to the one that supports another beam. This is a stack of terracotta blocks joined by concrete-mortar. They must drill holes in the concrete floor to put in reinforcement bars so that the stack doesn’t move around and then as the stack grows a row at a time reinforcement bars are again added to link the new stack with the old one so that the support structures will work together. They will then wait until the roof is stripped removing the weight of the tiles from the beam before they jack it into place and install the post.

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