Surprisingly, I was actually able to reach my goal stopping point on a build in the allotment of time I estimated! With a little assistance from my Dad during the waning hours of daylight, I ended up packing it in well after night fall, and just minutes before the rain started.
The Tacoma Rack was a sort of shotgun project with little planning other than a napkin sketch from just about a week ago. The primary aesthetic was to be determined by the type of wood I would be able to salvage from the property. I was pleased to find a few old barn beams roughly the same dimensions and I began leaning towards the clear sealant timber-framed look.
After fully assembling the frame it was clear that the clear sealant would be a difficult decision as there were many varying ages and qualities of wood pulled together for the final product. Currently I am researching a few methods and products of spray applied bed lining for a final surface coat. But I didn’t want to get the old beams wet until they were sealed with something.
The remainder of this week I plan to sand, prime, and finish the lumber to hopefully have it completed by next week. As long as it was fully assembled on the truck though, I couldn’t resist trying it out. I was relieved to find that two full kayaks are capable of laying flat side-by-side, and the big 29er still fits on the bed mounts without a problem.
Of course to fully understand the load carrying capabilities I had to crawl up there myself and see how it felt…
…a bit high, but with the addition of a sheet of 4′ x 8′ plywood it would work nicely as a sleeping platform.
One last exciting recent development, crawling around in the rafters of the barns this weekend searching for quality lumber, I managed to pull down an old push reel mower that has been stored up in the rafters for as long as I can remember. I was pleased to discover it still worked quite well and will work great for the .12 acre lot our future home sits on.
As the time swiftly approaches when we will be moving into our first home, it becomes painfully apparent how many unfinished tasks remain at my current residence. We have some finishing touches to complete on the upstairs bathroom, (yes still!) The Wife is working on preparing some outdoor furniture for the new home, and my self-appointed task for the weekend is to get a hefty start on a new cargo rack for the Tacoma.
Quick design sketch
The initial catalyst for this project was the gift of an aluminum extension ladder from my in-laws, which is effectively longer than my little short bed, double cab.
As I began the sizing and design of the structure, I wanted to ensure flexibility for the future. The main design consideration was adaptability. For the moment, I will be transporting a ladder, in the future there is the potential for cargo such as Kayaks, plywood or over-sized drywall sheets, lengthy lumber, or camping gear if the bed is occupied with Mountain bikes or other equipment. I would also like the structure to have the ability to transform into a sleeping platform or even a housing for the metal truck storage box I already own but currently cannot secure to the bed.
I will primarily be constructing the rack from wood, probably salvaged, and basing the decision of finishing methods upon the quality of wood I am able to find. The idea is for this structure to be easily removable, weather resistant, durable, and to look good doing it. My initial thought was flat black for the lumber pieces, but I have been toying with the idea of a clear coat sealant or even a tinted varnish. Any thoughts?
I plan to begin collecting supplies and commence construction this weekend so look out for photos and updates!
As promised, I give you photographic evidence of visible progress made on our “small” bathroom renovation. Admittedly, this renovation has far exceeded my naive estimate for completion, but in my defense I was awarded 3 additional vacation days at work to help offset the extreme amount of overtime during two specific weeks this past month. So I am not sitting idle.
This past weekend my Dad and I made a concerted effort to complete all framing and close in the remaining of the exposed studs. With the exception of a small enclosure around the cast iron vent pipe we accomplished this goal. Have a look:
New wall at top of stairs
The angled entrance
The soon-to-be entombed vent pipe
The inside of the doorway
The only other progress this week was born out of necessity. There were two ceiling mounted lights in the stairwell leading to our “apartment,” and from the time we moved in a few months ago one of the bulbs had burned out in the light at the bottom of the stairs, but the top still worked so I thought I would just wait until after construction ended to replace both. That course of action was no longer an option when the second bulb burned out early this week. Not being stairs you would wish to negotiate in the pitch blackness of 5:30am I was forced to replace both lights. Our choice of fixture, 6 matching surface-mounted dome lights using 60-watt equivalent CFL’s (you know, for the environment).
In another part of the house, it is apparently “that time of year again” as I begin to notice bits of bright red and green appearing in corners and upon shelves. I knew without doubt that the inevitability of my wife’s festive decorating was again upon me when I noticed the presence of these little guys hanging around the entertainment center…
Other Bathroom Updates: Tight Squeeze, Reverse Progression, Bathroom Update, How to Move Back in with your Parents: Step 1 – Build a new bathroom.