Sunday, October 11, 2015

Winterizing the Dog House

Last fall I built a doghouse for Volk (Wolf) and his wife Kashtanka (Little Chestnut).  I used green pine, nominally full dimension 1x6 (25x150).  I say nominally as some boards were not a full 25 mm thick and some were not an even 150 mm width from end to end.  Our contractor put a metal roof on it.

As green lumber is wont to do (I always wanted to use that word), it dried over the summer leaving 10 to 15 mm gaps between the boards.  Not overly conducive to keeping out the chilly winds of autumn and the icy blasts of winter.  So I decided to foam the gaps.  .

I bought a can of expanding insulating foam with visions of laying this nice even bead in each crack and then nail a thin strip of moulding to cover the foam bead.  How difficult could it be?  Like watching my cousin with 50 years experience laying a silicon bead around a newly installed bathtub or sink and thinking this can't be too hard.  Right.

Friday, I got Sveta to help me as she would have a steadier trigger finger and lay a more even bead of foam than I could.  Which she did. But the foam never quit expanding.  There were white "growths" from every gap.  We finished the can of foam and left it to dry overnight. I would deal with the mess on Saturday. Which I did.  All my utility knife blades were gone, used in the service of other projects by other people.  So I stole a kitchen knife and trimmed the foam "growths" and nailed strips over the foam filled gaps.

With a mouthful of 1" nails and a small Estwing, I was tapping away and wondered if people still used hammers and nails.  The advent of compressed air driven power nailers in all sizes has made mundane pounding of nails a thing of the past in most commercial work.

Two inches of Styrofoam in the floor and ceiling, lined with rubber backed carpet

If it is warm next weekend, I will ask Masha if she wants to paint it
 After completing the foaming process, Sveta and I went to help Tanya finish burning branches from Babushka's yard, piled the previous fall.  The pile had been so big that two good fires had failed to get everything around the edges so that was what we were gathering and piling.  And that made a huge fire in and of itself.

Lots of clean-up fires burning tonight again as people take advantage of calm dry cold day to do controlled burns of weeds and brush.

The clear area was a huge pile of dead dry branches.
The wind was blowing from the high weeds and grass so the fire would not get away on us


  1. Looks like Volk and Kashtanka will be cozy this winter! That expanding foam is ugly stuff - not only does it never stop expanding, it's also incredibly tenacious when you get it on your skin. Any time I use it I end up wearing a thin coat of it for a week or so. But it certainly hides a multitude of construction sins!

    1. I didn't get any on my skin but got some on my jeans. It seems to pick off once it is hardened

    2. i still use a hammer: not because I prefer it, but because at my age I can't justify the output for a compressor and nail, staple, brad etc. gun. I don't even buy Craftsman tolls (lifetime warranty) any more - Chinese made will outlast me.
      The Ol'Buzzard

    3. Friend of mine has a compressed air tank which he fills at the local service station to drive a small brad nailer. I used it years back for trim boards as it is easier than trying to hit small nails at bad angles.
      Tools here are mostly Chinese made but power tools come in many different brands. German, Swiss, Russian, Chinese, even Ukrainian

  2. I'm a nail and hammer gal myself..should put some siding on it..ha


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