The next stage in building the cabin involved putting the roof beams on.
We originally cut some solid narrow-leaf red ironbark 10m posts that were particularly straight. They looked perfect and Al and I snigged them back to the site with the Ute. We had some friends come and help us with the next part which we knew was going to be maker or a breaker. Our original plan was that the three blokes would place ladders against the same side of three posts and walk the beam up the ladder and place on top of the posts.
This plan went wayward pretty early on.. In fact, together we couldn’t even lift one end. We worked out that at 10m long, they probably weighed in excess of 300kg each..
So, I called the next door neighbour who kindly lent his time and tractor at short notice. Even with the front end loader and 7 workers, this was a really difficult job. We had to re-cut and snig smaller beams and get them elevated on the forks of the tractor. To actually get the beams on top of the posts, we were still lacking about a metre at the tractor fork’s full vertical extension. So, perched in the bucket, one of us had to manoeuvre a wallaby jack under the beam to wrench it up a centimetre at a time. By the time we gently pushed the beam across so it sat on top of the post, the tractor was at full extension, the wallaby jack was at full extension and our nerves were beyond full extension.
We got there in the end and it looks great but it was, at times, very, very dangerous work and I’m glad we were all in one piece at the end of the day.