Self-drilling screws, insulation, and shou-sugi-ban experiments

This weekend turned out to be fairly productive on the house-raising, even though it started out with a few hiccups. Kyle ordered self-drilling screws online but there was some delay in the shipping. We weren’t expecting them this weekend, but they ended up arriving Friday afternoon. After a day of shopping, Kyle got to work on cutting the cedar rim joists that go around the perimeter of the trailer.

Saturday, he did some experimenting with shou-sugi-ban (an ancient Japanese method of burning wood in order to preserve it from moisture and insects). Most people recommend using a weed burner to burn the boards, but we haven’t been able to round one up yet, so he burned the boards over our little fire pit in the backyard. After an hour and a half, we had 6, unevenly burned boards. Conclusion: We like the light burned look, but we need to find a weed burner for the siding! Burning the wood over a fire pit was time consuming and produced an inconsistent look. It will serve its purpose this time, but we’ll something a little nicer for the cedar siding.

Next, Kyle attached the boards to the metal frame of the trailer, using the stainless steel self-drilling screws. (For those who don’t know anything about these screws (like me), they have a little drill bit on the end of the screw, making it so that they can drill through metal.) However, the drill tips on the screws kept breaking off and would not drill through the metal as intended. Why, we don’t know. So he and our friend Zac ended up pre-drilling holes for the screws, thus defeating the purpose of “self-drilling.” They worked out a system though, and it worked fine. We’re hoping the zinc self-drilling screws Kyle got for the sub floor work better than the stainless steel.

With Zac’s help, Kyle also got all the insulation for the floor cut and installed (and later covered with plastic because it was threatening to rain). They layered 3 1-inch rigid foam boards with an R value of 6.5 per inch.

One step at a time…




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