The Scrap House

The 7 Deadly Shims | May 26, 2009

We got the other window in today. It should be the last difficult one, as the other two windows have frames around them already. The metal ones were just not fun. But we went through the same procedure as last time and got the other one in. I decided to just start over on the trimming… it was just plain wrong. I redid it in 2×4’s, so it has a bit more strength/weather proofing. I think it looks better too. I trimmed, Hyatt caulked. As he can make caulking look halfway good, and I can make it look like I lost a tooth-paste fight. Oh… and I actually used a real camera today. Fancy!




We also got, courtesy of Mr. Bill, three more bundles of cedar shakes and enough shingles to do the entire roof. So while we probably still don’t have enough shakes to do the whole thing, that made a pretty good dent in our “needed” account. I’m guessing we’ll need two or three more bundles. But what we have will keep Hyatt busy for a while.



Speaking of Hyatt, he also started shaking that side. Following a truly horrifying table saw maneuver which led me to believe that there are angles greater than 360, we had a nice angled piece to put at the bottom to kick the shakes out so the water will go over our side 2×10 joist.


In Hyatt’s other endeavors… he kept working on the gable ends. All of this speakingĀ  of Hyatt is making it sound like he’s the only one who does anything. Which is not true. Charlie and I did something… I think. Anyway, I finally got a good picture of siding on the gable ends. I keep emphasizing this for two reasons… A. It looks really nice and I haven’t been able to get a good photo yet. B. I can’t possibly communicate how much work it is. How Hyatt has the patience to do it, I have no idea… but each piece is composed of about 10 trips to the band saw, 6 passes on the table saw, some trigonometry, and what I can only assume is a combination of topology, witchcraft, and a hint of full gospel baptist. It’s intense. Major props go to him for it. Prettiest pallets I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.


Cutting around those rafter supports is the tricky part. Anyway… the only other noteworthy news is I found a sink. Now, if you’re keeping count, this is in fact the fourth sink we’ve found. Which may seem like a lot. But, when you find stainless steel, you don’t turn it down. This one came straight from the dump. I got it for two reasons, primarily the faucet, which I figured we could re-purpose to use in the shower. Also, it happens to be almost identical to the other stainless sink we got, so if I mess up the other sink installing it(I’m going to have to bend a 3 inch lip into it), I have a back up. If all else fails, we have two giant pieces of stainless steel. Can you say hydrogen generator?!


Signing off before the explosion, bye. Peace. -Ted


Posted in Uncategorized


  1. I’ve got to say that you folks are doing a great job!
    I was thinking that an old trailer, either RV or home would provide most of the materials needed for a small house. If not totally ruined, a trailer may offer a toilet, bath tub or shower, sink, light fixtures even windows.
    We moved onto a farm and had three trailers to dismantle and depose of. The Aluminum siding from one fetched around 100.00, the copper wire on that one brought in roughly 35.00 etc.
    Just a thought, maybe next year – Will there be a next year?

    I smell TV reality show.
    Rich – Shalom

    Comment by Rich — May 26, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

    • Rich,

      You’re absolutely right about trailers being troves of parts. Our stove came out of a trailer that was on the side of the road. As tiny houses go, there seems to be two schools of thought. The first is to build a house, but make it smaller, which is what we’re doing. The other is to do the same thing, but build the house on a trailer essentially just making it a wooden travel trailer. They normally use a used trailer frame, so there could be some cross-over in materials. This is how the Tumbleweed houses are. Plumbing varies between the two methods, as a regular toilet wouldn’t work well on a trailer plumbing system, and a trailer toilet wouldn’t work at all on a house’s. If we’re talking about mobile homes type trailers, well, then, yeah… they’re great! Another good thing you can get from a trailer is the electrical system. Outlets, and also they generally have small breaker boxes which work well. Our breaker box came out of a yacht, but you get what you can find. We did have a sink from a trailer, but as with most things in a trailer, it was plastic. We wanted something a bit more substantial. Anyway, I fully realize there is no point whatsoever to this reply, but I just woke up and haven’t made it through my first cup of coffee yet, so I am just kind of typing and rambling. Sorry. Thanks for looking at the blog and commenting! -Ted

      Comment by austinminiman — May 27, 2009 @ 6:43 am

  2. Nice entry! I’m still amazed at how so many of the things you find are in such good shape. Those sinks look awesome. Oh, and props to Hyatt for the fine carpentry…quite impressive!!


    Comment by Em — May 27, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  3. What a nice job. I wonder if I am going to get it as nice as you boys.

    Keep up the work!

    Comment by Spiritlight — May 27, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

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This blog is dedicated to an experiment a group of three other fellow students and I are doing at our school in Buxton, NC. My Drafting III class and I set out to see if we could build a house for free. It's small, but functional. All the materials come out of dumpsters. And most of all, it's working.







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