March 23, 2015 by phicks2012
I don’t have a barn to shelter my horses, or to store feed or equipment. I want a barn. I’ve been wanting a barn for some time, but hiring a contractor to build one simply hasn’t been — even remotely — in the budget. Even the notion of buying the materials and building the thing myself (albeit with help) has been daunting, so what I did was to get myself onto a list with the power company to provide a home for retired telephone poles. “Retired telephone poles?” you might ask, and to this I reply “Yes!!” Telephone poles are virtually immortal. Once set into the ground they don’t budge, they aren’t palatable to boring insects, and they pretty much don’t rot. Perfect!
So, every now and then when the list rolls over and they get to my name again, they call me to ask if I still want more poles, and I gleefully tell them “YES!!!!”, and they bring some by and dump them in the pasture. Then we go to work!!
Our barn plan called for 16 upright poles set 4-4-4-4 and all 10′ apart to create a 30’x30″ footprint, so we’ve been planting those poles a few at a time as available for several years, and a few days ago we finally got the last one in the ground. The reseult didn’t look much like a “barn” yet. Actually, it looked more like one of those ancient Celtic ritual sites, so I christened it “Barnhenge”.
I knew it was going to be hard to get the rest of the work done without some help, but the other day a childhood friend of Jason’s was passing through and decided they needed a reuninion, not having seen one another in over 30 years. YES!!
If I tried to get together with someone I hadn’t seen in 30 years I can almost guarantee it would be a disaster with the two of us having absolutely NOTHING in common anymore. In fact, that has nearly ALWAYS been the drill. Nuff said. But with Jason and John it worked. Good for them! It was also good for me, because Jason was able to recruit John to hang around for a week or so and lend a hand with several projects. They got the last of the poles up, thus completing the “henge”, and then we started thinking about how we were going to get a roof on the thing. Roofs, after all, are sort of necessary on real barns, if not on Barnhenges.
What they decided was that since we needed to do some clearing anyway (of small, close-set and/or unhealthy trees) in several wooded areas where taking out some of the smaller trees would benefit those remaining, they would use those trees for rafters. So they started cutting, notching, and raising — with the help of the tractor, the chainsaw and several extension ladders — and the rafters started taking shape! We were finally actually having a Barn-Raising!!
I’m going to have to buy some more bar oil and gas for the chainsaw, and Deisel for the tractor, and tin for the roof, but if all goes well we should soon have, at least, a roofed pole-barn that will need only stall deviders and some sort of siding — we might rent a sawmill for that, if that’s affordable.
My hope is that soon “Barnhenge” will have evolved into “Polebarn”, and that it will eventually evolve into “Barn” — an evolution I plan to chronicle and relish!
So wish me luck, and I’ll keep everyone posted on this latest Do-It-Yourself Project!