My net shed is woefully full of junk and the siding need replacement. I’ve stockpiled lumber that I cut on Mitkof Island and it’s taking up the space that I need to fix up old boats. Time to roll up my sleeves……

Harry never threw away anything and neither have I. Here are a good three dozen handles, mostly broken leaning up in a corner and occasionally avalanching onto the floor.

If this was an urban setting, I’d be accused of being a bag lady but when you live on an island, you just might need that bent nail. One hundred years of junk collecting here.

Here is the future boat museum and the boat Jim Stromdahl, our former harbormaster, gave me. His father rescued it and it is believed to be a Davis boat–made by a multigenerational family in Metlakatla. Beyond is the sail rig for my one of my two fairings. And lots, lots more!

My-oh-my…. My bins on the left–a castaway by Seattle Ship Supply–house untold treasurers and obscure others. An obtrusive lumber pile blocks egress through to the dock–this is the new siding–old growth Alaska Yellow Cedar……. Sometimes it takes me hours to find a necessary tool.

Before I left for my NPS Centennial speaking tour, my house-sitter and self-professed carpenter began removing the siding–TRUE-X Construction–and made it about 20’….

I accomplished the other half within 6 hours and I’m nearing 73. This is a board & batten technique and thank goodness–no part of the building was completely level, or equal in proportions so I could make up slight differences and window spacing by staggering boards covering the seams with battens.

The instruction to TRUE-X Construction was to build ‘as-is’ and for a reason. These windows slid sideways so they could be opened in hummingbird season. He nailed them shut–idiot! I found dozens of dead hummingbirds…. TRUE-X Construction in the first three months of house-sitting sunk three boats and burned the sauna roof off. I’ll post a blog on this experience next to hopefully prevent someone else from making the same mistake……

Here’s the weathered face with all the patches. The placards from my two tugboats adorn the building. The Winimac sunk in 1991 which you can learn about here and the Katahdin is back in Seattle getting much needed repairs after almost 20 years here in Alaska.

Much of the board bottoms have rotted exposing the structural beams. Not good.

I slowly work my way around: remove old board, nails, measure, cut, paint, install, over and over. My total time for the entire building is about 30 hours. Here I’m in the home stretch.

I’ve rebuilt the windows to match the other side. Harry, the former owner put larger windows without divided lights which were obscured by the open doors anyway. This will look better (a full window package follows).

The last old siding has been removed and I found the window sill was 1″ out of level–not by settling, but by initial instillation. The window height will be 29″, the width 32-1/2″ and centered. The trim/battens hides all seams.

Three large piles of old siding begin to grow, but at least they’re outside the building. Meanwhile, the pile inside diminishes. Lots of ladders to trip over. Every board has a dozen nails…. Tread carefully.

My boardwalk, now 10 years old is seamless with the flooring. I’ll replace all windows and build a descent workbench and then install some proper carpentry tools. Everything runs off my generator, solar or my future microhydro system.

The final product–on the dock side of the shed. It is one continuous surface from the edge of the dock to my front door for transporting more stuff up to the house. An under-dock piping system transfers diesel fuel directly to a 500 storage tank. Slick! Door fasteners secure in both open and closed position. Windows are open and the hummers find their way out. Perhaps a new roof is next. This will last another 100 years. Stay tuned! (The House-sitter from Hell is next!).

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