On New Years Eve 1974 twelve inches of snow fell in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My long time friend Earl and I were doing what kids do, drinking tea and playing pinochle, kidding. It was almost midnight and being average outgoing Minnesota teens we left the warmth of one party, and set out to find another. We threw the brew in the back, and then it happened. I broke the key off in the ignition. I looked at Earl, and he looked at me. We both expressed a “Dang it all” look. Just then the radio warmed up enough to break the silence, chastising me with “Your no good, your no good, baby your no good!” Good times.
I had been working in my uncle’s body shop in Rockford, Illinois. In my younger day if I had a toolbox, and something to work on, with enough money for a date, I was happy. I am not a very complex person. One of my projects was this 1958 Dodge panel truck I bought for $75.00. Mechanically this vehicle was very sound, all the glass was good, but the body was in desperate need for a makeover. One feature this truck did have, was a super low ratio high torque granny gear transmission; it was absolutely fantastic in the snow. Perfect for bombing around town on said 1972 New Years Eve.
At the Bohnarosa we believe in freedom. For example, freedom from bondage is a good thing, but we also have free-range mosquitoes. The little suckers arrive in June and fly free until September.
A short walk from the garage to the bird feeder is an exercise in performing arts. Slap the neck, slap the forearm, slap the shoulder, slap the forehead, “Wow I could have had a V8.” Setting down the bucket and fussing with the feeder itself means loss of blood if not done quickly. Sitting outside on a summer evening after work enjoying a cold one is signing yourself up for a suicide mission. Yeah you might get some of them, but the little buggers always win.
It takes effort to fog the lawn, and not greatly effective. Chemical agents work well, but they are sticky, and who knows what all is absorbed through the skin. The best defense is a good offense became my strategy. I decided to build a screened gazebo.
I like the whole DIY approach. As a kid watching MY DAD replace the family cars brake shoes I asked, “How do you know how to do that?” He answered, “If some guy put this together, it should be able to be taken apart, and put back together. If you have to, you can read a book and learn.”
So I did some reading and research on how to build a gazebo. A book from Menards, and a visit to an outdoor-furnishing place in Anoka, MN got me started. One paragraph read, “Most gazebo’s can be built in a weekend.” Time management can be tricky. This gazebo took two years.
A cement contractor was hired to do the foundation, as I simultaneously built the gazebo walls and roof in the barn. A great tip from theStart-To-Finish Sheds & Gazebosbook was to build the roof at ground level. President Trump would say, “This is gonna be a HUGE time saver!” The structure having an elongated octagon shape complicated the gazebo design. Two center hubs were required with an extra long center.
Most of the rafter cuts were compound angles. I used a string and compass to measure the angles. It would have been very difficult attempting all this on a ladder. I suppose a guy could have calculated it on paper, but I’m not into drafting architectural plans.
Green treated lumber was the material of choice with exception of the roof underlayment. I mapped out the walls and roof to exact measurements on the barn floor. The wall sections were built first, and then the roof and cupola. After a wall section was completed it was set off to the side, and another section started. The walls were simple to build. The roof was a bit tougher to design and construct. The entire gazebo is put together with lifetime deck screws. Any component can be taken off and replaced if needed.
The roof required an eye catching element, so asphalt shingles were out. I considered slate, metal tiles, and metal panels. Imagination voted for slate, cost won the vote with metal panels.
Jigs were made for repeating patterns, such as the lower panels and screens. I discovered black metal screen provides the best viewing capability. Easy peazy.