The Lean to

The lean to is what crazy horse people call a horse shelter. Back in 1984 my dad built my horse Sam a lean to made out of fence posts, plywood, steel and a large chunk of reclaimed pool liner (it was waterproof). He must be given credit for creativity. What it lacked in esthetics it made up for in utilitarianism.

Rather than re-invent the wheel Brent and I decided to repair the old lean to for Autumn. Brent has this magical ability of finding incredible deals and he found an incredible deal on insulation and wood to reinforce the old lean to. It was solid and the twenty-six year old posts did not move with our wiggling. Keep in mind Brent is very strong and when he wiggles a post he really wiggles a post.

We found a way to attach the insulation to the walls and then put up OSB to cover the insulation. We did three walls and the ceiling. We also used roof insulation to shore up the roof along with several gallons of tar. It looks good. I hope it’s waterproof.

The lean to is made up of two sections. One to store hay and one as shelter for the horse. Both needed to be cleaned out and reconstructed. This process has taken longer than we both expected. It’s actually harder to shore up than build from scratch. After several days we eventually gave up on the level and square. If it looked good to the eye ball then it was good.

We used the backhoe to push and pull the building back into shape. We used too many nails and not nearly enough screws.

I was working alone the other day building a set of insulated sliding doors to go across the front of the lean to where the horse would live. By the time you added up all the weight of the material I could barely drag the panel into place. Picking it up would have been impossible. I managed to balance the panel and use a couple of small pieces of two by four to brace the panel to the building. I was jumping up with the nail gun because the ladder was out of reach.

Next I built a panel to fill the window hole in the sliding door. It was like a horrible train wreck happening as I built. Some days are not good for building and perhaps this was one of them. It didn’t matter how many times I measured, the cut was still wrong. The circular saw was kicking my ass and my saw horse buckets hated me. Every time I put the panel on the buckets the whole thing would fall over. I built this panel out of OSB, rocksol insulation and two by fours, so it was incredibly heavy.

I was frustrated and about ready to give up when I stood in the rain and calmed myself. Okay. I can do this. I’ve built before. I gave myself a little pep talk as I picked up the drill and attacked the hinges like a woman possessed.

At least Brent wasn’t around to smack me in the head with an eight foot piece of steel track. Last week as I was walking around the truck Brent pulled the track out of the truck. The next thing I hear is a loud bell and feeling the pain in my front teeth. He’d struck me in the forehead with the steel track. Not on purpose. I hope.

Days later I still have a headache.

I got the door panel built and hung. I proudly marveled at my ingenuity when I pulled the panel wide open to have it stop suddenly. How long has that strut been there anyway? About twenty-five years.

Sigh. Somedays are for doing laundry.

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