Completed All Hands On Deck

Randal gives Tazrae a series of jobs, and the girl does it.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Timestamp: 50th of Spring, 520 A.V.


blueprints :
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The tall Founder unrolled the elaborately drawn blueprint and smoothed it out. They already had so much of the Inn up, but Tazrae still peered over his shoulder curiously. “The roof is on, now we are building up the interior walls, but there’s more to do. We have an entire deck to plank, rail, and make safe for your guests.” He said, turning and then blinking sharply at how close Tazrae was peering over his shoulder. She grinned sheepishly, took a step back and one to the side, and nodded.

“We need extra help.” The future Innkeeper said, looking thoughtfully at the blueprint. “But aren’t we utilizing everyone that has the ability to help?” She asked, curiously, knowing that they weren’t going to get open if they didn’t have extra help. Her Inn had taken priority this season in the scheme of building things, namely because it was ‘for’ the community not exactly a lavish private residence. But everyone that could help was helping…. weren’t they?

“Indeed, we do. There’s a lot of simple projects that someone with only minor woodworking skills or someone who is just learning could actually help a great deal with.” Randal said, turning as idly rubbing a shoulder as a mosquito bit into his bare skin. He was shirtless under the hot spring Syka sun. Tazrae would have been had it been more appropriate. It was sweltering and the humidity was up. She nodded to the Founder and looked around, wondering who could help that had only minor woodworking skills.

Randal laughed. “I’m looking at you, girl.” He said, gesturing at a new table setup he had all laid out. It had a few tools, her new handyman’s kit that Juli had supplied her with, and a pile a lumber taller than she was laying behind it.

Tazrae’s eyes widened and she turned around. She stared at Randal, then raised an eyebrow in astonishment. “Me? I cook… I clean up after you guys. I fetch things. I can’t actually build anything. I’ve never held any of these tools in my life.” She said… then looked thoughtful. Tazrae seemed to contemplate the idea, rolling it around in her mind, before her abject surprise turned into a slow small smile that grew as a thought in her mind grew.

“But then again I’ve never sailed across the sea. I’ve never taken out a huge loan to open my own business. I’ve never taken chances and made friends, and ate mangos. I’ve never cooked for a whole host of strangers and been thanked by each and every one of them. I guess I can swing a hammer. I might not be good at it. But I’ll learn.” Tazrae said softly, shaking her head and laughing.

“Taz, you aren’t just going to swing a hammer. Come… look. We’re working on the interior and we’re adding details. But we have so much more to do. What you are going to do is finish the deck we got a good start on.” He said, chuckling with amusement. He pulled out a second rolled paper, and then unrolled it. A section of the deck was carefully sketched on it, with the deck boards partially cut away. It was a blueprint. Tazrae leaned over, looked thoughtfully over the plans and noted that Randal or someone had neatly labeled the different parts.

She tapped the subframe and gestured over to the large deck where they were set up. “The subframe is all done.” Tazrae added, looking thoughtfully at Randal. “Isn’t that most of the hard work?” She asked, curiously running her fingers over the blueprints.

Randal Zor nodded. “I wouldn’t turn a novice loose on a deck that needs to last for decades without it already having a strong foundation. We put the footers in, sank all the support posts. We installed the support beams, ledger boards, and noggin’s. We even have the steps done. The last thing we did was run the rim joist. Now, anyone and I do mean anyone can learn to use a miter saw and begin cutting the deck boards, laying them out. Then the screening needs to be put up. And finally the hand rails, top rails base rail and baluster spindels have to be done. And we have three decks to do. I’d start on the small private one off your office first. Then I’d move to the second largest one and finish with the big main deck when you have gotten the hang of it. Lay the deck boards first… screen the deck to skirt it, and then we’ll finish the railing.” He said, looking at Tazrae pointedly.

She laughed nervously. “It looks like something a very skilled carpenter needs to do.” The girl trailed her fingers over the blueprint and his sketch, and then looked up into Randal’s eyes. They were golden, like a tigers, and they warmed her with the confidence she saw in them. “You really think someone like me can do this?” Tazrae asked, skeptical, but willing to try.


The youngest Founder looked thoughtful, nodded, but was slow to speak. When he did speak, he did so carefully, as if wanting her to really hear what he said. “Tazrae, I not only think you can do this, but I think you need to do this. If I may speak frankly….” He added, pausing until she nodded.

“You strike me as someone who has very little experience with the world. I believe you will be a great Innkeeper and that it’s in your blood. James has often spoken of staying at your parents’ Inn over the years in Riverfall and how much he’s enjoyed it. If you are anything like your family, then your Innkeeping here will be on par with those memories he holds. But life is about so much more than taking care of guests. Life is about experiencing things, being tempered, doing things that you think you can’t. With each nail you hammer, you will grow. I not only think you can do this, Taz, but again… I can’t say it enough…. I think you NEED this.” He said, reaching down and taking her hand. With that, he set off for the temporary workbench he’d set up across two saw horses.

Word Count: 1120



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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on July 12th, 2020, 9:23 pm

Randal Zor was going to be good for her soul. Tazrae recognized that fact immediately. He wasn’t about doing things for her, but rather teaching her how to do things for herself. She liked that. And with him, learning was actually a challenging fun task. So when he lead her up to the work bench he had set up, she looked it over as a point of pride. This challenge she’d accept and conquer if it was the last thing she did.

“A miter box is this thing here, Taz.” Randal pointed. He showed her a sturdy wooden structure that had two sides and a bottom. It was clamped to the work bench and had a metal ruler clamped beside it so that when wood was laid into it, the wood could be measured perfectly. It also had cuts across it at precise angles that would fit the variety of handsaws that rested beside it. There were 90 degree, 45 degree and anything in between.

Tazrae peered at it curiously. “What does it do?” She asked as she ran her fingers over the partially constructed wooden box…. The miter box.

“It’s a combination of a template and a jig of sorts. It allows you to do repetitive tasks quickly and cleanly without wasting a lot of time. In this case, it helps you make very straight accurate cuts. You will be cutting planks to size to put the flooring on the deck. If you just draw across a line on the board, it can bet really messy when you to go saw. If you use this miter box, you can lay the wood in, align the mark you want to cut to with the straight across template here…. and not worry about a bad cut because the miter box will hold the wood in place and help keep your cut straight since it gives the saw blade a template to follow.” He instructed. Then he picked up the miter saw – a smaller firmer version than the handsaw – and demonstrated how the saw fit down into the slot and how easy it was to keep the saw blade parallel to the wood and the cut straight across.

“Isn’t that cheating?” She asked, grinning at him. Her excitement was growing. Randal was slowly showing her that she could do things…. that building wasn’t as hard as she thought but rather a step-by-step process. “Not at all. If you have to do hundreds of these hardwood boards, you want something to make the job a bit easier, don’t you?” He asked and then smiled at her nod. “Besides, the miter box allows you to make the cuts more precise because the slots prevent the saw from moving sideways and the board from sliding as you work.” He said, grabbing a plank from the stack allocated for the deck flooring.

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“This is the 90, 60, and 45 angles. Opposite of the 60-degree angle is a 30 degree. Do you know about angles, Tazrae?” Randal asked, backing up and making sure he didn’t go to fast for the girl to follow.

“Yes. I was thoroughly educated in Riverfall in their primary school.” She nodded.


Word Count: 530
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on July 12th, 2020, 9:24 pm

He continued, then, digging in to the heart of the matter. “You will find that unless you clamp the miter box down to the work bench, you will waste a lot of time holding the miter box steady. So clamp it here and there…” ‘He indicated then turned each C clamp that was holding the box town to make sure it won’t wiggle around as you cut. If you are cutting something really wide, you might want to use wood screws and screw the miter box down to a scrap of wide wood, then clamp that wood to a base instead, leaving the ends of the clamps from getting in the way of you moving wood as you cut it. Clamping it to a wider board also makes it easier to clamp it to sawhorse if you are cutting someplace in a makeshift workshop like our outdoor one here is.” He said, then moved the deck plank he had around so he could show her.

“First you need to measure the length of wood you need. We have a cloth tape measure for this. Take this charcoal pencil and mark it by laying a straight line across the board using this square.” Randal said, showing Tazrae how to lay out the tape, carefully check and recheck the measure, then to lay a metal triangle device with ticked off measurements up its length across and drag the charcoal pencil across the length of the wood. It was easy enough. But she had one question.

“How do I know how much to measure?” The question was a careful one. Randal nodded in response. He showed her where to start the first plank on the deck at. They laid it out on the deck, then taking a hammer and nails, pounded it into place. “It won’t reach all the way across. So, we lay down a second board and mark where the overage is, make our line, then put an X on the scrap wood. Then we take it back to the miter box and cut it with the saw. Then we nail it down and take the scrap wood and start the new row. You never start a full-length board over and over at the same end because then you have the same seam down the middle of your deck and it looks terrible. Start the next row with the previous row’s overage. That way the breaks in the wood stagger and don’t look so uniform. The deck will be stronger that way.” He added, then demonstrated the whole thing to Tazrae.

She nodded, watched what he did, and by the time they were ready to lay the second board, she had it measured to cut, the x on the overage, and it laid out in the miter box. “Very good.” He praised, and then handed her the miter saw so she could make the cut herself.

“Now, listen…. Before you cut.” Randal said. “Lay the wood against the miter box wall closest to you. It can be flat or standing on its end depending on how you are making the cut. Do this one flat. Always be sure to lay the waste side of the cut line with the side of the right side of the slot you are using… in this case the 90 degree slot, and not right down the middle. You’ll cut more than you need and be off in the end if you do.” He said, gently realigning her board so the cut line matched the right side of the slot.



Word Count: 594
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on July 12th, 2020, 9:27 pm

Tazrae nodded and slide the saw into the slot, preparing to make the cut. “Use your thumb to hold the wood in place as you cut. Just make sure you hold it well away from the cut slot.” He advised, repositioning her hand to hold the board into the miter box. He stood closer, leaning over her, and adjusted the board again, nodding. “When you insert the saw into the slot, line the blade up so the teeth will touch the line on the waste side. This is why you added that X in charcoal to the side that’s going to be the waste. Consistancy, Tazrae, is the key in carpentry.” He added with a smile.

Tazrae nodded, committing how this was done to memory. “I see it. If I cut exactly on the line, I’ll remove wood I need for the measurement, even if it’s a tiny bit. The board will be off.” She added.

Randal grinned. “Exactly. Its called Kerf. Its always a whole lot better to be longer than shorter. You can always sand the end to fit but you can’t add on additional wood if its too short. Now…. You’ll need to score the cut line first. If you just jump in and start sawing at full force, the blade will jump and you’ll get a rough jagged edge at the top of the cut. It’s considered sloppy and you will have bare feet all over this deck. You want it smooth. So instead, score it by running the blade lightly over the board a few times before you saw in earnest to break the wood fibers.” He said, then gently laid his hand over hers and showed her, moving her hands and forcing the saw to gently score the wood.

“Then once I have the score, can I just go crazy on it?” Tazrae asked, half turning to make sure Randal heard her.

He laughed. “Yes, but don’t try to force the saw down. Let the teeth do the work. Just move it back and forth and it will cut on its own. Your arms will feel it after you get most of this deck laid, but it’s a good exercise to build upper body strength. And it’s a relatively simple job. You are going to be saving us a lot of time laying this deck floor for us. I can use the man I was going to use to do this on another project and get that one done first. So I’m glad you are willing…” He added with a smile.

“No problem.” She said, then began to make the cut with him looking on. Once she had the cut done, he handed her a sanding block and told her to smooth both edges out. Then, with a simple hammer and deck nails, he showed her how to nail the deck plank on, making sure the nails were going into the noggins, and joists. The first board needed no cuts, but every single one after that needed cutting.



Word Count: 504
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on July 12th, 2020, 9:31 pm

It took her most of the day to get the two smaller decks planked. She was about halfway through the main deck when Randal stopped in on of his many check-ins to show her a few more things about the miter box. By then she welcomed the break mainly because her arm was killing her both from sawing the boards and from driving the deck nails into the wood. The sawing was easy… it required no pressure and just a repetitive motion, but the hammering of the deck planks was difficult and required a lot of effort on her part. She had gained a whole new respect for the workers and Randal himself who was helping her night and day.

“So I thought I’d show you how to do angle cuts with the miter box before we called it a day, Taz. You might need to frame something or even replace baseboards or window and door trim. The 45 degree slots can make those difficult corner cuts very simple. I have to cut a framed square for a vent up on top of the roof so I thought I would demonstrate. Just think of these sorts of cuts as picture frames.” He added as the tired future Innkeeper wandered over, shedding her work gloves, to see what angles were all about.

“First, we have to measure the top of the opening, then mark the dimension on your board, indicating the angle of the cut with an arrow in the charcoal pencil like this.” He said, demonstrating neatly. Then, make the cut the same way as you did the 90 degree planks, but instead this time use the 45 degree slot instead. Repeat for the other end of the board, but flip flop the angle so its facing the other direction… do two of these. Then those become the top and bottom boards of the frame. Next, we want to cut the ‘side’ boards.” He said, making the four cuts he needed in the two boards that were now designated top and bottom. He moved two more boards over he’d brought with him and continued his explanation.

Tazrae listened carefully. Randal basically repeated the steps with slightly different measurements, and when he was done, he fit all four boards together neatly to form a big rectangular wooden frame. She smiled. “You make that look easy.” She praised, then glanced at the half finished deck. “I won’t get this done today.” She remarked sadly.

Randal shook his head. “No, you won’t. But if you work into the night, taking breaks for food, then get a good nights rest, you should have it done before the sun gets too hot tomorrow.” He added, and nodded to the miter box. “I’ll let you keep it. Its just made from scrap wood anyhow. You’ll find that you’ll need it when you want to make other projects.” He added, then left her alone to do her work.

She diligently did it, glad the Inn wasn’t open for customers just yet. Because, indeed, she did work well into the night until even the torches on the already built deck couldn’t give her enough light. She grabbed what felt like a quick nap, and was back at it at dawn the next day, hammering happily away until her almost completed Inn had its very own elaborate deck. At that point, Randal laid out the step stringers for the stairs all the way around, set them in place, and let her cut the stair-step treading and facings and hammer them into place.

Then, once a small team of two men had added railings and footboards, the men had trusted her enough to cut 2x2’s out to make the actual railing bualsters. She thought the deck planks took a great deal… but it was the actual baulsters that drove her crazy. They needed so many more than planks, but fortunately, since they were only 2x2’s the cutting took a lot less and she was able to cut a lot faster… not measuring anything since she’d marked a place on the table making a template and cut all the baulsters the same length as they were designed to be.

Once it was done, Tazrae was incredibly happy she helped with the work… and that she could legitimately say she did most of the finishing on the deck. And she had skills, more than she had to start with, and a way to start building once she decided she wanted too.



Word Count: 750
Total Thread Count: 3498
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

All Hands On Deck

Postby Tazrae on July 12th, 2020, 9:38 pm

Grading


Carpentry +5, Construction +5, Body Building +4, Observation +5, Interrogation +3

Construction: Parts of a deck, building a deck, using a miter box & saw, Randal Zor: Appearance & Mannerisms, Acts as Mentor, Good Teacher.
Image
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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