Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Cougar Pine


Not my best work, but certainly not my worst.

Three-and-a-half hours which included a half hour coffee and laceration break. That beat my 5 hour estimate by a significant margin. I will count that as a victory.

Detail of header on the hinge end.

The non-hinge end had disassembled itself in the box. It was stapled together which was clearly not up to the task of being moved by fork-trucks. I put 2-by-4 blocks in the corners and shot construction screws into it to hold it together.

One of two complications

I figured out why they specified a person in the attic during the installation. It was to hammer the unit down into the opening. The side-frames were bowed and gravity was not enough to settle it into the opening.

The other complication was due to the choice of wood species. The manufacturer uses a type of western, yellow pine known as "Cougar Pine".

This species was so named because cougar hunters noticed that cougars, when pressed by hounds, always chose the tallest, straightest pines. Obviously, that kind of tree makes premium lumber for applications like attic ladders.

Unfortunately, like cougars everywhere, they have an ingrained tendency to pounce down  on unsuspecting prey.

That was the second complication. While fiddling with the bottom segment and trying to position it to saw off the excess, the unit pounced on me like a 45 year-old divorcee on a 29 year-old in the construction trades.

While I did not invest my heart and soul in this project, I can honestly say I donated some blood.

Legs are trimmed and deck screws installed. This sucker isn't going to pounce an any more carpenters.


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