Notes from Windward: #62

Construction Phase Two - Planking the North Wing

     Once the 2x6 horizontals were seated in their motise sockets, and screwed into their corresponding notches near the gate, it was time to start installing the massive planks that actually form the wall.

The North Wing with the 2x6 horizontals in place

     This was one of those tasks which wasn't as easy as it looks on paper. First of all, a 14' long 2x12 is a rather heavy piece of wood, made harder to handle in this case because the wet wood was frozen and very slick. The challenge was to get it moved into place, at the right height, parallel to the plank next to it, and then to screw it in place before your hands slip on the cold, slick wood.

     Much of this work isn't very demanding technically, but it does have the potential to be very unforgiving of mistakes made in a moment of distraction. Personally, my greatest ambition as a wood worker is to be buried with all my fingers :-)

     Each of the Wing Walls will serve two functions; the first of course is to extend the wall, but the second is to provide one side of the stair case leading up from the fortress wall to the High deck. Given the number of steps involved, it would have been unsafe to have built a staircase that made the transition with a single set of steps.

     Instead, the steps are broken up into three short staircases separated by two small landings. This way, if someone trips going down the steps, they'll only have a couple of feet to fall and won't be in danger of falling head over feet down the stairs. Again, our goal is to create a structure which looks a lot more dangerous than it really is.

The North Wing with the vertical planks in place

     For the most part, the planks extend high enough to protect folks using the stairs from being killed by attacking archers, but at each of the landings, there's a opening through which defending archers can shoot at soldiers attacking the gate. Those openings can be seen right above the two ladders.

Construction Phase Two - Half-time --- Notes from Windward, Vol. 62