One thing I’ve learned through the years, living with Dave “Just-Frame-It-Up” King, is that much can be accomplished on one’s own with the right amount of research and planning, the right tools and materials, as long as you break it down into simple steps. The successful building of our dock on Memorial Day weekend was just one more example that has reenforced that lesson.
We drove down Saturday morning, feeling pumped and ready to get to work, thankful that the weather was supposed to be warm and sunny all weekend. We stopped in Petersburg to pick up supplies at one of our most favorite stores- The Home Depot. I remember as a kid being dragged into Hechinger’s, which was my dad’s favorite home improvement store, and thinking there could be no place worse on earth to be. Unless, of course, it was the fabric store with my mom, but I digress. I find it ironic, now, that I can spend hours perusing the isles of Home Depot, thinking of all the projects that we may want to undertake, much like my dad did back in the day. (And yes, I do the same thing when I go to the fabric store these days.)
After loading the lumber into our van, we continued on down to Colemans Lake. We were a little bummed that the sky began to cloud up as we approached the lake, but no worries, we have learned that it is always breezy at the lake so had packed extra layers just in case it was a little chilly. And thank goodness, because, sure enough, when we pulled onto the property, it was completely overcast and a bit chilly. Knowing some of us were going to get wet, we were hoping for warmer temperatures, but we would continue on with our project even so.
We unpacked the van and operation build-the-dock began.
Once the frame was built, we walked it over to the lake. The next step was to put 2 x 4s out into the water, to act as temporary supports for the frame, until we could get the posts in place.
Next, we took a ladder out into the lake so that Dave could use it to stand on while he drove the posts into the lake floor using a sledge hammer.
Corner posts in place, we were able to get out of the chilly water and work from dry land. Wouldn’t you know, at this point the clouds pushed off and sun finally made it’s way to where we were working.
We decided this was a good stopping place, so we packed the remaining supplies and tools into the shed, with plans to return the following morning and pick up where we left off. We were very pleased at the progress we’d made and extremely happy that it had all gone smoothly and according to plan!
After picking up more lumber at Home Depot, we returned Sunday morning to finish what we had started the previous day. We were happy to see that the dock frame was still standing when we arrived back at the lake. The plan for the day was to use the chainsaw to remove the top of the posts, making them level with the frame, in order to be able to lay down the floor boards. We also wanted to attach cross beams under the deck frame to create more stability and then, after placing the floor boards, stain the dock. Though still a bit breezy, the sun was shinning brightly so it was a perfect day to be working outside.
After the last post was topped off, Dave and Max carried the floor boards down to the lake and began attaching them to the dock frame.
After construction was complete, we stained the dock so it would be ready for us to put it to use on Memorial Day.
We wrapped everything up at that point and headed for home, looking forward to returning the next day to make good use of our newly constructed dock!