So I worked on those 4x4 posts today. Took a little bit of time to lay out the measurements and do the cutting (used a circular saw and camp saw to finish the cuts through the post). I used a small drill bit to make a pilot hole then bored out a 1" hole with a spade bit to approximate a round bottom, then used the circular saw to chop out most of the wood and finished it off with the camp saw. (Looking back, I probably should have purchased a hole saw attachment for the drill as that would have made it go so much faster but I just didn't want to go to the hardware store). Once one post was done, I was able to knock out the other post fast.
I used that cutoff piece from the ridge pole as a template to get the size correct - glad I kept it. Thought I had a whole roll of that galvanized metal strapping but only found two short pieces. No worries though, they are just long enough! To give me a little extra length, I cut some pieces out of the post and then rasped them.
The toughest part was figuring out what length I needed the posts to be. I borrowed my dad's plumb bob to get a ballpark estimate, then added about 1/2" (1.25cm) for a snug fit. Turns out I could have used more, so for the second post I added a full inch extra (2.54cm) and that seemed to do the trick.
I made the posts completely plumb and level on both sides then screwed the piece of galvanized strapping down tight. Had to cut a little bit of wood off on the outside of the posts to match the curve of the hoop, and I also rasped the outside so there were no sharp corners. Turned out good: both posts and the North part of the hoop are now in a straight line. I was curious to see how the doors would fit in the new opening so I took some measurements and I think I'm a little wide by about an inch. That's fine, I can make that up somehow.
On the left side of the pic leaning against the wall of the small garage is some of the old wood strapping used on the greenhouse - which I bleached off today. Looks brand new! Tomorrow I'll try to get the doors installed and depending on time I'll try to flesh out the rest of the side. I'm hoping I can get that done by Monday or so. The only things left are to put more fiberfill on the joints of the North side of the greenhouse, take a count of the wooden straps to see which sizes are short and sweep or wet wash the ground on the exterior of the North side. My plan is to get all the little projects finished before the end of the week, then hope and pray I get a decent day to install the new top.
I do notice a couple of things, though - on your first pic there's a rather significant gap underneath the left half of the door, and there's also the plastic panelling, which is fraying on the bottom half of the same side.
Greenhouses are mainly supposed to provide environmental insulation after all.
The gap isn't too significant, but I will see what I can come up with for a fix - maybe I can screw a piece of wood on to the door. As for the fraying plastic paneling on the outside, I have a piece of plastic stapled on the inside to prevent the cold from getting in.
If it ever dips to freezing or even a couple degrees above we will bring all the flowers into the small garage, large garage, back room and sometimes even the store. Usually what is in the greenhouse can take a little bit of cold. I usually bring in a small electric overnight to provide some warmth if it gets to freezing.
Today the sun actually came out in the afternoon which was a welcomed surprise and with it came some slightly warmer temps (maybe 7-8C). The East side of the greenhouse was obviously on the agenda (after taking care of other shop projects). Took a little longer than I anticipated but it still left me time to do other things after the side was done.
I replaced the horizontal board that attaches to the frame of the door. Had to cut that to fit, bolted it to the hangar on the far left and screwed to the door frame. I also removed a metal support tube (now there is only one on each side of the door. There was a vertical wood board on each side of the door which (in the distant past) had two blower motors attached to it (the sides of the greenhouse used to be separate from the top - the sides were a series of plastic tubes which when inflated with air from a blower motor would rise). Since we haven't used that type of side in eons, I cut the boards down to fit between the top and bottom horizontal boards and moved them closer to the frame to act as an extra support. Both sides of the door got this treatment. It's really quite amazing how much that stiffened up this side of the greenhouse (the North and South sides are also nice and stiff).
Suppose I should mention some things in the first pic. On the left is a plastic pail which I use as a generic toolbox of sorts. Anything I take off the greenhouse - be it screws, bolts, hardware etc is deposited into the bucket so that it doesn't get lost or misplaced. Every other day or so I clean the bucket out, sort out the screws, bolts and whatever else I find and toss out anything that is rusty or bent. Tools also go in there - to the right of the bucket is a small plastic container where I keep my deepwell sockets for the ratchet, and in back of the pail is a pouch of combination box wrenches (spanners as you brits call it). On the right side of the doors is a teal blue metal box with my drill bits, the fluorescent green thing is a plastic level and behind that is the drill. I replaced a horizontal board in that area today so that's why the stuff is on that side.
With the East side complete it's finally time to start work on the West side. I just realized today that I don't have to worry about recreating the side from memory or pictures, I can just use the East side doors as a template which should save a heap of time. My first job is to start on the frame of the doors, specifically on the boards that run up to the hoop. Because I'm switching to 4x4 posts the connection point between the tube and the wood is going to be different than before. I decided to use the normal method of cutting a V notch in the top of the post but modified to a U shape at the bottom instead. First try didn't work very well, second try was better but too wide so third times the charm I guess? Will continue working on that tomorrow - my hope is to get the posts installed. Once they are in place then things should start to fall into place quickly. Probably will encounter some problems but it shouldn't be too bad. Gotta be optimistic.
You know, reading all this... makes me kinda want your job. Take it with a grain of salt, but seriously, I'd rather be doing something useful instead of sitting in an office. With work being practically non-existent right now due to corona and all, with bad prospects for an indefinite future as half a state's budget is being funneled into preventing a complete economic collapse.
I don't think I could handle an office job - being cooped up inside all day isn't my cup of tea. As I was leaving work on Saturday I thanked God that I still have a job and that it hasn't been shut down (either voluntary or involuntary). At least I have a source of income yet and I get to do something that is actually fun (for the most part).
So with the North side of the greenhouse mostly finished, it was time to jump over to the South side for a quickie reboot. Here is the hardware for the boards along the top:
First pic is the hangar wire brushed to remove the majority of the rust. And the second pic is after one coat of rust reformer (if needed), one coat of primer and one coat of aluminum paint. I would have put on two coats of the aluminum paint but the spray nozzle was messed up so I was forced into spraying on one heavy coat instead. I don't think it matters much, at least the metal is protected from the elements again.
For some reason the new boards sat lower on the greenhouse which meant the vertical boards wouldn't fit underneath any more. Something changed and I guessed that maybe the hangars slipped down the hoop pole. Checked the set bolts on the inside and sure enough, a couple were not tight. I ended up loosening each bolt, checked to see if it was level, then re-tightened making sure the vertical boards would fit. When I attached the vertical boards and vertical metal tube supports I also made sure they were plumb and square to the top board (as best as I could at least).
The last two boards look like a snake as the second to last tube is bent from when the greenhouse collapsed in 2000, but everything is level which is what is important. I kept the closest board in the pic as I replaced that in 2013 and it was in decent shape (a little bit of mold on it, which bleach took care of). This kinda completes the South side. There's a little bit of work to do on the East side yet so I'm planning on doing that tomorrow and perhaps start on the west side.