With a morbid creak, the cabin started to move. Slowly, I pumped the handle to the 30 ton bottle jack I had propped between redwood slabs, cautiously peering between the concrete and the wood of our foundation. With each pump of the handle, the cabin raised a few more millimeters, the wooden supports groaning precariously, until I saw a fingernail of sunlight through the opposite side. Working quickly, I took a maul and knocked out the old wooden shim, and banged in an identically cut block into its place. Checking to make sure the alignment was perfect, I pulled the handle from the jack and using it to release the pressure, I slowly lowered the cabin back onto its concrete piling as the wood gave a sickening, stressful moan.
I was sitting under the cabin with Gabe, a WWOOFer from Washington who was on the first leg of a motorcycle trip around the continental
The cabin now supported by a piece of wood that did not look like swiss cheese, we hollered off the measurements for the side blocks as Creek worked rapidly to cut the blocks on the chop saw in the shop. The difficulty of cutting 16x9 inch blocks of wood with a chop saw should be obvious, but the table saw killed the generator, so it was our only choice. We marked the eighth of an inch metal straps that would secure the cabin on the foundation, and sent them up to the shop to get drilled by Creek. We hammer drilled through the pilings, fit the blocks and straps together, drilled through them, using a 50 year old auger bit that belonged to my father, and slipped ¼ inch bolts through the whole shebang, binding them together with an impact driver.
There were 12 foundation pilings to support and by the last one, I was lying prone next to a small patch of poison oak, with barely a foot of clearance as Dave handed me tools, and worked from the outside to get it all together. But now, the foundation is secure, the rebuilding can begin in earnest, and I will hopefully never have to pick up another house again. Whew!