Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Smooth Operator

I am very, very tired tonight but I did want to get up a few photos of what we have been working on in regards to the ongoing chicken coop saga. I tried to get some mud yesterday but they were too busy so we had to set up for today. This morning it was threatening rain but I didn't want to reschedule; didn't know when things would be dry again. So, I kept it coming and turns out it didn't rain at all. It was, at least, nice and cloudy so we were not having to work in the hot sun. Here my help was taking pictures instead of pulling that mud down! Ha! Just kidding! Jack did a real good job of helping me pour even though he had never done such work before. He caught on real well.

Seriously, there wasn't much time for picture taking so the next chance Jack got was as I began to finish the stuff. The large float there is called a bull float. You push and pull it across to smooth the surface and then move over to the perpendicular side to cross over your strokes. This works down any high spots and helps level the mud before you float it off by hand.

Obviously, the bull float is great when you are pouring an area larger than you can reach from the sides. After the mud has set some you can put a knee board out on the wet concrete, to distribute your weight, and kneel on it to reach the center.

And here you can see a little of the footing for the tool shed. We really worked hard because they sent me a little extra concrete. I ordered 2 yards but the plant loaded around 2 1/2 yards or maybe even a little more. The driver had a yard and a half left over from one pour and they added another yard to make sure I had enough. We poured everything I could think of. We filled concrete block around the house, set one fence post, dumped some on where the floor of the tool shed is going to be and finally the driver just dumped the rest on one part of my driveway that is bad to wash. That is another reason I like to order from a plant if I can; you will often get a little more than what you order. I figured it to be around 1 1/2 yards but you can't order a half a yard, so I went with 2. The driver was real nice and suggested the driveway thing because he said he would hate to take it back to dump on the plant yard when I could use it somewhere.

This is the finished slab. Or at least, finished after I decided I had had enough. Actually, it is quite slick and I was pleased with the results. My left hand may not function tomorrow, but I got a pretty finish. A friend commented that the chickens were not going to care what the slab looked like but of course, you all know that is not the point with me. Yes, I am screwed in the head. I care what it looks like but a slick finish is much easier to clean. I said those damn chickens better care!! They better ooh and aah over it and rub their little feathers over it and compliment me weekly on their beautiful digs.
I'm not sure if I mentioned in my other post but the slab is slanted 1/4" per foot to one side so that water will easier drain off after cleaning.
Well, bedtime for me!! and gonna take it kinda easy tomorrow.


Sissy said...

Now you are showing 'your stuff'! Annie, I think you are just amazing but know that hard work gets you after awhile.

I see the elevation now but had pictured flat land.

Wonder if Jack has a brother that's available? LOL. Here is my phone#. Give it to him!

Seriously though, it IS hard or impossible to do things by oneself, So much goes undone here now.

Ed said...

Having poured a lot of concrete over the years and had to dump extra concrete over the years, it seems like Murphy's Law that I've had to break up said poured extra concrete more times than I care to remember years later when a reason to do so came along. However, the driveway is one of the better places to do so since it is rarely repurposed.

edifice rex said...

Hey Sissy! thanks! yeah, there is no flat land anywhere around my place! the driver commented on that too.
Jack does have a brother! lol! but, he is married! it helps so much to have someone who will help you do things.

Hey Ed! Exactly! and that is why I was real careful where I put the stuff. At work we can just bury it or something but I hate to waste anything; especially something that is such a good deal.

Jenn said...

Your chickens may not care, but as you said - being able to clean it up proper will be well worth your time!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That is going to be a mighty fine looking chicken house and just watching it go up has me exhausted. Time to go and relex now. Seriusly, though it is looking really good in as much as I know about building things.

Allen Thrasher said...

That mud looks pretty stiff~~about a 3" slump?? It should be some very strong concrete!!

edifice rex said...

Hey Jenn! that's right!

Hey Beatrice! thanks! I think it is going to turn out well.

Hey Allen! Ha! nah, it was on about a 5 or 6, believe it or not. It was about a 3 first out, but I had him add about 3 gallons of water. That pile you see had built up a bit while Jack was taking pictures! but it wern't too wet I guarantee you that!