Sunday, March 30, 2008
Since The Last Time
Just a little close up so you can see the details better. Now, I need some outdoor furniture and a grill! This is a cross section of how we ran the cap. That is just a five-quarter deck board on the top. All of this is fastened down with galvanized screws or spiral nails. You could use stainless steel fasteners but they are very expensive. Either one will not cause a discolored spot on your lumber and of course, won't rust.
I love the shadows that the rebar casts.
I did not get a whole lot accomplished this weekend but did get some much needed landscaping done. I'll show you that later.
*Lyle Lovett/ Joshua Judges Ruth album
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Dark Hole Again
You can kind of see how muddy the water was as it came out. In this photo, the rate of flow had slowed down somewhat due to the line clogging some. At times it spewed water 2-3 feet in the air as it left this hose. We emptied the spring many, many times over the course of the day, sometimes letting it recover for an hour or 2. We removed a lot of sand and muck and also leaves and roots. During one of the sessions I saw an enormous crawfish running around in the bottom! He was probably wondering what the hell was going on... there had been water here a minute ago!!
I was ecstatic to see how fast the water flowed into the spring at the bottom. It would refill in just a matter of minutes. Of course, I know it slows down at times, depending on how dry it has been but I think this is a very good source of water. Anyway, I think it did a lot of good. I have been checking the spring on and off this week and it is getting clearer and clearer. In fact, you can see clearly 16" or so down into the water. I think I may do one more good cleaning session maybe next weekend, before we reconnect the supply lines. The alternative spring is working fine; the water is very clear and the filter has been able to clean itself properly with this clear water. I set it to purge itself once a day for about a week to get all that sediment out from when the water was bad and it seems to have cleared up. So, things are looking up. Knock on wood.
This 3 day weekend has been great and we have just about finished with the deck handrails. Tomorrow I need to finish up the rebar at the entrance and apply a coat of linseed oil to the whole deck and it will be done! Time to start bringing out the potted plants and such. I will post some photos of the finished product a little later.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend if you celebrate Easter and even if you don't! The weather here lately has been a beautiful celebration of spring itself. Lots of things budding and blooming and sprouting. My tomato seeds that karl sent me have sprouted and I am very excited about that. I shared a couple of the varieties with the Switchman, as he is an avid gardener also, and he reported to me the other day that all of his had come up. He seemed quite happy about it. I can't wait to taste these new varieties.
*Cowboy Junkies/from album "Open"
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Don't Fence Me In
Anyway, we started on the deck Sunday and got about halfway. I brought home 2 big loads of leftover rebar from work and incorporated that into my handrails. It is an effort to save money and have something that is a little different. You know, think outside the handrail. With a little imagination and luck finding a lot of scrap material you can come up with some unique things. Of course, it is very strong also. But, I cannot take all the credit for the design as I saw something very similar to this in a magazine. I think I have mentioned before that out here I don't have any building inspections but I do have certain code requirements for the insurance company. Handrails and smoke alarms I think are the two main ones. So, the International Building Code states that: Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall have guards not less than 36 inches in height. Required guards shall have intermediate rails or ornamental closures that do not allow passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter. Now, it goes on to say that you cannot have horizontal rails that result in a ladder effect but I am going to try to get around that one. Almost every handrail I have ever installed on a commercial site (houses included) has had horizontal rails and nothing was ever said.
The posts were installed one at a time and the rebar threaded through as we went, with the longest pieces of rebar passing through 3 posts. This will be capped with a horizontal 2x4 and a 5 quarter deck board on top of that. I liked the use of these bent bars to do the corners and it is very sturdy. After everything is up I will come back and clean the rebar up with a wire brush and spray it good with a matte polyurethane. I am anxious to get this completed so I can get all the potted plants on the deck now that it is warming up. I thought I would plant some of the morning glory seeds that karl, over at Pile of O'Melays sent me, in a big pot and let it roam around the handrail.
Here you can see how the posts are attached to the deck. I notched the deck boards to let the posts come in flush and notched 3/4" out of the posts themselves. This lets the rebar that is centered in the posts fall pretty much right over the outer edge of the deck. The posts are through bolted to the band although in a few places I am going to have to use lag screws because the layout hit directly on some of the joists. Not a problem though. Allen put that little bevel on the bottom of the posts just for a little nicety. I get a three day weekend this week so I am very excited to get all that time to work on the house. I can finish the handrail in one more day I believe, now that all the posts are drilled, and have the other 2 days to work on the inside of the house maybe. The next big project is siding. I am so sick of looking at that Tyvek.
Lots of stuff going on now that the days are getting longer and I really want to get started on the garden too. There is still so much to do I get overwhelmed continually but try not to think about everything. I have made a list and just try to do one thing at a time. I saw my brother and sister a couple of weeks ago after a long absence and it shocked them a little how gray my hair is now! Don't know if it is the house or just genetics.
Friday, March 14, 2008
It's Raining Again
In between rain storms we have had some gorgeous spring days. Temps in the 60's and 70's. On these days the house warms up to around 70 degrees and will stay stay at that for most of the night. I do have to let the heat come on some in the wee mornings hours but the house seems to retain heat well.
I am trying to expand my collection of daffodils. These are planted in an open area as you approach the house. I like the fact that they all seem to face towards the driveway, as if to greet me when I come home.
I hope to be working on deck handrails this weekend. I'll post any progress I make on that.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Train Kept A-Rollin'
See, today was the day that they brought the first locomotive in for fueling. There are 2 tracks inside the building and right now only one is connected but the other is all ready for use. The railroaders have been coming over to the building a lot this past week, checking everything out and looking so everyone was very excited today. All the big wigs from Atlanta came and they let us stop work and watch them bring the train in. I realized after I saw these photos that I should have gotten one alongside the train. There were actually 2 locomotives but you can't see that. They were fueling them up as we left. These things are enormous when you are standing next to one in a building. Anyway, it was a great day.
* there were many songs to choose from about trains but I liked this one by the Yardbirds, one of my favorite groups as they are one of Clapton's first bands.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Too Many Dirty Dishes
I use this toaster oven, which works great for baking lots of things. The guys kid me and say that I'll never be able to cook in a full size oven again. I have made them many homemade biscuits in this oven. Plus, the toaster oven works wonderfully to warm your plates on as you are cooking. I mostly use my own pottery to eat off of and stoneware will draw the heat out of food if it is not warmed up itself. I have a microwave and a little, one burner propane cooktop and that is about all I need really. Of course, I don't cook for several people either. I am going to buy a nice grill soon for the deck and that will help a lot.
Several of the younger men I work with say that their wives don't cook, in fact, don't even know how. How is this? Mama never really taught me much but I guess I just wanted to know. The guys often have to go home, bathe their kids and cook supper. I don't understand these younger women. There is nothing wrong with these men doing some of this but the women ought to know how just for their own sake. They seem to have an attitude of, oh, he'll do it for me. I have talked to some of them myself and so it's not just what the guys are telling me. It seems some of these younger women think that being a feminist means sitting on your butt and talking some man into doing everything. I guess I lost my handbook when I was little because I never have figured out how to find a man that will do all these things. But what these women don't realize is that they are dependent on someone else then for their well being and that is a bad thing. All women, and I guess men too, should know:
1. How to cook at least a small variety of meals.
2. How to sew a little, at least to make repairs on garments.
3. How to mix one good drink.
4. How to change a flat tire.
5. How to properly drive a nail.
6. How to weld.
7. How to wash clothes. You'd be surprised how many don't.
8. How to grow something you can eat.
9. How to balance a checkbook.
10. How to write a good thank you note.
Was this all a rant? Did I leave out an item that you think everybody should know?
*title is an old blues song by Albert Collins.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
What's The Matter Here?
Last weekend also had me fighting it out with the wasps. It warmed up some and I came home to find about 20 wasps in the house. I had had it with those damn things so it was war for about 2 hours. I think I got most of them and stopped up the bottom of the clerestory wall so any more can't come down that way.
I still have to fix the spring and I may have to redo the media in my water filter but things are improving. It is kind of two steps forward and one step back all the time. This weekend I got the posts for the deck handrails and have them cut etc. They are almost ready to start installing. Tomorrow I must attend my brother and his wife's 25th wedding anniversary party so I will not get anything done on the house but I don't see them much as it is.
It is gradually getting warmer here so I planted a row of lettuce and 2 rows of brussel sprouts the other day after I came home from work. I plan on starting my tomato seeds soon. I am very much ready for warm weather and longer days.
Another carpenter left the job to go to another one so I am one of 2 left. Not sure how much longer I will be there or where I will go afterward. The Switchman must have noticed that I was looking kind of down at work Monday (after the wasp fight, etc.) and he yelled for me to smile as he went by on a train. I guess I didn't do a good job of it because he frowned and asked did I not have anything to smile about? I just shook my head as he was out of earshot at this point. About an hour later he came out and found me to ask what was wrong and so I told him some of my frustrations. I tried not to rant, lest he think that I am more of a nut than he already believes. He did offer a sympathetic ear though and cheered me up some.
Hey, speaking of switchmen and trains... did you know that locomotives are full of sand? I know you know, Woody, so you don't get to say! We installed a huge sand silo at work and we heard that it was somehow used for the trains but I did not understand until the other day that the locomotives actually have big compartments up front and carry it with them!
*10,000 Maniacs/ In My Tribe album