Hello again, I hope you are having the same kind of weather that we are having in New York. It has been a beautiful few days in a row here. I actually took a picture of the sky on Saturday morning. Sometimes you really do have to stop and smell the roses. Or stop and appreciate the beauty around you.
I took Friday off from work to participate in “Career Day”. I thought it went pretty well. I talked about my career path in engineering and the construction industry. I talked to 8 different classes of students for 16 minutes each. It’s funny, I never really thought of myself as having a career.I had my website up on a screen and was able to spend about 5-6 minutes talking about Hobbit houses. I had a lot of fun talking.Ithink t was interesting for the kids at least I hope so. Some of the teachers thought the shed was cool so it was nice to get some positive feedback.
Career day ended around 11:00 AM so I was able to get over to the house and start the footings. Believe it or not Fiday was the first time that I really felt like this thing is really going to happen. I don’t know what it is about nailing wood together to build stuff but somehow when you start using nails and the skill saw I really get into it. The first board is always a little tricky, setting it in the right place, securing it, leveling it up. Once I got going I came up with a few tricks to help me along and I really got a lot done. I worked till about 5 then went to the gym. Here’s a picture after the first day.
Saturday my wife and I went to Massachusetts to visit my daughter at college . She was in a dance show at a place called MassMoca in North Adams. The show didn’t start until 2 PM so we weren’t going to leave until about 10am. I woke up at 5am and got a couple hours work in on the footings before I had to go. It was great! I got so much done.I think in one more long day I could have all the footing forms up and in place! The ride up to North Adams was really nice and we had a great time watching our daughter dance. We had a really great dinner at a place called “The Hub” in North Adams. Good food and good specialty drinks! It was nice seeing Georgia. Good luck with finals! We love you!
The footings that I am putting together are not your typical residential house foundation footings. These footings are 16 inches deep and are going to require some special attention. Most residential footings are about 10 inches thick and can be braced quite easily with re-bar or D-stakes. Or a number of other ways which I will not get into here. Once the height of the form increases the potential of the concrete to push the forms over increasees dramatically causing,what we call in the business, a blowout. That’s when the forms break and the concrete goes all over the place. I have never been involved with a blowout that was fun. And anyone who is in the concrete business who says he’s never had a blowout hasn’t been in the concrete business very long. Anyway it’s a little early but we’ll get into how we are going to brace the footing forms next week I hope. Here’s a picture of the footings with a D-stake support. The D-stakes have holes in them so you can drive a nail through it and into the plank.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a residential foundation and this is the first time I ever used a laser level to help with setting the footing forms. But man, what a breeze. The top of this footing is probably within a quarter of an inch if not better. I hope the weather holds up for next weekend.
Maybe we have a gardener or arborist out there? I have a bush on the property that bloomed the other day and I was hoping someone could identify it for me. Let me know what it is or if you have an idea of what it is. Here’s the picture.
Now the fun really begins! Enjoy your week till we meet again.
From Hobbit Hollow Jim