Bilbo’s Trolls Arrive.

Most  of  you  have seen “The Hobbit.” Remember the three trolls who stole the ponies? If you do, then you’ll understand this a bit better. If you haven’t seen the movie, imagine the ugliest guy you’ve ever seen and make him about 12 foot tall and 900 pounds. With bad manners as well…and bad breath too.

Bilbo’s trolls arrived today. They put me in a sack, tied it to a tree and then proceeded to use it as a human punching bag. This went on for approximately 8 hours. That didn’t really happen but that’s what I felt like after tying rebar all day Saturday. Man am I beat up. I’m just not used to that type of work. I crawled home and took two ibuprofen. I didn’t finish but I’m getting closer.

Ethan helped me out today. Actually quite a bit. He cleaned up and spent about 2 hours cutting  the odds and ends rebar I needed. He also cut up this I beam that I forgot to get rid of  when we demolished the original house. We’re going to take that and any left over rebar scraps to the scrap recycling center up in Wingdale. Hopefully we’ll get a few bucks for the stuff. Here’s a better picture of Ethan using the demo saw.

Ethan cutting up an I beam for scrap.
Ethan cutting up an I beam for scrap.

We got a visit from our first tropical storm of the year. Andrea raced up the East coast this week. We took some heavy rain Friday into Saturday morning. By the time I got started it had all cleared out. Thank goodness. Earlier in the week it was predicted that it would rain all day Saturday into Sunday, and I almost started to cry. The strean and waterfall were really raging. I got to thinking about water wheels and hydroelectric turbines. The site here isn’t well suited for solar power but maybe hydro power will work. It would be pretty cool  to generate your own electricity. I mean look at this waterfall. There has got to be a way to get power out of something like this.

Waterfall after tropical storm Andrea had passed by.
Waterfall after tropical storm Andrea had passed by.

I talked to Brian and Tim (aka “The Flash”) about fixing the wall rebar so it stays in place better.These guys are the wire lather foremen for the company I work for. They made up some U’s to spread the top of the vertical rebars. It worked really well. It  helped spread the vertical rebars the proper distance apart. This way when we go to stand up the verticals for the walls later on everything is in the right place. I put them about 8 foot on center. Here’s a picture.

Rebar U's help spread the wall dowels apart the correct distance.
Rebar U’s help spread the wall dowels apart the correct distance.

I was by myself all morning and one of the things I had to do was tighten the banding wire around the East footing form. Like I said this stuff when it’s tensioned is super strong. This picture shows the banding wire biting into the footing form.

Banding wire tight to footing form.
Banding wire tight to footing form.

I have about 4 hours of rebar work to do. I’m hoping to get it done Sunday. Even if I get done, I still have to come back Monday to pin and epoxy some rebar into the rock on the Northeast corner before I can call for an inspection. I forgot the Hilti drill at work on Friday. Would you believe I brought that Hilti drill home the last three weekends in a row and never used it? Oh well.

Sunday: My wife is so sick. She has some sort of 24 hour bug that she thinks she got at work. Everyone else is fine though. I hope she gets better soon. I miss her and the happiness she brings into the house. I wish I could do something for her. I thought she would be feeling better by noon on Sunday but she really doesn’t  seem to be much better. 

I went over to the house early today. 5am. I slept on the couch so my wife would have the bed to herself while she was sick. When I woke up I knew I wouldn’t go back to sleep so I just figured I would go to the house and finish the rebar up,  which I did.

What I had to do was install the rebar for the retaining walls at the corners of the Hobbit house.The one corner was a little tricky. It also encompasses a retaining wall for a set of stairs. The picture is a bit confusing but the stairs are going to go up the side of the house to a small side yard at the roof level. I think I’m going to put a grill up there someday. There’s quite a nice view of the front yard as well. See if you get it.

 

Corner retaining wall rebar for future set of stairs.
Corner retaining wall rebar for future set of stairs.

For those of you who are familiar with commercial construction you might have wondered why I was using such heavy rebar. The drawings for this design pretty much call for all #5 rebars in the footing mat as well as the verticals. I used #8s because I got them for free. There was a mistake on the job I was on and all the #8 rebar had to get replaced with epoxy coated #8s. Tons and tons of rebar had to get taken out. What we could reuse we did but all the Z-bar #8s were going to get thrown out so I took them. I had Ethan cut them up for straights and L-bars. Believe it or not the Z-bars actually worked perfectly for the step footing rebar detail.

Z-bar detail in step footing.
Z-bar detail in step footing.

Here’s the site at the end of the day Sunday.

Rebar nearly done.
Rebar nearly done.

I’m hoping I can leave work a little early on Monday. I really need to take care of the rock drilling detail before I can call for an inspection.The traffic from Queens is horrific but last Monday wasn’t so bad. If I do the drilling maybe I’ll add it to this post. Next weekend I would really like to pour this foundation. I need to schedule a concrete pump and concrete delivery for next Saturday. I have to set that up by mid week if I’m going to do it.

My editor is sick in bed so we’ll have to chaulk up any mispelled words or run on sentences in my column this week to me. I love my editor…get well soon!

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

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