It’s not the dreaded Northeast corner for nothing. If it was easy I would have already locked the whole thing up and would be waiting on a concrete truck.
Like I said in the title it feels like I’m losing the battle against the dreaded northeast corner. But the tide is turning…and it’s turning my way. I have a plan. Well not so much a plan but during Sunday while I was working I had a vision on how to conquer the dreaded northeast corner…and so the battle goes on. (The vision is going to have to wait until the nextpost…sorry it’s a visual and we’re not there yet.)
Saturday: I went over early around 6AM and got going. I told Jude to come over around 10AM with some friends to help out. This is the last weekend before our wall pour and there is a lot to do. I had a bunch of little things to set up for before they got there and I figured three or four hours would be enough time to get ahead of them. I had to do a bunch of miscellaneous steel work and a little carpentry work here and there. I started on the stair retaining wall in the southeast corner. I put the bulkhead in and added 3/4 skew back to set the grade. Then I finished the steel. The slope of the retaining wall is not that steep so I am not going to cap the wall like I did in the last post. Here’s a picture of the wall before close up.
I moved next to the Northwest corner. This was basically the same detail I did in the last post, nothing new here. I did space my threaded rod hold downs a bit better. That came out sweet.
Jude, RJ, and Kevin showed up at 10AM.( Ethan was visiting a friend in VT and Terence had some friends sleepover friday night and so they weren’t able to help out this Sat.) RJ and Kevin started the close up of the three corners. Southwest,southeast, and northwest. Jude needed a partner. I told him to call his friends and see if someone wanted to work a couple of hours. Aaron got there a little after ten and after my standard construction speech we set him up and they began work on the dreaded northeast corner. (Part of the speech is you’re not allowed to tell anyone where the site is or I’ll have to kill you.) I’ve only had to bury one body so far, which really isn’t too bad considereing we’re dealing with high schoolers…Just kidding. Here they are having at it.
So, what’s the plan man. As you can see from the above picture the dreaded northeast corner is a different animal. What we have to do is run horizontal walers every few feet making sure we catch each symmons form panel as it steps up the rock. Once this is done we run a vertical strongback waler and brace this to resist the force of the concrete when it gets poured.Here’s a picture of what they did by the end of the day.
I thought that the long walers at the top of the wall would pretty much keep everything plumb. I was wrong. I came back on Sunday to finish up some rebar work and put a four foot level on the vertical strongback you see in the picture.The wall was out of plumb almost two inches. My fault. Every once in a while when you work by yourself you hear something weird. Well I could have sworn that the dreaded northeast corner was kind of snickering at me. I think: Houston we have a problem.
OK I know you all are not concrete guys but when a wall like this has to get pushed two inches that is a really big deal…especially when you’re by yourself. Then I remembered. Behind the pool house at home there are three Doka 400 screw jacks…”Earth to Jude, this is Houston-over.” Thank God he was home. He had the truck.I really couldn’t do any more work without fixing this wall. Jude brought the jacks over.
The first jack I used to brace the wall and put it against a piece of rebar coming out of the footing. There’s a handle on the jack that you turn so that the jack gets longer this way you can actually push the wall if you brace the bottom correctly. But the rebar at the bottom of the jack started to bend so it wasn’t doing anything. SoI used another jack to brace the bottom of the first one. Here’s a picture.
Here’s the connection where the rebar was bending.
Once this was set up correctly I was able to push the wall plumb. With a little manpower added.
After that was done I was able to finish the rebar in the dreaded northeast corner and I will call for a rebar inspection Monday morning.
There is still quite a bit of work to do before the pour. I think Jude and his friends will be able to handle it. Still, I’ll have to do a few things after work every night but we really, really need to make this pour. I know we can do it.
Here’s a picture of the site when I left Saturday.
Next weekend…we pour walls!
Have a good week!