Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Staking Out the Foundation

First, a Blogger update.  Apparently, there was a bug in Blogger (who hosts this site) and yesterday's blog didn't appear to everyone.  I could see it just fine, but some of you could not.  For you, there will be two entries today, this one and if you scroll down, "We Are Literally On A Roll Now", which was yesterday's.

The weather here in Bleecker has been unusual.  First, we had biblical proportions of rain.  That seems to be over, but now we have hot.  Not Georgia "I'm Going To Hell To Cool Off" hot, but 90 degree hot.  It makes getting anything done more difficult.

First, let me lead off with work clothes.  I get filthy dirty working on our place and I sweat like a hog.  This was never a problem for me when I was younger, but it is now.

Second, I don't have much of a sense of smell.  That disappeared long ago.

So I was putting on my work clothes, getting ready for the day, and which I wear for two or three days in a row in the interest of saving laundry, when Pam walked by.  She wrinkled up her nose.


Um... you better toss those in the laundry.


You stink.

OK.  Tomorrow.  I'm all dressed except for my boots.  Luckily, Earl can't smell anything either.  We're good.

And with that, I finished lacing up my work boots and we were off.

The first thing we did was to stake out the foundation.  We have a basic outline of our little Unabomber Cabin and we can start digging.  Pam and I used Earl's compass, correcting for a 13.43 degree west declination to get true south, and using Pythagorean's theorem (thanks Miss Filer!) got it square.  We didn't like where it was on the hill and decided to move it.  Three times.  Do we want it here, or maybe six feet over this way?

Pam went off the mountain to get groceries and pink ribbon to tie to the stakes that we hammered in with rocks.  I moved all the stakes a few more times.  Without ribbon to finalize everything, I jumped on the tractor and dragged Earl's mobile home front end around to smooth out what previously was a mud bog, now dried up.  It works really well.  While I was doing that, Earl drove the backhoe over on it's newly  inflated tire.  He filled in the hole he dug to check for a spring since we decided that it is not a spring, but merely a gigantic mud puddle.

Pam arrived a bit later and we ran the ribbon around the stakes to get a feel for the house.

I like this next photo.  In it, you can see the land we graded and smoothed, TODD (the Trailer Of Death and Doom), the backhoe and it's newly inflated tire, part of our house's outline, and Earl and Pam.  Many projects rolled nicely up into one photo.

So what do you think?  

It looks small.  Really small, said Pam.

Yeah, but remember we lived on a boat for three years.  This will seem huge!

... it looks small.

The footprint is 28 x 30, with the kitchen sticking out another 12 x 14.  It will be a full story on the first floor, and a half story on the second.  Plus we'll have a full basement.  How much room do two people and three dogs need?

... it looks small.

I have to admit that it did look small.  But it will probably seem much larger once we put up walls and fill it with furniture.

"You know what? " said Earl?


"You need the dump truck to do this foundation.  Let's get it going."

The dump truck's air brakes are locked up because the air tank rusted through.  If you remember from a previous blog entry, the default for truck air brakes is ON.  Air pressure is needed to release them, and if there's a leak in the system, they're on.

Previously, we had started the dump truck and I heard hissing sounds from the tank.  The truck wouldn't move.  So Earl, whom nothing fazes, decided to remove the tank and either weld it up or replace it with a tank from the trailer.  

To get to the tank, we needed to remove the truck's running boards.   The bolts holding the running boards in place were rusted solid.  Not a problem to Earl.  We'll simply grind the heads off the bolts and push them through from this side.

There were a dozen of these and it took us all afternoon to do it, but thanks to perseverance and Pabst we got it done.

You can see the air tank behind the running board brackets up at the top of the photo.  The tank is held on by two straps attached with T bolts.  The T bold nuts are rusted on real good too.  Don't you wonder why anything that is used outdoors uses plain steel nuts and bolts that rust into an unrecognizable blob of gunk?

I finally found a tool that I have that Earl does not.  A nut splitter.  But the nut splitter was home and so we decided to call it a day.  It was getting late, we were running out of beer, and Earl was wrinkling up his nose whenever I got too close.

1 comment:

  1. Small, but not tiny. Google Small House Movement and Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. That's small.

    Thanks for sticking a Miss Filer earworm in my head. So here's one for you: "the sum of the angles around a point is 180 degrees!" Dah-dah-Dah-duh-duh-duh-DUH-duh-Duh-de-duh.... Let that one spin for a day or so.

    I'd send you the YouTube URL, but apparently Miss Filer preceeded Al Gore's Internet.