Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Foundation piers are completed

I finished up the concrete mixing and pouring yesterday and just came back to the site today to check and make sure everything was alright with the forms.

The main concerns with the footings are that they remain plumb and straight in line with the other footings in their same trench. Height of footings are not critical as posts can be cut to achieve level for the beams to come. A diagonal measure from the corners is very important to get your building started off square.

It seems I also had a supervisor today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pouring the concrete

As we have no power at the building site and because I have vast experience at mixing concrete in a wheel barrow that's what I am going to do. I am using high strength crack resistant "kwikcrete" with a PSI rating over 5,000. Mixing in a wheel barrow is easiest with a square edge shovel as it scrapes the bottom better than a round point. As each additional bag was mixed and put into the forms I would beat the outside of the forms with a hammer to help the crete settle and eliminate air pockets.

Each form will hold nine eighty pound bags which comes out to 72 bags--almost three tons on concrete.....Alot of mixing.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Building the footing forms

I designed and built the forms for the footings in the shop building on site. I had some sheets of 3/4" exterior grade plywood that had been used and reused and used again so I decided to use them as forms. I cut them into the appropriate size pieces and used 2x4's as the frame and built the forms. they are 20" square by 9" deep at the bottom then 12" square and 48" high from there. There is over 30' of 3/8" rebar inside each form.

The galvanized post clamp seen at the top is firmly attached to the rebar cage on the inside.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So it begins

Today is the first day of actual construction. Up until now it has all been thinking, planning and dreaming. I took the backhoe down to the site and dug two trenches about twenty feet long and slightly over four feet deep. The frostline in this area goes below three feet so we I went somewhat deeper than that. I used the "hoe" to dig with as the soil here is full of rocks from hen's egg size up to volkswagon beetle size.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

On site and ready to go

I have finished all of my travel for the year and have returned home to begin building the first Kuti (cabin) for the "Old Gold Mine Hermitage". I just spent several days with my friend and co developer Brian and we feel we are ready to go. He will come for a two week "working" visit in July. I need to get the foundation piers, posts and support beams installed by the time he arrives. Over the next three weeks I will be getting tools and workshop space setup, designing the footing forms and generally trying to get organized.