Tuesday, December 3, 2019

First of winter progress report

A couple of Sundays ago  . . .
I took the Volvo out for the last ride of the season . . .
. . . before I put it away in its newly floored shed .
Today this is what my driveway looks like . . . . yea not so nice
Detestable garbage really . . . only pain and agony ensues from it and it puts the kibosh on getting any projects done outside .
Like this job we squeaked in just last week before the snow .
The driveway at my parents house has always been a problem . Forty years ago when the place was built they never quite got it right leaving a lot of clay and loam under the ever so thin layer of gravel . In spring time it is a boggy muddy mess and a real challenge to drive on . It was sheer agony , but we finally got mother to agree that it needed to be fixed . This project has been over a year in the making. Yea , mom hasn't exactly made it easy . I really did not think we'd get it done at all . Paving plants are closed for the season but at least we got this part going .
They dug it all up about a foot deep and hauled the old muck away
Right there at the edge of the black fabric , there was a deep trench full of loam running right across the driveway under the gravel . So every year we get a massive frost heave about a foot higher than the slab in the garage , so that any snow melt would flood the garage badly . Hopefully that problem is gone now .
They dug up and hauled away three giant stumps from the trees that came down in the big storm two years ago .
Glad to see that stump gone , should make mowing a lot easier .
After the Geo-Tech is laid out
 . . a thick layer of heavy crushed rock goes down
Spread out and compacted
Then finished off with three inches of nicely graded and compacted gravel .
Next spring , when things thaw and the paving plant opens up again , we get it all hot topped .
But for now we finally have a driveway that's pitched the right way so the garage don't flood . . . That's five feet of pitch over one hundred and fifty feet , from the garage doors to the T in the driveway .
. . . . and you don't need a monster four wheeler to tackle the mud bog at the turn in the spring . . .
See those big granite slabs ?
Those are the front steps to the house .
They too were never put in right and were all wonky from forty years of frost heaving , and as the grade would be changing , I needed to fix that .
So back in late August I yanked them out in expectation of the driveway rebuild .
Doing the math on those things I figure they weigh about seven hundred pounds a piece and the bucket could not even begin to budge them without a counterweight on the back of the tractor , so I chained them up and used the three point hitch to lift them .
Then I bought some of these commie chinese made thirty inch fork lift tines for the bucket for the grand sum of $89 on Fleabay . But of course , when I try to pick up seven hundred pounds of granite with the bucket , the back wheels come up and loose traction and I can't go anywhere .
So using the base from an old engine stand and a steel barrel dad had laying around .
I cobbled this rig together so it fits in the receiver of the logging hitch I built last year .
 Now I can fill the barrel with rocks and off set the weight of the granite slabs . . .
But I guess we'll tackle that job in the spring when this garbage is gone

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Digit dammage take two . . .

How do you turn a thirty minute drywall patch job in to a half a day ordeal?


. . . "it could well be that your only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others"

Thursday, October 3, 2019

How do you eat a Hefalump?

One eighty pound bag at a time . . .

sixty of them . . . . forty eight hundred pounds all told
Had to make three trips as I did not dare carry more than sixteen hundred pounds at a time in my trailer
Loaded on , and loaded off . . . .
Marty brought over his cement mixer and I prep the first five by seven foot section to be poured .
Mix . . . .
Load . . .
Pour . . . fifteen bags
Level . . .
Float . . . .
and float six more times till we have some semblance of smoothness
Next day it looks like a slab. . . though the upper left hand corner came out a bit low to the level line
Next day prep the second five by seven section . . . a good place to dispose of scrap iron and broken hand tools
and dance with Marty's cement mixer again .
Fifteen more bags lifted , mixed , poured , leveled , and floated . . .
A little easier to get right this time with a level front and back
Next day a couple hours of work and I prep the third section
Mower and blower already making use of the new slab
I'm half way through eating the hefalump . . . it hurts just to look at those yellow bags
Sunday we wash rinse and repeat
aaaaand right here it all goes sideways on me when I accidentally mix an extra watery load and dump the whole mixer load in the wheel barrow . . . See if I'd been half as smart as my buddy Glenn Filthie claims I am , I'd have thought it out , and only poured half a mixer load in the barrow at a time so to avoid the spilling bit . But no , duffus maximus in typical fashion here , had to go full retard on this one and I am still paying for it today .
. . . . and in a feeble attempt to not spill said watery load from my crappy low sided , mended wheel barrow , I make an effort to keep it low just barely lifting it and my back gives out on me . . . 
I push through the pain and finish the pour . . . . just barely
. . . . and spend the next three days flat on my back unable to stand or walk
By Thursday afternoon , thanks to the wonders of modern chemistry , I am semi mobile again and spend a couple hours prepping the last section .
Friday I move the last sixteen bags onto the saw horses in a lame attempt at reducing the stress on my back . . . yea right!
and poured the fourth slab
Took the weekend off and rested my back again . Monday I mixed the last bag and a half of cement and poured the threshold under the doors .
Not bad for a hack .
Should keep the mess out of my garage too
And now the Volvo has a dry place to spend the winter hopefully avoiding the flood and ice we had last winter .
As I had to cut the doors short for them to open against the rising grade outside I added a sweep to the door on the inside .
And on the outside too