The title of this post might be an overstatement . . . but I'll get to that in a little bit.
First, I love this picture of me and Gardner taken one morning last week as I was going out to work. Children have such a genuine cheerfulness!
I finished the forms on Saturday. The kids helped move piles of dirt, hold the tape measure, chase tools, drink Gatorade, and just help keep me company. The video is of Joel using the compactor since the garage is where the garden used to be.
The strings are all coming together in the center of where the garage will be. They are from each corner and both sides - it seems as though everything is still square with the forms finished.
Laura noticed that the string was pink and asked if I wanted to keep the rest of the roll (she wanted it since it was pink). The string was to make sure that we had the right depth for the concrete. Laura helped me shave off some dirt from the high places.
Monday was a long day. I was outside with Joel and Laura shortly after 6 am, we had to get all the tools out, put down the plastic for a vapor barrier, put gravel in the bottom of the footers, and then back fill the forms (so the concrete wouldn't push them out). I went to pick up some of the tools and supplies before the first concrete truck arrived at 8:15. The kids had to be back inside at 8:00 for school, but they sure were watching all that was happening.
Bro. Mest, one of the men from our church, came and spent the day helping with the project; I couldn't have done this without him.
Below are a few pictures and video of the happenings.
The fun begins . . .
Fortunately, the truck had a 22' reach instead of 16' as I had originally been told. So, with the swing of the shoot, we could get the concrete to every corner of the forms.
Time for the screet board . . . it is the rough leveling. We used a couple of 14' 2X6's nailed together - you slide it back and forth across the top of the forms to make sure the all the holes are filled in and the high spots are leveled. It works like an old fashioned buck saw.
Laura wanted to show some of my new tools - usually, with a project, I'll get some new tools . . . :-)
Gatorade is an essential part of this kind of work . . .
It is also rather common to get things in your boots when you have your jeans tucked in to them (I'm cleaning dirt out of my boots). We were one yard short, not by miscalculation, but by truck capacity - so we are waiting for the final yard of concrete. Our neighbor, Dick Meyer, stopped to chat for a little bit. We have really good neighbors all the way around.
After the concrete was all poured, then it was time for the bull float - it is a 4' magnesium trowel with about an 18' handle.
Truck #2. The weather was almost perfect; it was a little cool and overcast - although we did have to keep picking out leaves - I'm sure there are some that are now a part of the "fiber" mix that was in the concrete. You can notice how the bull float has helped to smooth the concrete.
The final video is of me using the power trowel. There is definitely a learning curve with this machine. I had watched Clarence Moore use one at ABC and he made it seem to just glide back and forth across the cement. On this job, it was more like me getting jerked back and forth across the cement. Finally, I learned how to steer the thing by either pushing down or lifting on the handles and letting it steer itself; it still wore me out even after I figured some things out on it.
The edges did not finish as well as I would have liked. I couldn't get as close to the forms as I should have and I didn't stop to hand trowel when I should have - but that is only a cosmetic issue and the floor plates will cover most of the edges. A professional wouldn't have made those mistakes; when they "finish concrete" it is totally smoothed - when I "finish concrete" I have completed to task!
Overall, I'm very pleased with the result.
All of my building materials are supposed to be delivered on Friday, so we'll get into the kind of work that I'm much more familiar with in just a few days.
Tonight I let the kids roller blade and bike ride on the concrete; I recorded it, but it was too close to dark to be able to see.
Oh, I must again remind you of all the support that Carol is behind the scenes!
On the church front, we are now in the process of nominating our first deacons. I'm thrilled that God has brought us to this point and look forward to having Godly men working in this ministry. Things are going as well as ever and we are so blessed to be where God has placed us.