One Step Closer

We now have finished installing all the extra reinforcing rebar that needed to be added to the intersections and base of the structure.   We also spent some time today going over the electrical plan.  Any wiring to fixtures such as ceiling lights that will be imbedded in the concrete, must be run through conduit.  Their placement needs to be set before the shell is sprayed.




Time For Reinforcements

As we get closer to the end of our Rebar Saga, it’s time to add some reinforcement.  The shell will be thicker at the bottom and in the corners so we are adding more rebar to  support the extra concrete.




We also received extra reinforcements in the form of Beckett, Karen & Meredith.  We needed to move the bundles of foam boards stored along side our driveway, up to the building site and “inside” our house.  They will be used as a backer when the concrete shell gets sprayed.


pastedGraphic_1.pdfWe went up and down the driveway 7 times




This week we will be enclosing the North wall so it was great to get these big bundles in while we had he big opening.  Thanks Gang!




The Big Push (& I’m not referring to the tugboat pushing the barge down the river)

I have taken a few days off from Lazerquick to be able to concentrate on our building project.   I was joined today by Richard, Daren, Josh and Mike from RK Concrete.  It was an ideal work day with it being partly cloudy and the temperature not to hot.




These guys were amazing (and all possessed remarkable balance).  By the end of the day we had finished perhaps 95 percent of the rebar work.






Don’t CRANE You Neck

While Jeff is away working on a writing project I have enlisted the help of some of our mechanical friends to lend a hand.  The cupola form is not particularly heavy but rather bulky to lift by hand to the top of the house.  I used the crane extension I made for Dozy to lift the cupola.  But first….




I needed to be able to get really close to the structure so I built up a ramp with heavy timbers.  This allowed  the cranes reach to get as close to the top as possible.




Meredith, Karen and Beckett stopped by and with their help, we were able to get the cupola up and in position on top of the compression ring. (and thanks Karen for your wonderful home made salsa)






This is the first really solid object connected to our house which really contrasts against the openness of the rebar framework.  As my mother might say:  “My doesn’t that cupola stand out.”




Now with the task at hand done, time to clean up.  Dozy’s new friend, our powered wheelbarrow made easy work of moving the timbers from the temporary ramp to the wood pile. pastedGraphic_5.pdf


By the way, we have not yet named him/her yet.  Here are the suggestions so far:  Scooter-Barrow,  Scoopy-Do or Scoopty-Do, Old Yeller, Killer, Dumpy, Dumpoe or the French variation Dumpeaux.  Do any of these names get your favorite vote?  Or do you have a different suggestion?  Post a comment.


1 comment

I like Dumpy. With Dozy, it’s like two of the seven heavy machinery dwarves.
Sunday, September 13, 2009 – 07:16 PM


We Labored The Weekend

With almost every day of Labor Day weekend starting out with a rain storm, we didn’t think we would get much done.  The weather however cleared up in the afternoons so we did accomplish some.  First was fabricating the octagonal rebar rings to  go up the sides of the cupola.




We used the cupola itself as a jig to hold the rebar in place for welding.




We then flipped the ring over and welded the other side for extra strength.  It would have been very difficult to accurately bend a perfect octagon so it made sense to make them this way.  Plus the welding was a lot of fun.


These rings will then be spaced about a foot apart going up the cupola and tied into vertical rebar that will also be attached to the rebar at the top of the house.




Next we primed the cupola inside and out.  This is probably overkill since it will be covered in tar paper but just in case we don’t get a chance to get the concrete shell done this year, it will be extra protection.  Finally, we built a “lid” that extends 4 inches out from the edge of the cupola.  This will act as a block for the concrete as it gets sprayed up the side.




LASER Beam Me Up Scotty

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make a perfect diagonal “slice” out of the cupola form.  The it came to me…use a laser beam. I got out my camera tripod that has a special swivel ball leveler under the standard camera mount, and bungeed a laser onto it.


The swivel ball allowed me to set the diagonal angle.  By rotating the camera mount, the laser projected a red dot onto the form which I marked off. (It’s too bad the laser wasn’t powerful enough to actually cut the wood. It would have made my job easier.)  I then transfered the marks to the outside by drilling holes along the lines.  Got my saw out.  And Voila!



The weather forecast calls for rain, so we are not sure what more we will get done this weekend.  I’m glad we have the tarp up over the work area.