Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Levelling Uneven Granite for Footings.

While I was pleased to have the footings completed for the sauna, and had already purchased enough concrete block to build up four corners, Grandpa seems to be driven to also have the cabin keep pace. While this isn't a requirement of our plans, it isn't a detriment either, and when Grandpa wants to accomplish something, I sure won't hold him back! On the contrary, I'll try to help facilitate that.

The morning after a long night of wind and rain, I was a bit confused trying to understand what I was seeing here. I was watering a nearby tree when my eyes noticed that the clothes line wasn't quite right. It took me a moment to really focus and understand that the wind had claimed another victim!

Grandpa arrived bright and early, and ready to pump out the rainwater from our excavation site. Electrical safety manuals are welcome to reprint this picture of Grandpa pooh-poohing danger.

F!'s excavations had revealed that the site of the cabin was not nearly as amenable to easy footings as the sauna site was. Both locations had an area of about 16 by 16 that was nice and flat, but then dropped off dramatically and randomly outside of that zone. For the 12 by 12 footprint of the sauna, this was not an issue. For the 22 by 22 footprint of the cabin, this meant that we had to try to fit our square onto a very chaotic surface as best we could. In the end, we wound up with one corner placed nicely on rock, another about a foot down, and the other two about three feet down. There were one or two pits along the walls as well that will need to be filled.

As you can see, I decided to recycle some of the poles from my parent's dining tent into the concrete - I figured a little reinforcement couldn't hurt! Of course, in the interim, a concrete "guy" has looked at my situation and is certain that there is no need for these. I am building on a single, solid piece of granite that he is quite certain will not be moving in my lifetime.

At first I planned on pouring into the lowest hole and then running a course of block. Then pouring more footings that would butt up against the block I had run. Quickly I realized that the logistics of getting blocks to be level from one area to another would be very challenging in this locale. Of course, we had already poured a "complete" footing at that point. I decided that we'd just pour on top of this.

That made the next pour a little easier. This was in a truly deep hole, and after a frustrating time of trying to build a footing frame for it, I opted instead to just build a crib on the outside edge of the hole, and then pour in concrete (while Donna and Kenny set in rocks) to try to fill the hole up to a workable level. I believe this worked out a little better, and certainly was easier than building forms (even if it did mean mixing up a little extra concrete - a process that is rapidly losing its romance...)

That was enough for one day - I was wiped, physically and emotionally - I ate a little soup that Donna had prepared for us, and then retired while she graciously took care of Kenny's nighttime routine.


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