I’ll tell you right now that this was a monumental week for shore.
We had every type of hat in the closet on the jobsite this week: adobe hats, septic hats, framing hats, straw baling hats, decking hats, roofing hats, artistic hats, horseshoe hats, etc.
The lift station pump kit that we were waiting for finally arrived in at Colorado Precast Concrete. They called and said they would bring it out on Tuesday. This was like the final major part of the whole raised leach field system including the three septic tanks for the three houses. Having this final part allows us to install it in the lift tank, get it wired up, connect the last leg of piping from the pump UP into the raised beds, have it inspected, and be able to cover it up with soil so that it can be seeded and regrown.
The raised leach field is itself actually three separate fields place end to end to end, which gives it the appearance of one long field. But that’s why you see three black pipes coming out of the round green riser, one line going to each field. What came in on the truck was the whole pump kit which you can see in the very bottom of the green riser. The white pipes sticking up I attached to the whole thing as a long handle, so the thing can be easily pulled up to within reach.
What was crazy was that I actually needed to stand down IN that green riser WITH the pump equipment so I could measure, have Vidal cut them for me outside, then glue them all together down in there under grade. The green pipe is 2 feet in diameter, and 6 feet deep. Perty tight quarters to say the least. But I knew I could fit in there for what I needed to do. So I stood over the hole you’re looking at, had Vidal drive up in the Bobcat and raise the forks over my head, then I just hung myself from the forks of the Bobcat holding on with my hands, and he just lowered me down inside there.
I got the work done, he jumped back in the Bobcat and raised me back out, and done. Now we’re gonna get the thing wired up.
This is how the trench looks leading up to two of the three beds. The third run goes the opposite way. And again, this piping is typically PVC, but does not have to be. ABS is inexpensive, readily available and easy to work with, and recyclable.
Thee best thing that happened surrounding the delivery of this pump kit thing, was the fact that CPC told me they were going to deliver the kit in a regular old pick-up truck. But what ended up happening was that they got a call to a different site that required a boom truck, but not that much time. So they sent our little ol’ kit on a big ol’ boom truck. And they actually called me first thing that morning to tell me this.
So that got me to thinking.
I was thinking how sweet it would be to take advantage of having the boom here and killing three birds with one stone. First was getting the pump kit. Second could be to boom our huge glulam beam up and into place on the AG House, which has been sitting there at the wait for a few weeks now. And we’re actually ready to start working on the AG House now that the Main House is done baled. And third, I could try and talk the driver into flipping our chicken coop right side up.
Still I have not been able to get one single boom truck company out here to flip this thing over for us. I was starting to figure that it was the simple description of it over the phone that made people leery of doing it. It simply didn’t sound like a job anybody wanted to have. Too much risk or liability with the whole thing imploding, I guess. But I figured if I had a good plan, was dead set ready, and caught a guy by surprise who was the actual driver and operator of the boom and not some bigger wig who “makes the decisions” about everything from a business and liability standpoint, he just might do it.
So getting off the phone and thinking about it I jumped all over it. We ended up finding this huge old telephone pole laying out in the field, about 50 or 60 feet of chain, a 12″ by 27 foot microlam, and a little clean-up and re-bracing, I had a plan at the wait. If I could talk him into doing it, all he’d have to do is lower his chain and hook, let us hook it onto our set-up on the coop, and lift’er up.
We were done prepping everything by 11 or 11:30. And by 12:15 he was pulling in. Right in the middle of our lunch.
So I met with the guy while the guys finished up eating, and we unloaded the pump kit just by hand. But while we did that I was askin’em about the beam and the coop and how much time he had. Did he have another job to go to, for example. He said he could definitely do the beam. No problem.
The coop, on the other hand, he wanted to take a closer look at. So I went with him and I showed him the plan and how we had it all connected. But he said “What if the thing falls apart?” I said “Well, we won’t have anyone anywhere near it, and the owners or myself won’t hold you accountable for it. We all understand the risk. You have my word.”
He said ok, let’s give it a shot.
So he dropped his hook on down and we connected it to our chains, which were connected to the telephone pole. You can also see how the big microlam is running through the windows on the sides of the coop. We also chained the telephone pole to this microlam, sort of sandwiching some solid framing in between the pole and the micro.
Once he got it all stood up, though, he realized that the balance of the thing was off and it would not fall on over on its own. It kept wanting to pick up off the ground. He actually had it dangling about 6 or 8 inches off the ground for like five minutes. So, quickly I had Adam and Vidal jump in the Bobcat and Kubota tractor and persuade the thing to fall on over, to tip the balance. And it worked.
We now have a right side up chicken coop again. A little worse from the wear, but standing once again none-the-less.
These here are interesting things. These are flooring cut-offs from other job sites made of exotic hardwoods. I don’t even know what kind they are, but as you can see, the one is yellow. I took these and ripped them into 1/4″ strips for my mountain man friend Derik to make knife handles out of. He is a blacksmith and uses all kinds of salvaged and recycled steel, like railroad nails, horseshoes, and leaf springs, to make knives, hatchets, spears, and other ironwork. So I help him out when I have the opportunity, like getting a hold of these flooring scraps. These will make gorgeous knife handles, especially that yellow and walnut-ish looking one.
This here is some of Alice’s handy work with the adobe. Adam has mixed her a lot of adobe this past week, and she has definitely made an impact on the site. In a good way, of course. 🙂
This is in front of the bay window in the Studio. She is building the actual wall underneath the windows themselves, and also a bench of sorts that will probly hold sitting pillows of some kind. The dining table I think will also sit right in front of this window and bench, so I bet the bench will get used for that as well.
Here is one half of the Studio bedroom, and the beginning of its wall. The bed itself is made of one layer of straw bales, which you can see how she has adobed right here. And the higher, or second row of bales on the far wall, is also in process and will be like a bench or a shelf around the bed. And it looks as if she is building the actual wall of the room out of pure adobe too. This was going to be stone block I thought, but maybe it is going to be both stone and adobe. Or all adobe. We shall have to wait and see!
Artistic touches on the exterior side of the same bay window as she builds the wall up and up, filling in the voids within the wall plane. You can be as artistic and creative, or as plane Jane as you want. The adobe makes a straight and flat surface just as readily as a curvy or sculptural one. The adobe doesn’t care.
I think she’s poking holes in the mud to allow more air to get inside and help with the dry and cure time. The whole thing will still get a whole layer of stucco over the top. These are just base coats right now, the foundations.
On this post she has now gone and reconnected it to the structure, made it more a part of the home as a cohesive unit. Before it was kind of standing out there on its own, lonely, without a friend close by. The adobe mud has now reached out from the house and grabbed the post around the feet, as if to say, stay close, you are a part of me!
We also now have the Main House exterior deck in production. Randy laid all the anti-sloped sleepers, bringing the downward sloped sub-deck back to level again, so that the new deck could be laid. We ordered a smooth surfaced cedar for it. It’s mighty perty stuff.
This is how it looks as it meets up with the soffit and fascia, as well as the bale wall and where the stucco will eventually come down to meet it. The silver j-channel you see there along the bottom of the bale wall will hold and support the bottom edge of the stucco as it comes down the bale wall. It will have a clean termination and about a half-inch between bottom of stucco and top of decking.
From the NE elevation, this is the Main House ALL baled up. It is done. Perhaps Boulder County’s first and only 3-story straw bale wall. And we have two of them. The SE elevation also has one. The Main House is now ready for exterior stucco, electric, and plumbing. Which gets started this coming Tuesday. Until then, the decking is being finished up, and the crew is ganging up on framing the AG House floor box right now.
And that’s what this is. They did all this in just a couple of days. After having done it once already on the Main House, it is so much faster the second time. You just know what you’re doing and exactly where you’re going. It’s sweet. The guys are really enjoying it.
Well, these here are an interesting thing. What these are, or were, is old crappy claw foot type tubs. Old, rusty, chipped and cracked, etc. But Alice must’ve had a vision. In her vision, she pictured a new layer of something beautiful covering up all the grime and chips and scratches. Very similar in approach to the old bricks I showed a few blogs back. All they needed was a new facelift. One quick layer of beautiful glazing over one face of every brick, and a new floor was born.
And the same goes for these tubs.
I’m not sure what material has actually been applied to the tubs, but from the inside, they shore ’nuff look new again. It looks like lead or pewter or something. I’m sure there’s a story behind the glazing too, but I just haven’t heard it yet.
I think those flower petal things are a neat touch. It’s almost like instead of cleaning those things off the bottom of the tubs they just reglazed right on over them, thus creating an out dent of their shape. I can just picture those colorful rubber flowers stuck all over the bottom of people’s tubs as a kid. A nostalgic memory.
Well, another Friday brought on another Friday Council. We are fully enjoying the nice weather. This here is Adam getting warmed up for the horseshoe match. On the other end you see Wade and Alex. I think they were playing gringos against muchachos. In loving fun, of course.
Next you have Daniel pitching, and when you have Daniel pitching, you usually jump back a few feet, because he can be a wild man when it comes to throwing those shoes. You can even see wade sort of jumping already. He’s getting better, though. 🙂
It was a fulfilling week fer sure. Eco-full, I would say, and not ego-full.
We want to fill our days and selves full with things we can be proud of. Things that are real and true and authentic. Things that are good for us, good for people, and good for the world.
Pat Riley, a famous basketball coach, once said “Each warrior wants to leave the mark of his will, his signature, on important acts he touches. This is not the voice of ego but of the Human Spirit, rising up and declaring that it has something to contribute to the solution of the hardest problems, no matter how vexing!”
That’s what we are, we are Building Warriors. We have stuck our lances down into the ground to make our stand. When a warrior does this, his act is stating that he has made a claim: he has placed himself here, and he will not leave this spot, either until victory, or until death.
One or the other.
Our claim is to Green Building as WE define it, not the rest of’em. We will build this kind of green to the best of our abilities, or we will not do it at all. We will not be lazy about it. We will put toward it,
And we will do it as humbly as possible.
My number is: 303-229-7202.