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Pouring Concrete
7 May 2006

Pour Slab

Pouring the barn foundation turned out to be far more work than expected.  It required three different cement trucks on three different days.  Each pour was actually about a month apart with many days of digging, masonry work and form building between each pour.

Once the cement truck arrives you can't quit until the entire job is done because the concrete sets up with or without you.  I spent a lot of time preparing to make sure there were no major problems once the truck arrived.  A couple things didn't get as straight as I would have liked but it's nothing serious and easily fixable without a jackhammer.  Overall, all three pours came out quite nicely.

Most of the time between pours was spent mixing mortar in my little red mixer and building up row after row of concrete block.  Hauling all that sand, cement and block required several loads with my truck and trailer loaded to capacity.  Going to the cement yard with all the other big trucks made my trailer feel like a big boy.  Being filled with sand by the giant front loader was a bit intimidating but confidence was restored when we had to wait in line to be weighed with all the other big trucks.

Truck2 Truck3

Welding Another manly task that had to be done was some welding.  The barn will have three steel I-beams which will be welded to steel plates that are embedded in the concrete.  To ensure that the steel plates are secure, it was necessary to weld rebar to the bottom of them before sinking them in the wet concrete.  I cut and bent the rebar to shape then took all the pieces to my stepfather for welding.  It sure is handy to know someone that is a professional welder and has all the right equipment.

Now that the foundation is done, the framing can begin.  Framing usually goes relatively fast.  My uncle volunteered to help with the framing.  When he got here the foundation still wasn't done so he had to help with that but we did manage to get a few walls up before he left.

Recently I took a day off to go help a friend put on his roof trusses.  The crane did all the heavy lifting, he just needed help attaching everything in place.  He had prebuilt a couple of the tricky sections so flying the trusses went fast.  Once the crane showed up, it only took an hour to get all the trusses in place.  I hope my roof goes up that easily.  I haven't decided yet if I want to pay for a crane or try to lift all the trusses in place by hand.  They're only 160 pounds each, I should be able to lift that much.  Of course they have to go way up to the top of the roof.  Now that my friend owes me a favor, I'll definitely invite him over when it comes time to lift my roof.

Walls Roof

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