the Carpentry Way: Gateway (X)                                                          

Gateway (X)

Back to site yesterday with another fairly long day to move the foundation prep work along. Over the past few days I had put together some plywood forms based on measurements taken at site. The forms turned out to be a good fit:

After a bit of searching, I obtained some epoxy coated 1/2" rebar. The epoxy coating makes them far more rust resistant. I had the 90˚ end bends done by the rebar company, and then completed the rest of the bending on site. These three rods reinforce the 6" wide concrete beam which spans between the posts:

As you can see, these forms resemble a dog bone in shape.

A fair bit of time was consumed by chipping out loose concrete debris from last weeks cutting and jack-hammering session, followed by cleaning. Then I bored holes to accept the rebar:

I used Simpson Strong-Tie anchoring epoxy to fasten the rebar into the concrete:

My plan to to attach new concrete to old using a combination of mechanical and chemical means. The epoxied-in rebar forms the mechanical portion of the connection.

The form pictured above was leveled carefully and then fastened to the existing concrete using Tapcon concrete screws. I placed the top of the forms 2.5" lower than the top of the existing flagstones, though the stones themselves turned out to be of irregular thicknesses. Some flagstones were 2.125" thick, others 1.75" and some only 1.25" thick. By keeping the forms 2.5" below the top of the existing flagstone height, I can accommodate the placement of flagstones of any of the thicknesses around the concrete. Better to expect worst case scenario sometimes, and since I won't be laying the flagstones, I want to forestall any potential problems.

At the end of the day I elected to do more jack-hammering, knocking off the remaining concrete from the metal shoes so that the metal can be recycled:

That was two hours of my life I'll not be getting back, if you know what I mean. Those shoes are heavy suckers too - the biggest ones are, I would guess, 150lbs each.

The remaining forms were left at site and I have done the preliminary work to fit them, however I won't fasten them in place until later this week when I can bring a builder's level to site and set them relative to the height of the one already placed. That will require my helper Matt, who has kindly agreed to come to site later this week to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Today I went to the drying facility to check up on the Port Orford Cedar, which has been sitting in dehumidification for a couple of months. To my surprise, quite a bit of the material was already dry, down to between 8% and 14%:

All the material in the above stack is now dry and has been removed from the kiln. Again, I was surprised so much of it was ready so soon. The degrade was minimal, though the stock was not totally devoid of checks.  Even though all the stock is free from heart center, I still had a little bit of checking here and there on the 8"x9" rear posts, so I am wishing I had put relief kerfs in those sticks. I didn't think that their rift grain orientation would precipitate checks, but this was not 100% true.

View of the end of the stack:

The stock marked '10' on the ends isn't for this project. It's sugar pine, and has ZERO checking.

The biggest timbers, those for the main posts and main crossbeam, will remain in dehumidification for a few months yet - they are down to 20% M.C. or thereabouts, so they are definitely getting closer than when they stated. It's looking like I won't need to do any vacuum kilning after all, so that saves a bit of money. It's nice to be able to bring the wood down in moisture content by a slower and gentler means, though vacuum kilning does work incredibly well for larger sections.

The relief kerfs on the chunkier stock have been doing their job by and large:

On this one though, the kerf didn't open up too much at all, at least not so far:

Some of the bonus 'mistake' pieces, where I received several 48" long chunks of beam instead of a 17' long beam, were drying well:

Not sure what there are going to grow up to be.

Well, a little end checking here and there, and little face checking here and there, but overall the material is looking good. Now I'll have to make room in my shop somehow for this material. I expect to move it over to the shop over the next couple of days.

All for now, over and out. On to post 11