We are now on the eleventh row of rebar which takes us over the North entrance arch. This should make progress a little faster as it’s now a pretty straight run along the East/West axis.
Jeff holding the two sides of our house together. Qui es mas macho?
One of many interesting view points.
The farther along we get with the rebar, the better I get with the bending. Just look at that nice radius.
We are now working above our heads, so ladders and scafolding are coming in handy.
We’ve put in a few of the vertical bars to help keep the arching shape in line. Jeff would like you to notice the nicely painted rebar. (Rustoleum)
This picture shows 8 rows done. By the end of the day, we finished half of the 9th row.
Jeff and Steve, it was so much fun to see your house on Sunday! Thanks for showing us around – it’ll be so interesting to watch your progress.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 – 08:51 AM
We had a relatively productive weekend with glorious weather. It’s really cool how much more the house is taking shape with each successive row of rebar.
One challenge in attaching the rebar is that on the sloped retaining wall arches, the tabs don’t line up. David Adamson stopped by with his mig welder to see if it would work to tack weld the ends of the rebar on the arches. It worked perfectly and he is going to come back after we have all the rows up.
Meredith and Beckett came by on Sunday to lend a hand. Beckett put his to good use testing the strength of vacuum in our shopvac.
By the end of the weekend we had 7 rows of rebar up. That doesn’t seem like a lot but there is a tremendous amount of bending and fiddling to get them in place so progress is slow. Once we get to putting up the verticals, it should move along much quicker.
I LOVE this blog! I haven’t been out to the property for months but this is a great way to track the progress. Thanks, Kay
Thursday, July 23, 2009 – 12:50 PM
Jeff and I got a bit of a late start today but we did manage two more rows of rebar. Unfortunately we don’t have use of the electric bender this weekend so it’s the all manual method. Some of it has to be done manually anyway. I made a jig to create the gentle curves around the retaining wall ends. (see below) all the other “adjustments” are done with a Hickey Bar.
With the rebar clamped to the end of the jig, Jeff stands on it, beginning at the end, while I pull on the rebar to create the curve.
As we go along tying the rebar to the tabs on the arches, we make sure they are plumb. These handy magnetic inclinometers make it easy. Sometimes Jeff just has to push or pull on the steel to get it plumb but a few we have had to tie off with rope (Wally makes a convenient anchor), to get things in line. Once we reach a certain level, the arches will be very rigid and we won’t need to make any adjustments.
We made our first step with the rebar for our “shell” today. There are a lot of bends to get around the perimeter, but once we got started, it got easier.
We did have some help though.
Ryan Knott of RK Concrete, generously loaned us his bench rebar bender. It makes accurate and repetitive bends with very little effort. I can’t imagine making all the angles we need with a manual one.
We do need to make some manual adjustments with a “Hickey Bar” but it’s fairly simple and just takes a bit of muscle. Who needs that gym membership anyway.
One of the perfect 90 degree bends done with the electric bender.
You may have noticed the green zip ties in the picture above. In a previous posting I showed that I was making my own stainless steel ties out of discarded wire from the local utility company. In theory, the idea of recycling the wire for this use is appealing. However, I did a little calculating and figured we would need around 5000 zip ties. It takes me about 15 seconds to make one. That’s 75,000 seconds, or 1,250 hours to make all I would need. Though I will use the several hundred ties that I made, It is much more practical to buy what we need.
Harry from Northwest Radiator was out again with his portable welding setup. It was amazing to watch him freehand cut the Northwest corner leg in place and make a perfect match on the first try.
Now with the West end arch welded, we can start putting up the rebar.
After moving the framework from the East end to the South, (Thank you David Adamson for the extra hands), we got it set up to support the West end retaining wall arch.
The nearby trees made handy anchors for the support lines.
Once again, Dozy’s homemade crane proved invaluable.
One of the more important jobs.
A little more adjusting, and we will be ready for the welder.
Today was a big day. And
quite a beautiful one at that. Clear blue sky, warm temperature and just a few mozzies.
Harry from Northwest Radiator pulled up with his portable welding gear mounted on a trailer. After taking careful measurements, he cut the ends of the “legs” to match up with the angle of the arch.
Harry, welding on a gusset, (extra steel plate), for additional support.
We put scaffolding up on the North/West corner so Harry could get to where he needed to work.
Jeff, tidying up the lines after taking down the support framework.
Look Ma, No Hands.
Now we get to do this all over again on the West side.
It was getting too dark to take pictures last night after raising the arch. In the glorious sunshine this morning you can see it in place (nearly) Now all we need to do is fine tune the angle and put up some extra bracing. The welder is coming tomorrow.