As most of us know…(I would hope), Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company was the first to apply ‘assembly line’ type manufacturing to the production of automobiles. I won’t go into much of a history lesson, but the Ford Motor Company instituted their assembly line in 1908 in the production of the Model T. It seems as if the production of our 19 complex concrete form blocks has come to resemble that of a genuine Ford assembly line…kind of…. but we are indeed borrowing Ford’s process to efficiently build and assemble our concrete forms. Ford instituted his assembly line for several reasons including the reduction of labor hours for his workers, and to allow for higher salaries…..well, our assembly line hasn’t quite done that, seeming as we are working ridiculous hours and are strapped for cash… but we have in fact made much progress on trying to get ready for the largest of our concrete pours coming up this Friday morning. To elaborate on our ingenious ‘formwork assembly line system’, I will first explain the final goal of our assembly line- 19 oddly angled and complex concrete forms had to be built with 76 shapes that needed to be cut out from around 16 sheets of melamine board, assembled to a system of framing which also had to be constructed, and assembled together with correctly placed column ‘keyways’ and reveal pieces…..and all that had to be done in 2 days? A challenge?- yes, An ambitious and slightly unrealistic deadline?- yes, Could we do it? -maybe.
So we set out on our mission to conquer this monstrous task of having all forms built and ready for installation in 2 days. We didn’t really get that ‘aha’ moment that Ford might have gotten, but our assembly line kind of evolved on its own. The melamine’s first stop on its long journey to becoming a concrete form was at the panel saw and table saw, where Barrett, Nick, and Joseph measured and cut out the walls to our formwork…all 76 pieces. These many pieces then made their way to the framing station, where Tyler, Richard, Alex, and myself measured, cut, pocket screwed, and nailed 2×4 frames to the fronts and backs of the melamine walls to ensure that they don’t bend under the weight of the wet concrete to be poured inside of them. The side pieces of melamine were then carefully measured and marked by Sara, Lindsay, and Julie to get them ready for keyways and assembly. After measurement, alignment holes were drilled through the keyways, and they were then attached to the melamine. Following keyway attachment, the forms made their way to one of two assembly stations- one manned by Alex, Tyler, and myself, or the other manned by Barrett, Richard, and Nick.
After assembly, and a somewhat worrying visit from Professor Pastre about an hour ago, we have the forms nearly finished, with a few more things to button up before we haul all of them to the park at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. So, I need to get off of my computer and help the rest of Studio V finish them… so thanks for reading.