What a weekend! We may have taken a short break from blogging but let me assure you, Studio V was in full swing this weekend on site. Despite the rain on Sunday, we were able to work full days and got a lot accomplished in preparation for our first concrete pour. The highlights include:
- bending all the rebar after our rebar queens cut it all last week
- sifting through the dirt that was removed from the slab area – this is an elegant way of saying we became human tillers and picked up all sticks, roots, and grass clumps from our piles so that the dirt would be clean when we need it to shape our concrete base
- setting the form work for half of the slab
- tamping the crap out of the dirt and measuring the level of the dirt a million times (fascinating how this works but I could do without the beeping of the machine we use)
- building up the center are of our slab
I was lucky enough to be on the rebar team Friday and therefore got to bend all of the rebar. It was SO fun. But also very taxing. At one point, Chari went to get water for the group. All I could think about during the entire 5 minutes she was gone was how parched I was. I think we only bent 7 pieces of rebar during that time…so inefficient. Then, like an angel, she rolls up with a pack of water and POPSICLES. It was the perfect, most refreshing snack to get us back in the grove and finish strong for the day.
So if I thought rebar bending was fun, tamping was almost, if not equally as fun. But also very taxing. Basically you flatten the dirt with a square piece of rubber that’s connected to a wood handle. Although we joked, “put your back in to it!” you really did have to use your full body to get a good, even ground plane. Eventually we got the deeper portion of slab level and were able to start building up the center part of the slab. This was a little trickier because the area had to be a certain distance from the formwork and it could not spill over into the lower level. Thankfully, due to the previous nights rain, the dirt packed well and with some temporary timber formwork, the process went by quickly and smoothly.
I learned a lot this weekend. It was really beneficial to have a large chunk of time dedicated to the work. When you sit in studio for 4 hours just thinking, designing, and working through problems, it’s not always satisfying when you leave because, honestly, sometimes you don’t have anything to show! However, with this studio, and especially this weekend, you see (and feel) the physical results of your time. It’s extremely rewarding. Just one hour on site will teach you so much! Not only did I learned about the leveling tool we use, what rebar chairs are and why they are used, but I also gained a level of comfort around the site and different tools that we’ve used thus far. I’m very excited for what this week holds. But first, I’m going to ice by lower back, both hamstrings, and my wrist. Is it possible I’m too old for this?! I think we all have a new level of respect for people who work in construction…