04 April, 2008


The best minds in the business were nearly stumped. But, in true "best minds" fashion, they came through in the end. Dianna had asked for an arch to be constructed with straight sides and a nice oval top - sort of like an upside-down "U".

The problem is, getting rebar and PVC pipe to cooperate for that shape was harder than it looked. Cody and Francisco finally had to compromise on a semi-shaped arch. Here they're working on achieving that shape.
Putting Finishing Touches to Basic Arch Shapes
Entry Way For the Front Garden
Once the two basic shapes had been achieved, we needed a way to join the two together. Cody thought the metal wire fabric left over from casting the basement floor would fill the bill.
Cody Cutting the Wire Fabric
Romero is one of Abraham's friends and one of the more highly paid craftsmen around. He's very good and very fast applying stucco (or plastering) to walls. Below on the left everyone is watching him plaster a small wall section to see if he can get the "rough" technique down that Dianna wants.
Watching Romero At Work
Romero and George his Helper
Here's a shot that has gone a long ways to putting my mind to rest regarding the fragility of the sewer pipe. I don't think we'll have problems with it now.
Sewer Pipe Embedded in the Wall
Part of any work project requires taking a break now and then. I managed to capture Dianna, Cindy and the kitties relaxing.
Dianna and Cindy During A Break
Blue and Midas Enjoying the Tile's Coolness
Now to the cool bit. Romero, once he got the knack of the technique of applying "rough" plaster to the walls, went like a house afire. Here's a few shots of his progress.
Romero Doing some initial touchup Plastering
Romero Applying Plaster
Turning and Burning on the Streetside
Now, That's What I'm Talking About
Even His Assistant Has a Hard Time Keeping Up With His Work
All Done
Even though we borrowed the "machine" from Jim, for most work, the guys felt that mixing mortar or concrete was simply faster with the old-fashioned manual way. For one thing, they could mix much larger quantities than the machine could handle. Like up to 2 bags at a time vs. 1/2 a bag max for the machine.
Mixing Mortar Under Cover
Meanwhile, Cody has started running a trench so we can extend the water main and current down to the end of the drain field. From there, we'll be able to run a stub over to the parking palapa so we'll have a water spigot and lights in the palapa.
Cody and Abraham Taking a Bit of a Break
Oh, I didn't mention the palapa? Well, we're getting one installed that will be about 15' x 30'. Enough to hold three vehicles. Abraham says, the "bay leaf" for the thatch has mostly been cut, and that they will probably deliver it with a large truck this Sunday. They will most likely bring the timbers for it some time early next week. Something to look forward to in the construction process.

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