21 April, 2009

Another Project In the Offing

Here we go again. The waterfall project is underway. I've got the outline of the notch to be cut out in the wall drawn and I've drilled a bunch of little holes to help with the process. I'm going over to Jim's after lunch to borrow his angle grinder and compressor. Once I have that, then the notch should be done post-haste (I hope).
Centerline and Notch Drilled
The second part of this project will be mounting the mosaic that Gale and Ali did for us. I have hopes that that will go easily as well.
Showing Platform and Where Mosaic Will Go
And, I guess the third part of that will be re-mounting the waterfall switch over on the wall of the guest house near the spa. We'll also be adding (later on, of course) another switch (next to the waterfall switch) and a separate pump motor to power the spa outlets. Once we get all that done, the pool and waterfall should be way easier and more convenient to use.

Here's Jim's compressor. His angle grinder used one of those little 4" wheels. Of the four hardware stores I went to in town, exactly none had a concrete cutting wheel. Most of them (well, 3 out of 4 anyway) had concrete grinding wheels but that wouldn't do what I needed to do.
Jim's Compressor
What Jim did have that saved the day, was an air chisel. Once I figured out how to keep it from leaking air, it worked slowly, but quite accurately - which was just perfect for today's project. I did have to use a couple of manual chisels and a 2.5 lb. sledge.

Here I am hard at work with the air chisel. Dusty work. I eventually put on a particle mask - for all the good those do with a beard.
Concentrating and Chiseling
And here's the notch on the waterfall face, cut through the front of the wall blocks. Just have to get the concrete from the roof pour out of the way now. That's hard stuff.
Outside Notch
I'm in the zone with the air chisel. It wasn't till after I started using the manual chisels and the sledge, that I realized my arms were giving out (Hmmm, I can still operate a keyboard... what does that tell you?).
Still Concentrating
Every good project has a good supervisor. Here's Secret on the job, keeping a sharp eye on everything, and making sure that we do a good job.
Secret Supervising
I finally decided to go inside and start tackling the notch from there. Here's the first cut at it. It's about here that I realized my arms had turned to Jello and at this same place, I let Cody take over for me.
Inside Notch
The two pipes you see above, the left is for the waterfall, the right is for the solar heater. After we get the notch cut, I'll remove them. It'll be easier to cut them accurately then.

Here is where Cody took over for me. He's already cut through on the right side, so hopefully, it shouldn't take too long to get done.

Cody Running the Air Chisel
It's a good thing Cody took over when he did. My arms feel like cooked spaghetti. Swinging a sledge is hard on an old fart's body - at least his arms. Cody started off with the air chisel right after lunch and made good progress. But, there was quite a bit of concrete from the roof pour that had slipped down in the holes of the blocks and it was quite hard. He ended up using the large 1" chisel and really laying into it with the sledge to break it free. He's about 2/3's done with the hole. Tomorrow morning, he thinks he'll finish it up.

I'll be heading into Lano's Supply tomorrow to get some PVC pipe and fittings so that we can hook up the waterfall and maybe even test it out, who knows. If things go as expected, we'll be able to do that. I'll return Jim's compressor and tools then too. Would be nice to have a compressor that same size... I'll add it to my Christmas wish list.

Even with Cody whacking away at the hole, Dianna and I took some time to jump into the pool and cool down. We probably should have felt guilty. We did a bit, but I can live with it.

So, if we get the waterfall in and working correctly tomorrow, Friday, I'll work on getting it plastered into place, caulked, etc., and then we'll start on fastening the mosaic.

Gale and Ali stopped by the day before yesterday with the adhesive, white cement and spare marble bits so now we'll be able to get that installed and fixed up. Hopefully, that will go fast as well. Then, the only thing is to have Cody finish painting the pump house, and we'll be draining and scrubbing the pool. Doug and Twyla have already volunteered to help with the scrubbing. (What good friends).What we want to do, is drain, scrub and fill the pool all in the same day, to minimize chances of cracking or it moving up (floating) because of the water table. If we do things right, it shouldn't be much of an issue.

So, there'll be a few more photos as this all progresses. I'll get them posted as soon as possible so you can follow along and see how it develops. Hopefully, no surprises.


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