22 December, 2016

Wednesday Was Busy

After a couple of weeks of inactivity, we had a full house today. We had Carlos, the welder on hand working on railings, a door, and some stairs; Endher and Rene, and the boys doing the Diamond Brite thing; and Bani, completing the plumbing and electrical stuff in the pump house; and finally, the guys doing the screen doors. It seemed like a real three-ring circus for most of the day.

So, let's get started.

Noel Just Having Way Too Much Fun
First off, our new arrival, Noel, our little calico kitty, who weighed in at three-and-a-half pounds at Doctor Sheila's on her second Vet visit, has discovered the absolute joy of toilet paper.

What you see here was just the start. That's only a few feet out of a new roll of TP. She managed to unroll the whole thing, then went running with mouthfuls of the stuff into the bedroom and on into the living room.

All that is when she didn't have Bella's tail to wrestle with, or any of the other dogs, or Nelson to harass so much that he comes up to me, tucks his head into my shoulder and meows plaintively, "please Dad, make her stop. I can't take it any more."

Diamond Brite Arrives on Scene
Here's the Diamond Brite arriving on the scene. I don't know how many bags of it they got, but there ended up being a couple good sized pallet loads under the palapa.

Incidentally, I think Bani, although he's a plumber and an electrician, also has a strong back. He unloaded all of that by himself, except at the very end. Carlos, our caretaker helped him stack the bags onto the pallets.

Dianna Supervising
First things first, the guys had to assemble a pump to begin de-watering the pool. During the inactivity, it did rain a bit. We had about three or four inches of rainwater in the bottom of the pool that had to be drained off.

It's Supposed to Suck
Part of the initial process of pumping is to get the thing to actually pump the water.

You've got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believeYou've got to give of yourself 'fore you're worthy to receive
- Desert Pete, by the Kingston Trio

Priming the pump can be a challenge. They finally got it going. It still took most of the day to finally get the bottom of the pool free of water, well, enough that the plastering process will be able to move ahead.

Getting Crowded in the Spa
Here's Rene and Theo applying the Diamond Brite in the spa. It's amazing how beautiful it looks as they smooth it up.

Screen Doors Being Installed
And the screen doors - they're simply gorgeous. The screening material used is the same shade cloth, so it should last a good long while. Each door (one at either end of the deck) also will have a doggy door just like the screen doors in the rest of the house.

A Quick Scrub-Down of the Pool
With all the rain and inactivity, it didn't take long for the water in the pool to turn green. So, before the plastering began, the pool was given a quick scrubbing and rinse with the hose as the pump was removing the debris.

Doors Going In
The screen doors went in without a hitch. The latches have yet to be installed, but they work well and look really sharp. An added bonus was that they made it easy for the guys to block access to the pool by the doggies at the end of the day - the Diamond Brite takes time to set, just like concrete.

What They Look Like Installed
Here's a quick look at one of the doors installed. Very nice. That bag on the floor has the latches for the doors.

Diamond Brite Being Applied
Even though de-watering took a good part of the day, nothing prevented the guys from applying Diamond Brite to the upper edges of the pool around the tile waterline.

Stairs and Walls Being Done
The job is really moving along fast. And it just looks gorgeous. The spa, except for the floor, and the stairs are all pretty much done.

The guys have started doing the major wall portions already as well.

Ensuring A Good Fit
Some final work with a block plane and the door will be a perfect fit. It was nice to see someone using traditional non-powered tools. Usually, if any planing is required, someone brings out the power planer and away they go. I love hand tools. That's why I've always enjoyed watching the Woodwright's Shop on PBS.

Welder's Hinges, An Example
Here's the hinges that Carlos, the welder had promised me. They're called 'welder's hinges'. As you can see, there's a hole at the top, where lubricant can be periodically applied to keep things working smoothly. I'll be able to apply my silicone lock lube in there with no problem.

They're available at the Chinese hardware store on San Andres Road. Carlos says that welder's generally don't like to use them because they cut down on repeat business of replacing broken or rust-frozen hinges.

Circular Stair With Treads
Carlos, the welder and his helpers are also busy working on the circular stairs. Treads have been added, priming is done, and the top coat, blue (naturally) is being applied.

Bani, Hooking It All Up
Bani is in the final stages of getting everything hooked up in the pump house. I'm looking forward to him briefing me up on how it all works together and just what valve does what.

I've been very impressed with the way he's organized the pump house. Everything has easy access and there's plenty of room to maneuver in the room.

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