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11th May
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The very first wall I made using my tilt up monolithic stone masonry method was intended to be used as a flood wall for our bridge. Yesterday I placed it and today I plumbed and levelled it.

7th May
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We (my dad and I) poured the first wall of the carriage house today. I figured for 3.5 yards which involved a bit of guestimation, given the fact that the stones we were pouring the concrete on were all varying sizes. In the end we ended up with about 5 wheelbarows extra. Plenty of margin.

It took me right at 3 hours to finish the concrete once we (dad) floated it. I did a border around the windows with some stone finish mats I had made, and the rest of it with a rock salt finish. (Not sure how the transition between the two finishes will look, but this carriage house is the experiment to prove and improve the methods.)

more later….

3rd May
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Electric meter base inspected and approved for installation. next they set the transformer and turn on the juice.

2nd May
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I started building the stream crossing around 5 pm yesterday, and as of 8 pm today, it’s done. Now we can have our well put in, electricity activated, and provide access to the job site for ready-mix trucks and the 90 ton crane we’ll need to lift our walls. This was the last major hurdle before actual construction begins.

1st May
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This week marks a major milestone for the castle project. we received our building permit (authorizing us to build by the stream) and a variance, allowing us to put our crossing in the creek during spawning season. (There are no gamefish in our stream).
So things will start fast-tracking now. I start putting in the crossing today and have 72 hours to finish it. (shouldn’t be a problem).

Once that is in, the well driller can come drill our well, and the electric co can come activate our power. After those are done, we can start excavation for the foundation.

And so the snowball is at the edge ready to start down the hill.

27th April
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I lay the first course of stone for the Carriage House — part of The Castle Project. For more info (more…)

26th April
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So my decision to not “waste time looking for my safety goggles” didn’t result in the time saving outcome I had hoped.

I was cutting rebar this weekend with a grinder and a cut-off wheel, when a sliver of steel (or something) made it’s way into my eye. (perhaps embedding in my upper eyelid)

After a doctors app’t at my local clinic, with 4 xrays and 30 some hours of discomfort later and the xray is inconclusive.

I am on an antibiotic eyedrop regimen with a follow up in 2 days.

UPDATE: Yesterday I led a seminar on Social Media at the Greenbrier, and the pain level increased to 8-9 during the seminar. After finishing up the seminar, I looked in a mirror and could see the steel embedded in my eye. So I asked the Ophthalmologist if he could bump my appointment up to the same day. He agreed without a hesitation. The long story short is 4 minutes later after some pointy tweezers and a little work a mini-mag-lite-sized tool similar to a dremel, he had removed the shard, and dremel’d out the toxic rust ring that had formed in my cornea.

Here’s the “dremel” tool he used:

Note to self: Wear your freaking safety goggles next time!!!!!

24th April
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We finished laying all of the stone and most of the #5 rebar this week. Lifting/bracing inserts are on order and should arrive on mon or tues, the we’re ready for concrete.

18th April
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Into the home stretch on laying stone for the first real wall for the castle project. For what will ultimately be called “the carriage house.” (My shop for cabinetmaking etc during the build phase).

14th April
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Today, I met with a structural engineer who specializes in concrete. He has over 30 years experience and was confident regarding our build.

He commented on how prime a building location it was. (down to the soil composition)

It’s nice to have that in the works.



an open (owner build) project

October 2021