This week ended up being ALL about scaffold. I anticipated it would only take a couple of days, and 80% of it was finished by Tuesday PM. But then I got into the cold room under the garage and the ‘tower’ I needed to build to get out of the pit, as I will loose my existing ladder by the time I place the next ICF row (and I really did not have a place to put the ladder on the outboard side of the foundation that would be accessible and had an appropriate landing spot at the top).
SO, I spent the time building the tower, including stairs and a ‘sky-bridge’ over to the mainland, as this will be my primary means of entry and egress from the pit for the next several months (until 1st storey floor assembly has been framed and back-fill is complete).
The basic tower, and the surrounding ICF placing scaffold in the cold room, took all of Wednesday. Thursday was a very short day as I had a seminar to attend at Buildex in the afternoon and received a shipment of Waste Veg Oil in the morning for the truck. But in the 2 hours I had left, I constructed the basic sky-bridge.
Today, I thought I would quickly slap on the guard rails and raise the bridge into place using the scaffold pulley I bought. Boy was I wrong! The guards took forEVER to attach (mainly because the bolts I bought were 1/4″ too short, so it was difficult to get the nuts started), and then the lifting of the bridge into place was much more difficult than anticipated.
This was one of those days where it would have been nice to have another set of strong hands on site, but I often cannot anticipate when these occurrences will take place and therefore cannot plan for temp labour.
I debated waiting till Saturday and trying to line up some help, but then switched to the working smarter not harder mind set and remembered I have a cum-o-long. With the tractor pushing and pulling on the top side, and the cum-o-long on the pit side pulling the bridge up, I was able to lift this behemoth into place, but it took a couple of hours.
The day finished off with securing the bridge to the tower and then installing the guards around the top of the tower platform. The ICF placing scaffold is now essentially complete and I will now be able to pickup the ICF block by the side of the road with the dolly, go across the bridge, down the stairs, and around the entire perimeter of the ICF placing scaffold to bring it right to where is needed.
The placing scaffold was generally built with the donated lumber from Bert and lumber I had salvaged from the house. It has been built so that it can easily (relatively) be raised to the final height needed for the crew that will pour the foundation. Worksafe requires the pouring scaffold to be 20″ wide and 36″ below the top of the foundation wall (I will also have to install guard rails to the pouring scaffold once raised).
So, it took a lot longer than I would have liked, but with the short Thursday, and the fact that this will now be the primary way to get in and out of the pit, it was worth the extra effort. Only problem is that with the 50+ times I estimated I have climbed up to the top of the tower today alone, my legs have clamped up like steel and are KILLING me. Oh well, at least the back did not hurt to much today!
PS: Now my cat – Blackberry – will also have a way to get into the pit and will be most pleased. Poor guy has been prone to sitting at the top of the excavation and just crying until I come up and pay some attention to him. Now he will be able to come visit.
I leave you with some of my favourite quotes that have been on an email subscription I am getting. These all have great relevance to my current activities or the reason I am building this style of house in the first place.
“If my mind can conceive it, my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it!”
—Jesse Jackson (born 1941) Politician, Civil Rights Activist
“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.”
—Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) Novelist
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
—John Muir (1838-1914) Naturalist, Author
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