The B.A.T. flies!

Well, I am pleased to say the Big Ass Tarp is flying high once again – and this time it really does look to be here for a while.

Thursday saw only an hour of time on site which was spent starting the repair of my landscape ladder.  The rest of the day was spent visiting Mike Beauchamp from Triforce (the makers of my OpenJoist Floor Truss) at the Wood Solutions trade show followed by a massage appointment in the afternoon that my back was very grateful for.

I am still a little freaked out that I was on my ladder only minutes before the leg broke off while moving it.  I usually do a check on the rungs of the ladder the first time I climb it each day, but I would have never expected the actual aluminum frame to break off.  Looking at the failure, I believe it was do to poor design as shown by the attached photo.

Scary!  - The thin aluminum strip cracked off along the whole edge of the profile.

Scary! – The thin aluminum strip cracked off along the whole edge of the profile.

My repair is much more robust using angle iron and much stronger hinges.  I will now look at all components of a ladder a lot more carefully during regular inspections.

Angle iron was bolted to both the top and side of the remaining profile.

Angle iron was bolted to both the top and side of the remaining profile.

Strong hinges were bolted to both the angle iron and original frame.

Strong hinges were bolted to both the angle iron and original frame.

Friday was a lot more productive and saw most of the tarp rigging complete.  I also transferred my elevations down to the pit floor and laid out the footing string lines.

We saw quite a bit of wind during the week, and the tarp seemed to handle it quite well as previously reported.  But that was before Friday and Saturday’s final tensioning, so we will need to see in the upcoming days.  Saturday saw the tarp take it’s final shape as I fully tightened all of the lines.

I was very pleased with the shape of the tarp and suspected it would perform well in the rain.  I did not have to wait long, today’s rain – at times heavy- showed that the tarp is perfect from a water shedding perspective.  I elected to not truss the ropes under the tarp, as the slope looked to be good enough to prevent ponding even though there is a lot of slack in the middle of the tarp due to the amount the tarp has stretched (I estimate that the middle of the tarp has stretched up to 3-4ft). The water is running off at the NE corner onto the poly and down to the gravel by the north Pit Pump.  So all is working perfect.

I originally planned to truss up between the support ropes, but today's rain test showed that not to be required.

I originally planned to truss up between the support ropes, but today’s rain test showed that not to be required.

This is a huge relief and will allow me to finally concentrate on actual construction.  I cannot tell you how good it felt to work under the tarp while I was repairing the ladder and it was POURING out.  Even the crew working on the house down the street had called it a day.  But I am glad to have a portable toilet on site if you know what I mean.  There is a lot of running water around 🙂

Raining so hard even the pros were absent.  Notice the unprotected pile of plywood warping in the rain.

Raining so hard even the pros were absent. Notice the unprotected pile of plywood warping in the rain.

Saturday, I also started in an attempt to install batter boards on the pit floor.  After an hour, I had only been able to drive three stakes in and even these were not as rigid as I would hope.  That glacial till is murder to try and penetrate.  I will go to the tool rental shop tomorrow to see if their is anything that can help.

This week will be about laying out and digging out the final footing areas and then covering the pit floor with gravel.  This will also require the final removal of dug dirt from the pit floor.  I am looking into having this done by vac truck as it will be a lot easier than trying to get a big excavator back in.  I may also look at digging out the middle of the ramp so I can perch my excavator part way up and then using it to move dirt from the pit floor to the top of the bank.  I would like a way to find room to store the dirt on site at the front of the house to use as back-fill.  So part of the week may also involve reorganizing the front of the site.

Finally, I decided to get a little crazy and bounce a laser star generator off the tarp and leave you with this photo.

Star Gazing

Star Gazing

Thanks for visiting.

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