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  #41  
Old 09-14-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

I put in a good afternoon's work today. Still waiting on the hearth pour--that's scheduled for next saturday. I hope it actually happens; I want to start building that dome! In the meantime...

All structural work done on the firepit. Wow, I'm a sloppy mason. It's a good thing I'm fine with a very rustic look for my dome. I think I need to do some reading on how to trowel the mortar on properly.



I started setting out the dome floor, too:


And introducing the newest addition to the project, Ainsley's Cupcake Oven:


She's been asking and asking for a little pizza oven of her own, so today I took some leftover materials and got started on her miniature version today. It's right next to the porch of her play house. She's already planning her own garden bed to the right, and a prep table to the left... like mother like daughter. ;-)
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

I think Ainsley's oven will be the best contribution to the forum yet ! Very cute! I can't wait until we have our baby.. finding out in three weeks if it's a girl or boy. Everything is looking great so far..what are the temps in Arizona now? I know the heat can take some of your ambition out of you
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  #43  
Old 09-14-2008, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

High of 101 today--it felt great compared to the 115 degree temperatures when I started the project!

Congratulations on your little one on the way. We just found out that we're having another, so now I'm in a panic to finish the project before I can't squeeze my belly in the dome to clean it up. ;-)
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  #44  
Old 09-14-2008, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

Nikki,
Thanks! Better hurry..not much room to fit in the opening! It's really a cool time for us and I can see building a little oven too in the not so distant future. Enjoy your build and take your time, it is better than any project I have ever worked on. The rewards are appreciated daily!
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

I don't think the belly has to go in, just the head and shoulders... at least that was the case with mine! Still, it would be uncomfortable!

Congratulations on your addition. And on the good work so far. As far as the mortar goes, I can't do it without slopping and messing either. For the oven, dunk your bricks, mix up the mortar a bit stiff, and slap it on and turn it over quick. Resist the temptation to play with it like it's icing... took me a while to get over the urge to smooth and fiddle with it. Just clean up the inside before it sets hard (I always did it with a wet sponge at the end of each row) and you're great!
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

I'm still dancing around with concrete guys. I'd rather trade for the hearth pour (free concrete, who wouldn't like it?), but it's been weeks and weeks and two guys have flaked out now. I'm ready to call the ready-mix guys, who all say they can be there the next day. If we do that, I want to take advantage of the concrete and pour the cores at the same time, so I dry stacked the rest of the outdoor kitchen:



It's fun to see some progress again. Drew is taking Ainsley camping this weekend with the neighbors (an Indian Princesses thing), so I'm not sure exactly what our schedule is. Drew has a lot of vacation days--I'll see if I can convince him to take one and do lots of hard labor for me. ;-)
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

Nikki Looks good! Are you having a problem with guys just showing up? That sucks...what are they saying when they flake out?
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

I haven't even been able to get them to schedule a date. So far, they say "maybe next week, maybe next week, definitely next week let's coordinate on Wednesday." And then they stop answering my calls and emails. I'm fed up and am ready to do whatever it takes to advance the project...short of mixing all that concrete by hand in the wheelbarrow. ;-) Renting a mixer would cost nearly as much as having the premix delivered, so that's our plan now.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

Yeah there's a breaking point in the rent mixer/delivery question. Thankfully I have a friend who has a mixer, but I have rented/used a redi-mix truck in the past. You'll get a better mix from the truck too. The Portland content in bag mixes always seems to come up short if you want it to look really nice. I always weigh out my mix of sand/stone and portland for finish concrete. Just make sure you have your ducks in a row before they show up..they charge by the hour
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Nikki's 42" in Phoenix, where it's hot as a...

More progress at long last. After having six concrete companies (including small-volume ready-mix delivery companies) flake on me over the last three months, we finally just went and rented a mixer and did it ourselves.







I'm not allowed to lift anything over 20 pounds, so my role was mostly to be in charge of the hose. Two of our neighbors graciously helped out--the whole court is looking forward to me finishing the project. ;-)

As the concrete dried, two small cracks formed. I accidentally deleted the pictures I took, but I'll take more tomorrow. I really really hope they won't pose any problems, because I don't even want to think about how to pull down that slab.
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