#11  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:50 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chesterfield, VA
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

Thank you all for the encouragement. I have to say, it really gave the area a good feel to have that stack of cinder blocks I've ferried home over the last few days take a shape. I am going to get that mortar under them and start the first course as soon as I can this weekend. I am hoping to have the walls of the stand finished by Sunday afternoon. My work schedule is crazy these days and I'm glad to have a job when so many people are struggling so I have to squeeze it in when I can. Looks like I will be scrambling to insulation materials for my stand soon. And the firebrick as well. I think I pegged down a good source for the brick, so long as I don't mind white.....don't care one way or another.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2010, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

Got some more work in yesterday. I had the slab poured with a bit of an angle to it. 1.5 inches from front to back. That was dumb since most of the slab is not exposed so drainage isn't really an issue. I spent a couple hours mortaring the first 3 courses so that it would get rid of the angle. My sons helped me mix and pour 10 80lb bags into the cores.
I intend to fill all the cores and still have more than a 3rd of them to do. I was hoping to be done with that this weekend. I also put up the first beams for the Pergola. 2 2x10x16's. I managed to pull that off without any assistance and got it dead flat at 9 feet. Since it was full on dark by the time I finished those beams, I gathered up my tools and went inside to get a shower. I remembered my Keys were in the truck so went back outside and on the way back in found this beauty at the back door. I must have stepped right over it, barefoot on my way out.

Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 05-03-2010 at 06:15 AM. Reason: edit to add picture.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2010, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

I have somehow lost a big post I put up Friday so I will incorporate that info with the update from yesterday's work.
Thursday I started working on the platform. I am constantly amazed at how long the prep work takes for this thing.
I discovered a mistake I made with the stand. BIG TIP FOR NEWBIES.
Check for square...then check again....and if you change anything, check again. I had it all laid out and square but because Iwanted to morter under the first course of bricks and try to level out from back to front, I removed the bricks. I had pencilled in around the bricks to put them back the same but somehow I messed it up and the two sides of the front are not even.
I didn't put the Angle Iron in between the 3rd and 4th course of bricks....I put it on the top and that is when I discovered that it was off.
To try to compensate for this I turned the angle iron over and poured on top of it.
The angle Iron was hard to find. I had to go to BMG metals in Richmond. Called in the morning to order it and they had it cut and waiting for me at 2. 3/8x2x2 x 5ft. ended up being only 41 bucks so not bad.
Friday morning I took this pic of the area that now has beams on both sides of the Pergola support. I think it is taking a nice shape.
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:21 AM
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Location: Chesterfield, VA
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

Friday night I stopped at the rental place and got a yard of dry cement in a big portable tow behind mixer. Came home and covered it with a tarp in case it rained. Got up Saturday and started cutting rebar and putting the finishing touches on the stand. Again I am amazed at how slow I am with this.

By 2 pm we were ready to start pouring cement. My little assistant eagerly jumped up on the mxer to remove the tarp. My wife had been taking pictures thruout the process and was kind enough to offer to help once I got going . Initially the cement didn't mix. the rocks were tumbling around but much of the powder had clumped together in a giant lump on one side of the mixer so I added water and let it turn for about 15-20 minutes, stopping occacionally to stab at the mound with a shovel. Eventually it was completely mixed but then it was too wet, so I threw a couple 80LB bags of quickcrete into the mixer to dry it out a bit.

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  #15  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

I had used 10 80lb bags of quickcrete to fill cores last week which left me with about half the stand being emptyand I also added another section of wall this week in the middle of the stand for added support. Since I had a yard of cement in this rented mixer I went ahead and filled every core in the stand .

The gravel in this mix is a lot larger than you would find in the quickcrete mix and was difficult to move around the form. I pushed a couple of my rebar supports out of alignment and tried to fix it but I'm sure it isn't exactly as I intended. My wife proved to be pretty good at leveling the concrete out. When we were about half way thru the slab pour, I had to pull the mixer forward and start putting it into the wheelbarrel.

As we agitated the concrete mix and smoothed it, a lot more water came to the surface than I expected which leads me to thing that I had the mix too wet. I ended up having a 5.5 inch slab....and this morning it is still damp and somewhat soft. I expected it to set up much firmer and faster. The stuff on the top is also much grittier and sandier than what was poured by the crew that did the foundation pieces. I am a bit concerned about that but I will let it continue to cure since I don't have much choice at this point. I will spritz some water on it later today as it begins to dry (we finished the pour late yesterday so the sun was going down and the air had cooled considerably.)
Before we started the pour I excavated a small area in our sideyard to make a sidewalk from the finished area around the pool to the pool pump and controlls. I thought we would have plenty of cement left over. I ended up only having half a wheelbarrel full and had to start tossing 80lb bags of cement into the mixer. Thankfully I had a large stack of it in the Garage.


Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 05-09-2010 at 08:29 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chesterfield, VA
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

Here is a picture of the finished hearth pour. I am still quite concerned about the texture and setup of the concrete. it's been more than 12 hours and it isn't hard on top yet. IF any more experienced folk out there think I'm worryingj too much, please chime in.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

If it were the floor of your shop it might matter, but for what it is being used for, no worries. It sounds not like too much water, but you overworked it pulling too much cream to the surface. The surface will be soft and tend to dust, but the compressive strength will be fine.
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

Ok. That sounds great. much better than my nightmare of having to demolish it and start over.
Since the upper layer will be softer, should I wait longer to put the vermiculite on it? I wasn't planning to do that for several days.
Should I wait till it has dried for a week and then scrape at the top to remove the weaker part? I'm totally out of my element on this one.

Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 05-09-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2010, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

As soon as the sun came up over the trees it started to dry and harden a bit more. My anxiety level went down a bit. I sprayed it down twice then put a tarp over to keep it from drying out too much. Im crossing my fingers. Guess I will be able to start my vermiculite layer before to long.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2010, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Oasis Rising

I ordered 4 4cf bags of vermiculite yesterday. Today I picked up 130 firebricks. 68 red 4.5x9.x2.25 inch bricks and 62 4.5x9x2.5 buff bricks. I have a tarp over the right now. Not sure if I should let them be wet. I passed on a pallet of recovered firebrick from a manufacturing facility because I was worried about metal toxicity.I will lay the vermiculite mix this week either tomorrow or the next day(weather permitting). I just need to find out how long to wait after that to start the bricks.
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