Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dave's Big Idea - Part 1

Well it all started with me saying that I would like 2 small buildings for the dressage & show jumping warm ups because the tents keep blowing away and getting destroyed.  Nothing elaborate something like those at Chatt Hills.  Then I also requested a building where we had the big tent that we had this spring near the stabling and dressage rings.  Well on the first one he said that he didn't have time before the event to build them and on the second one he said we couldn't put up that big of a permanent building because it would add to our property taxes.  I said fine; I would rent a tent again.

Well I come home from officiating an event and Dave says he has an 'idea'.  I always get a little nervous when I hear those words. He said he saw something in the Farm Show paper (a newspaper where a bunch of farmers show what they have made out of things they or someone else don't need or want anymore) and he had the perfect idea for making the buildings that I wanted.  I can hardly wait. ..  but first he had to see if Van Scoy's old grain bin was still available.  Well it was and the 'big idea' began to take shape  I still wasn't thrilled with the idea, but once Dave sets his mind to something there is no stopping him.  Besides that, it was this or nothing. 

Removing the top of the grain bin
So while I was away officiating again Dave and Kyle unbolted the grain bin from its cement base and when I got home I was the lucky one to go with him as the excavator loaded it on the trailer.  Easier said than  done and without the base of the grain bin the 15' in diameter top just flopped down over the sides of the trailer.  Dave managed to find some boards to put under it for a little more support.  I led the 6.5 miles home on winding roads and warning any oncoming cars that there was a WIDE load ahead.  Somehow we managed to get it home and moved it to the hay wagon so we could go back the next day for the rest which I was told 'would go better' because it is much stiffer corrugated metal.

The top hanging off the sides of the trailer
So the next day we go back without an escort car because the actual bin will  be much more rigid and won't be hanging off the sides of the trailer.  So while Dave was cutting it in half I was busy unbolting the door.  Dave was happy because it was cutting fairly well and he didn't need all five of the cutting blades that he bought for the project. When he was almost done cutting he got the man to come over with the excavator.  I won't bore you with the details, but the corrugated metal was NOT much stiffer than the roof and things rapidly began to deteriorate  Let's just say we needed the escort vehicle as the bin did not go onto the trailer as planned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             At one point I said that we would be further ahead selling it for scrap.  Well that was not well received; after all Dave had just paid a fair chunk of change to get all this metal loaded on the trailer and now he considered it a challenge to try to make this all work.  I knew I was doomed and had no other choice than to go along and hope it would turn out.  The Van Scoys found it all a bit entertaining to say the least.

So once it was home Dave got busy building a frame for one of the two buildings  made from the sides of the bin.  It was a plan as you go sort of thing and do as your told and don't ask questions ;)  It took a little doing, but putting the metal back up actually went better than taking it down and hauling it home.

Again I won't bore you with the details of building the structure.  I'll let you use your imagination as you look at the some of the pictures. I had some interesting captions but they really weren't fit to print ;)

So after a little time we have some semblance of a shelter that measures 15' long by 11' deep.  Not as big as the tent and a bit too large for the dressage warm up. We added two rows of bleacher seats (my idea which originally wasn't well received) and there is room for 2 tables and chairs or just more chairs.  Believe it or not there is seating for about 25 people. We're in the process of building a second one and now that Dave has already built one the second one will go a lot faster.  One will be placed where the tent was this spring near the stabling area and dressage rings and the other one is going down by the show jumping. Although they aren't quite what I had envisioned; I think they will be very useful shelters. Let's hope we'll need them as protection from the brilliant sunshine and not the R*&%.

Next up... the gazebo type structure using he roof from the grain bin.  Stay tuned for Part II of "Dave's Big Idea"


  1. You should level off that little hill in the corner by dressage where you had that temporary tent during your spring of those would look great there...=]

  2. Actually that's where we're putting one.