Thursday, May 31, 2012

Putting on the "Big Top"

In addition to all the other nick names this project has been given; it now has another ... the circus aka the "big top" because it looks very similar to that and because activities on this farm often seem like running a circus.  Anyway, back on topic.  Tues Terry Weaver and his sons came to measure and remeasure and prepare for the big job on Wed.  The cement wall was 1 1/4  inches too small.  Not bad for a structure 100' in diameter.

The crew from started Wed morning @ 6:30am and finished setting the last piece at 9:30 Thurs morning.  I have to admit I was in awe of what these men and their machines could do just as I was with the cement crew and the trucking guy and everything else related to this project. Everything started out really smooth with setting the panels on the bolts that had been drilled into the cement on Tues.  However, when they got close to the half way point the weight of the panels began to put uneven pressure on things and started to shift.  No problem, just a little good farmer ingenuity as my husband calls it.  He brought out a tractor, excavator and dozer and attached cables to stabilize everything.  Problem solved.

The dozer & tractor with cables attached
But remember that inch and a quarter, well they started to address that by grinding a little off each panel and the excavator was relieved of it's duty as cable holder and was no used to hold each new panel in a little tighter.  Finally they were ready for the final panel.  After a little discussion it was decided to take the header out and bring in the final panel in from the bottom and bring it up.  The left side had to go under panel # 1 and over panel # 33.  While the crane lifted, Dave's loader tractor tipped it while the guys muscled it into place.  It took a little bit but success!!

The ho holding the panel tight

The discussion on how to get the last panel in
Now the header needed to be put back into place.  If it was a little tough getting it out, it was going to be a lot tougher getting it back in.  With the help of the crane which lifted it a little, Dave on the tractor and 2 guys on ladders it was finally wedged back into place with a good ol' sledge hammer putting on the finishing touches.

Whew, that must have gotten his heart rate up there

All that was left to do was to put on the top cap.  The two pieces first had to be bolted together and then lifted into place.  This was a piece of cake after what they had just completed.  The crew just has to finish up tightening a few nuts and bolts and their job will be done.

I have taken a bunch of pictures but I have to tell you; you had to be here in person to really appreciate it.  It was really impressive and definitely has the WOW factor.  Kyle will be putting it to good use right away as he has a couple of real greenies here for training and I think we'll use it for a place to have lunch during the upcoming Lucinda Green Clinic (June 3-4)

Many thanks to Vincent from Great Lakes Construction who was the person in charge of removing the domes from the City of Akron's Water Treatment Plant and who answered Dave's countless questions, to Doug Davidson for hauling and helping to unload the 5 loads of panels, to Precision Poured Walls for a great job of pouring the walls, to Chapel Zimmerman who brought the 162 yards of concrete, to Tony Weaver and the rest of the crew of Weaver construction for putting on the big top AND of course to my husband Dave!!  He is the one who saw the ad in the Farm and Dairy and asked what I thought, spent a lot of time on the phone gathering information and finding the right contractors (good job on that one)  and spent countless hours preparing the site which was on the side of a hill.  All of that and he won't even have a use for it himself!  Well not for its intended use anyway. Although I do think he had a little fun with this project ;)

For those of you who haven't been here is awhile you can see where the dome is by going to this  link to the Google map of the farm which was taken about a month ago.  If you zoom in you can see the site for the dome between the east dressage arena and the stabling barns. Enjoy the pictures and come out and see it some time.


Panels waiting to be put in place
The center support was on a platform on top of a lift

The airlift it the third of 34 panels

Fourth Panel

The crane was inside the structure to begin with
Window panel preparing for liftoff

We have liftoff

Gliding into place
A 1/3 of the way done (the easy 1/3 as it turned out)
Inside looking out
8 left to go

Putting into place is getting more precise

Dave looks like he's flying a kite 

Taking the header out

The last one!!

Guiding the last one into place

Tipping it into place

Getting closer

Just a little more

Quick, get those bolts in

Crane removing some of the pressure so the header can get back in

Tightening the bolts before the top goes on

The top cap
View from the east (driveway side dug into the hill)

View from the west

View from the North  (the arena side)

View from the South (the barn side)
From the top looking up the hill

A new judge's stand ?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dave's "Big Idea" - Let the Building Begin

Today is the start of the final phase of Dave's Big Idea aka known as the dome, covered round pen, the space ship or as Dave has been calling it "the $2 steak".  The $2 steak you ask ... that's when you go to the grocery store to buy a $2 steak & end up spending a whole lot more money on other things.  Well that's kind of what happened with this project ;)  In any case, I have missed blogging about the beginning of the building phase of this project, putting up the cement wall.

The site prep took the better part of the month of April and the wall was poured the week before our Winona Horse Trials on Mother's Day weekend ...whew  Dave was a very busy guy.  As they say a picture is work a thousand words so I'm going to let the pictures do the talking.

A 6' cut into the side of the hill

Digging for the footer ... follow the dotted line

Hauling topsoil to make a berm on the south side of the new show jumping arena
View from west to east - footers have been poured
A different perspective

Pouring the footer

More pouring of the footer
Rebar in the footer - Wie's ears ;)

Unloading the forms

More unloading of forms
Setting the forms and rebar

3 of the 7 trucks that each brought 2 loads!!

Pouring cement

The boom had a reach of more than 100'
The boom is above the trees

Finished product from the inside looking out

The outside

Packing up the forms 

It took 30 days for Dave to prepare the site and 3 days to pour the walls!!

If you missed the earlier installations of Dave's "big idea"  here are the links:

Well I have to go and see what this crew has gotten done so far.  Stay tuned, we should have the roof on in a couple of days.