My latest project is a brick patio to accommodate outdoor table and chairs, a chiminea and serve as a compliment to the surrounding flower beds. Hand excavating the two hundred square feet for this job was a very labor intensive endeavor. There was a lot more dirt than I thought. Luckily this was the hardest part. After the dirt is removed, lines go up to define the shape and establish level. There are lines everywhere so watch your step! After the guide lines are set, the weed blocker goes in and on top of that, 1/4 inch minus crushed gravel. The gravel is compacted to a hard packed base. After the gravel comes the sand. I use metal pipes as levelers for the sand and then a straight 2 x 4 to screed the sand flat and level This system works very nicely and once the pipes are removed the bricks get installed with minor adjustments. The bricks are going in fast now with about 600 installed, 400 to go.
I had to work around a lot of rain to accomplish phase one of this fence project. My poor power tools had to deal with so much adversity on this. My Delta planer did not make it so I upgraded to a DeWalt. All of the stiles on the fence were recut and ripped on the table saw from the existing fence on the property. The rest of the cedar was rough sawn and planed to the desired thickness. The recycled cedar has a great variation in color that only comes with weather and age.
I was bogged down with a cold or allergies this week and unable to work Tueday and Wednesday. I was so excited to finish this wall but I rested and waited. I felt well enough on Thursday to work on it and I was pleased to finish it by 2:30p.m. It has a terrific serpentine quality and a lot of visual interest. Despite the wavy and knobby top, there are still at least four flat spots to sit. The glass pieces really set the wall off. There is even a glass bowl embedded in the masonry for the frogs to live in (or snails, whoever gets there first). With a broken rock and a very round one I was able to create what I think looks like a baseball in a catcher’s mitt. Lots of fun on this project. Can’t wait to see this one surrounded by shade plants and nice gravel.
The new garden wall I am working on is proving to be a very exciting and creative project, heavy on the “art” side of things. The client’s collection of glass objects is amazing and her input and collaboration truly make this an enjoyable partnership of creative minds. A lot of progress was made today and the wall is about half done. The cap work is a lot of fun. It is nice to leave the levels at home and just go with the flow.
A new wall has begun and the client shares my passion for stone and brick mixed together. Even better, there will be glass in varying forms throughout the wall as well. The wall will be 27 feet long and 2 feet high, acting as a retaining wall and a sitting area. A four inch thick reinforced concrete footing was poured last week with a four inch block wall laid on top. Friday we chose large rocks for the bottom and today I got most of the base rocks in and started laying brick as well. It should be a fun and creative project.
The weather was perfect for working outside these past two days. I was even down to a t-shirt a couple of times. I was on my own for the finish and I sure appreciate Ricky’s help when I had him. The mortar goes far with cultured stone so I didn’t have to mix too much. It was exciting to tear the scaffold down and see the completed product. I really like the texture. Sierra Mountain Ledge is a good product, I would work with it again.
The threat of rain is always there it seems but other than some sprinkles and chilly wind, the weather has been decent for this job. The past two days saw lots of production as Ricky and I kept moving on down the chimney. The texture of the chimney is nice and this type of cultured stone is a good choice in my opinion. This stone is called “Sierra Mountain Ledge”. Should be close to completion in the next two days.
It is always nice to work locally and enhance a new home with a nice chimney. The weather has been leonine this March as scaffold was set up in flurries and metal lathe stapled up in the rain. The past few afternoons have cleared to sunny skies however and the job is starting to move along.
My new sign design is here and I could not be happier. The sign shop took my trowel drawing and my ideas for Arts and Crafts lettering and translated them into a design that expresses my business perfectly. A lot can happen when I put that trusty Marshalltown trowel in my hand. I like seeing it so boldly symbolized for all to see.