Monday, June 09, 2008

Ed's Edifice

For most of my adult life, including the period between my 18th and 30th birthdays during which I was an adult in name only, I have wanted to have a large workshop in which to attack projects large and small. For thirty years I have envied the workshop my father-in-law built in his back yard following his retirement from the Air Force. Whenever we had quarters with a garage, I was always limited to building a workbench along one wall--said workbench inevitably became so cluttered with tools, underway projects, and other stuff lacking appropriate storage space elsewhere as to be practically useless. It wouldn't be until we moved to another set of quarters and I built my new workbench that I would have a space (at least initially) on which to tinker and build.

Last month I broke ground on my dream building. Twenty-four feet deep and fifty feet wide, it will possess two completely empty garage stalls (with separate overhead doors) in which to park boat and tractor. The other half of the building will be (trumpet fanfare here) Rebel's Workshop (capitalization required). The front of the workshop will have it's own overhead door and personnel door and the workshop will be separated from the garage by a wall with it's own personnel door providing inside throughway between the two spaces. In order to "soften" the looks of this testament to testosterone fifty feet away from her garden-encircled home, Miss Brenda insisted I have the builders put a porch on the end of the building facing the same direction (toward the road) as the house's front porch. She can put all the flowers and such in front of it that she wants--but there ain't gonna be nuthin' but man stuff allowed inside!

A "pole barn" company is aboard Eegeebeegee as I write this, putting up the building's roof and shell. I will finish out the inside of the building myself--with a lot of help from my general contractor (Miss Brenda's dad). Yesterday afternoon, in 95 degree heat, we dug the trenches for and installed water and electrical lines.

As I have alluded to in previous posts, the ground here in my corner of the planet at the northern end of southern nowhere is just short of the consistency of concrete. After nearly killing ourselves trying to dig the trenches by hand--with little to show for hours of pick and shovel work--we broke down (quite literally) and headed for town to rent a Ditch With 2000 walk-behind trenching machine. After wrestling with that beast for two hours, my fly-weight behind was wore slam out. But the trenches were carved in the Confederate Concrete to an appropriate depth and we began the tedious task of tapping into the water line at our well and power at the junction box, gluing together sections of PVC pipe, and determining the exact place that these lines would exit the ground (and four inches of concrete) inside walls that don't yet exist.

Sometime Wednesday, two truckloads of 3500 PSI concrete will be poured into the form created by the building that is going up as I write this, and additional concrete will connect the building to the parking pad that already exists outside my current attached garage. Once the building shell and concrete work is complete, a fuse box will be installed and electrical wiring will be run to receptacle locations throughout, a double deep sink will be installed, and overhead lighting will be hung temporarily pending future installation of drop ceilings.

Notice I wrote "will be" before each of the tasks in the paragraph above. To ensure that this phase of the project is going to be completed correctly, I'm entrusting it to Miss Brenda's dad and leaving town for the week! At the conclusion of a week spent behind enemy lines in Chicago, I fully expect to return to Eegeebeegee late Friday afternoon with nothing left to do except admire the handi-work.
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