Thursday, August 20, 2009

Minor setback in the hay hauling.

I was off to a pretty good start this morning, until I was unloading my first load. I broke the the grapple. I weld some of my own stuff, but I am not about to tackle something like this. Thats what real welders are for. I kinda thought it would be a quick fix, but the welder man said about 2 to 3 hours. Well I aint gonna wait around, I wonder what else we have in the yard. The bobcat is gone somewhere. There are 3 track hoes to choose from.
I chose the 270 John Deere. I've never used a track hoe to handle bales with before. I should have had this puppy over on the acerage when the basement digging was going on. Something like this probably would have dug it in couple hours, and probably would have done a nicer job. But I get alot more satisfaction out of using my own resources as much as possible.

It actually worked pretty good to get them off with, but they still need to be stacked when I find the time. Or maybe the boss will do it for me.

I got all my bales moved off this field. And now I'm on a bit of a move to the next field for tomorrow, which is quite a long way from here. My new field will be about a 3 hour round trip or maybe a little bit more. They have a little over 200 hay bales for me and probably another 600 green feed bales once they get it all done. I can usually haul 34 bales in a load, unless they are rediculously big, in which case I would haul 30. It looks like I'm going to be a busy boy for a bit.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Truckin

This is about where I am with the basement when I got diverted in a different direction. The pipes ar'nt glued together yet, and I took them out for now and stored them away as I am not sure when I am going to get on it again. Hopefully in about a week from now.

I did manage to get my paws on a truck and gravel trailer and hauled some product out to the acerage.

A load of tile rock. This will get me going with my sewage mound and also with my basement. I may need some more later. About $20.00/yard. I can haul about 25 tonne legally(roughly 20 yards). Should be hauling more, but the truck is pretty heavy to start with, as it is a winch truck. Not really the norm for gravel hauling.

This is a load of clean concrete sand. I did haul a load of cheaper sand (free), but then I got a little paranoid that it could cause me some grief in the future, so I went on the hunt for some good clean sand. $25.00/ tonne. Hopefully I don't need anymore of that. Normally sand is at about$8-$10.00/yard that I have seen, but it all looks pretty dirty. There is a sample just beside this new sand on the left where the pipe is coming out of the ground for comparison. When I put water with it, it turned pretty mushy. Or silty. I can use the old sand for burying pipes, I guess, if nothing else. I think it would also work ok as a filler around the mound maybe.

I did quite a bit of my driveway with some finer rock. The price was right so I thought I would give it a shot.

And now, this is my life story for the next few days. Hauling bales. Hopefully the weather stays good so I can just get it all done. I am really eager to get after my own project before the weather turns it into a swimming pool instead of a basement. I guess somebody should tell me to fix that burnt out high beam headlight, before the DOT does.
Just thought I should put in a bit of an update.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tiny Little Bit More Accomplished

The foreman is checking all operations.

This morning when I woke up, I thought I had the world by the tail. It was early, I was going to get a good start on things, but I had one little underground plumbing thing on my mind. I decided to phone a plumbing installer and ask a simple question, just to confirm things, before I started digging little trenches all over my basement floor. In talking with the plumber, all of a sudden things started to get a little more complicated. I ask a lot of different people alot of different things as I go, and it seems I get a different answer from everyone. The plumber knows the codes. I missed something at the library yesterday. (It's pretty hard to make sense out of some of that, if you don't have clue to begin with). I arranged for a meeting with the plumber. He was talking about Monday, but I insisted on today. lol. I just wanted him to draw me a quick picture, because everything he was telling me, was pretty different from what I had planned. I am glad that I decided to phone him. The trouble was that I had to wait until 1:15 pm to see him, but it was well worth the wait. Then after the meeting, I was busy running around picking up the new plumbing supplies and tools etc. I wasted no time, but I sure don't know where the time goes. It never goes by that fast on the paying job.

I threw in a couple more pictures of the old hole in the ground. To anyone looking, it is probably just a boring dirt hole in the ground, but I am pretty proud of my new basement. So far the hoe is still going strong, although one hydraulic cylinder is leaking pretty good. I'll have to see about warranty, as I just spent over $400 on it within a month. I sure do get tired of taking things like that off to take back to the fixers though.

Well anyway, I do feel like I accomplished alot today even if it does'nt look like much got done. I would by far rather waste a whole day than to get something done, then have to redo it anyway. Sounds like the bale hauling expedition might get started on Monday. I'll work some long days trying to get that all done. Might as well grab some overtime while it is there I guess.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Little Further Ahead

I did'nt accomplish quite as much as I wanted to today. I was trying to educate myself on a couple things via the internet first thing this morning. I ended up going to the local library and reading up on some plumbing codes, then picking up some supplies in town. I did'nt get out to the jobsite till about 2:00 pm. Serviced up the hoe and did a few other things around there that needed to be done, then I tied into that basement again. I am still doing some finishing touches to get it perfected. I am just about done, but it was starting to get dark on me, so I shut it down a little after 10:00 pm. It is unbelieveable how long the touching up stuff takes. I guess when you think about, I moved the dirt quite aways from the basement also. I ran out of space with my first dirt pile and the second one is a bit of a jog.
I kinda thought I would have been hauling hay by now, but I guess one of the loader tractors is tied up on a road job pulling packers, so I have to wait for that. Hopefully it is working till 2010. It sure must be slow in the oil patch though, I hav'nt had to haul any equipment for a long time. I probably should'nt have said that though. lol.
This morning I woke up really early and could'nt go back to sleep, as I had my house on my mind. I got to thinking about how high it is going to be compared to how short and narrow it is. It could look kinda funny when it is all said and done, but my main concern was with the actual construction process and the height combination. I got to thinking that maybe I did'nt dig deep enough. Then I get to thinking how long it would take to skim another foot off and refinish it. Hell with it, I'll get over my fear of heights I guess. I kinda designed it to be tall for solar panel purposes anyway. I am surrounded by trees, and in the winter I could get some shading at different times of the day. I think the panels will have a pretty clear veiw of the sun though. I will have to top some of my trees right in front of the house. I do hope the location is right, because it aint gonna get changed now. lol.
Well I should'nt have to piss the day away in town tomorrow, I have some supplies, a little knowledge and a plan. For now anyway.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Basement is just about done.

See, there I went and did again, I underestimated how long a basement would take to dig. I even went to town this morning and bought some lumber to build some concrete forms for my footings. The plan was to have those in by this evening. lol. It is time consuming digging even a small basement with a 410 backhoe. I was just working the poor old backhoe to death. The basement is actually dug, but I do have a little bit of touch up work to do on it. I'm thinking maybe a couple of hours. But I guess I should'nt even say.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Still Diggin.

At the beginning of the day(about 1:00 pm once I got started), I kinda thought I would have been done with my basement digging tonight, but I am not. It is time consuming stuff, especially for an ammeteur. Alot of my digging today was kinda learning, but I think I have it all down now. The thing that seems to take all the time is getting off and on the backhoe all the time to check my depth. I don't want to go too deep and have to fill things in, it's just not suppose to happen that way.

I welded that plate onto my bucket teeth for cleaning up and for precision, and it works great. It took a little time to get used to it, but I can see now, that there is no way it could have been done properly without that. I can't believe that it is still on there with my welding. I know it aint pretty, but it's working for now. I have been kinda gentle on it. I should have the basement dug tomorrow easy, if they don't need some bales hauled at work. I know that is getting real near and I can't wait till it is all done. I did kinda send in a bit of hint that I would rather not be the bale hauler this year if at all possible, but we'll see what happens with that. lol. I gotta do what I gotta do, to keep them all happy at work.

I forgot to take my camera today, but I did get a couple shots with the phone cam. They are real low quality photos, but they are photos. One is the chunk of grader blade on the bucket, and the other one is the finished depth of the basement at the highest corner. That depth is about 5.5 feet. In that basement picture is a water line level that I built. I don't have any fancy laser transits and all that fancy stuff, but a water line level should keep me pretty close to the same level through out the basement dig. I hope. It is a tricky process for a beginner.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Basement Stuff Happening

I did'nt do anything yesterday. Well actually I did. I was thinking. lol. My life story, but the thinking part is done for now. I got a bit a of late start today as it was raining pretty good when I woke up this morning (monday morning) . Things were sticky out there at first this afternoon, but it did'nt take long and I was back in action. I got alot of the basement dug, but it is quite time consuming and I imagine it is going to get even more time consuming as I get close to grade. This basement is probably the most precise thing I have ever had to do with my backhoe. The footings are supposed to sit on undisturbed soil, and if I go too deep, it will add up on the cost of concrete rather quickly. I guess. Most real good basement diggers usually get it all to within 1/4 of an inch. lol. If I get it to within 1/4 of a foot, I will be laughing. I think I am going to have to weld a plate along the teeth of my digging bucket to try and be like those pros and get a smoother finish. Well anyway, the main thing is, I'm digging. I am really enjoying it also, doing my own project, I can do it all at my own pace and not worry about some jack ass telling me what to do all the time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Doing Some Digging

This is my garden out at the acerage. I know, I should have kept it a secret. lol. It's not too bad though, concidering that alot of time when I was too busy to go out there and look after things, they had to live without water at times. It's all a good experiment for me.
I don't know whats going on, but I can't seem to move pictures where I want them or anything else. It's been so long, I guess I forgot how. lol. The above picture, the old John Deere is gaurding the trench.

I wanted to put in the one end of my sewer pump out so I could haul some sand and dump it right where it will go if I find a good day to haul some product sometime. It will be awhile before I can finish trenching this in. Once the basement is done I guess.

This trench is 8 feet deep so things wont freeze in the winter.

I removed most of the top soil from where the basement will go, I might have to touch it up a bit yet before I can dig the basement. The far corner will be about six feet deep and this nearest corner will be about 4 feet deep when it is all done. It is a 2 foot difference in elevation from those two corners, and the footing has to be 4 feet below grade for frost purposes, so I guess this is what I gotta do.

There was alot of rooty topsoil that came out of there.
So there you have it, just a bit of an update. I am still totally not real sure what kind of a basement I am building, but I have been doing alot of research on the PWF(permanent wood foundation), and concrete. PWF would be a lot less expensive, and more could be done by myself, but I need a stupid engineer who can design that for me, so I am told, and I can't seem to find that guy. I have had thoughts of just building the damd thing, but then I do have that worry that it could all be for nothing. As for the concrete, I have been checking out the ICF system. (Insulated Concrete Form). To my surprise that insulated form will be just about the price of the concrete, and concrete costs alot. I guess I own a propery where I am supposed to throw my money in the air. So maybe thats what I'll have to do. Is everyone ready to catch? I always had a dream of living a more primitive life than this, but it just seems impossible to make that happen unless I am further from civilization. I have decided to just get things going and see what I can get done before the snow flies. I have been busy at work previously, but I hav'nt been there for a week or so now. I do know that there should be some hay for me to haul in the near future, but other than that, I think I might be free to get some building done. Knock on wood.(Knocking on my head).