The Dragonfly

Last Update-03/13/2010 01:39 AM

On to the Frame         On to the Electrical          On to the Siding

    After getting married last year (May 2005), moving out of one house into another and then out of it into this new house, I can now settle down and get busy with my shop.  Its been about 6 months since I've been able to work on my plane and I'm about to go crazy.  I started the shop last fall, but winter caught up with me causing the work to halt for a few months.


Here we see what I had to start with.  We have a bit under an acre here in Merriam, Kansas. There was an old shed sitting right in my way.  This had to go to make room for my aircraft factory!





This wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I said the old shed had to go.  That cedar tree you see in the pic above proved to be stubborn upon removal.  The darn thing nearly took my head off as it did a triple lindy and landed on the roof of the shed.  My wife and her sister (seen inspecting the shed) were watching this mighty lumber jack when the cedar did its little tree dance nearly killing me.  Their laughter could be heard in  parts of lower Missouri !




We chopped the old shed apart piece by piece.  It may look as though it was in descent shape but pictures are deceiving.  The thing only had a few days left before it caved in completely.




The old shed is gone but we had tons of trash, bricks and debris just under the soil that needed to disposed of.




I forgot to get pics of the leveling process with the Bobcat.  Here my daughter stands in the middle of what will be the new shop.  Notice the batter boards in the corners and footing outline marks. 

Now lets excavate!



This little Kubota was a butt kicker.  Did the job of ten men with the simple twist of the sticks.  I had never used an excavator before but after a few hours, things started getting a little easier.  You gotta love hydraulic equipment !




The pictures below capture the digging process.  I had to go down 36 inches per code to get below the frost line.  My city codes act as I'm going to build a mansion out here.



This Bobcat S130 was awesome.  Not everyday you get to play with these big boy toys (of course unless you run them everyday and then well, you get the point).  WORTH EVERY RENTAL PENNY!




The trench for the footing.






Click on the picture or right click and "Save link or target as" to view a video my daughter took of the excavating. I didn't know she was going to ad her own commentary to the video.  Classic kid.






I had originally decided to pour the footing myself and build the block wall.  Well, the weather and work have changed my mind.  Every time I was going to take off work, the weather would turn bad and then when I was working, it was great.  So, I contracted out this part of the shop so I can get to work on the building itself quickly.  Remember, we have more important things to do like BUILDING AIRPLANES !



It only took a two man crew about a day to clean out the bottom of the trench with shovels, lay in the steel and pour this footing.  Don't think the fact it only took one good day of work wasn't killing me.  I'm a "do it yourself" kind of guy and already felt bad enough at contracting out this work.  Just had to pull my pride up by its boot straps is all !




The block contractor started this afternoon and had this done in a few hours.  They didn't get a full day due to 20 degree weather this morning.  Good start though.





The second day went a little better.  The weather was a little warmer and that always helps a guy work a little quicker.  The fella laying the block is 75 years old!  He is doing pretty good for a man his age. I hope I'm as spry as that when I'm 75.

This view is looking west.



View looking east toward the house.  Once this shop is complete we can store the boat and small skid loader behind to clean up the back yard looks a bit.




This shot is of the back wall on the north side.






Now the east wall towards the house looking north.  This wall will have a man door toward the south side.  I'll have to build a small set of stairs to get to floor level.  





Things have been darn cold  (10 degrees) around these parts for about a week now and the progress slowed a bit.  Today they managed a good 6 hours of work and got the west wall done, the inside back filled a bit and the water proofer on most of the lower parts of the wall that will be back filled against.




Shot looking at the inside of the west wall.  They are going to cut and opening for a 36 inch wide man door four feet from that right corner in the pick.  This will allow access to the west side without having to open the main garage door.




Front wall.  The west (far) end will be blocked to allow for a 12 x 8 garage door.







It only took another day from the last pic to get the front wall up.  Due to a warm spell, they decided to get the slab in before the top caps were added to the wall.  This thing is really starting to look like a shop!





Here are a few more shot of that day.