Welcome to the Summer Solstice. I spent yesterday at the Habitat for Humanity "Women Build"
and it was as fun at the first day, even though it was a longer day and not as hot.
When I got home, it was about 6pm and I changed the dirty shirt I'd worked in all day for the new pink Women Build shirt they gave us volunteers. Here I am, pretending to flex my biceps.
Here is the back of the shirt. At the bottom, under the blueprint drawing it says "My plans for the weekend". Fun stuff.
This is Sam, who worked most of the day with me as a small team building sill plates. She is standing on the scaffolding inside the basement walls and her hands are resting on a sill plate. It is just a 2 by 6 bolted to the concrete but it in turn is resting on a foam gasket to which is applied some sticky black goop by means of a caulking gun. We had to walk around on the scaffolding, measuring the sections of the foundation and then asking for a 2 by 6 to be cut to a certain size. When we got the 2 by 6, we would rest it on top of the bolts and then bang a hammer onto it to mark the underside with the ends of the bolts. Having first pencilled the word "UP" on the proper side of the 2 by 6, we would then turn it over to see the bolt marks and then drill holes through the board for the bolts. My pecs hurt today from all the work done, just on sill plates.
By 3pm, we had still not finished our work but the people who lent us the scaffolding wanted it back and so we were reduced to applying the sill plates using ladders from the outside of the foundation. We thought it was hard work before but now we had to climb up and down ladders and move them for every section of the foundation.
Sam took this picture with my camera, of the other work that was also going on. The main beam for the house had to be constructed on the spot and other crew members nailed together four layers of 2 by 10s (maybe they were 2 by 8s, I'm not sure) and then had to hoist it up into one slot in the foundation wall and support it with expansion posts along its length and at the other end - the common wall for the duplex. Then they started putting up the floor joists and Sam and I had to hurry up with the sill plates on the common wall or we would have had no room on the side where the scaffolding was.
This gives you a good idea of the excavation. The truck had arrived to take away the scaffolding and Chris was working at getting it out of the foundation and onto the green truck - along with a bunch of other people - I don't know why he is all alone in this photo.
The site is located on a small residential street but we access it for convenience by way of a vacant lot on Main Street. The sign advertising the build was originally at the proper entrance to the lot but they moved it yesterday to the Main Street side and attached it to the giant storage bin that looks like a dumpster but isn't. On the far left of this photo are two marquees
that shelter tables, chairs, benches and belongings. They get stored every night in the big bin and put up each morning at 7 when crew shows up.
I won't be working at the build again until August but I am already looking forward to it. The professional crew are great to work for and the volunteers are great to work with. (I put all 20 photos up at my Flickr site
so you can check them out.)
Labels: Habitat for Humanity, solstice