Friday, June 7, 2013

Footing forms

This week we built the forms for the footings, the basis of the foundation.  Instead of going the traditional route and using lots and lots of wood panels, we used a fancy woven plastic material stapled to 2x4s to hold the concrete. The 2x4s are held into place with lots and lots of stakes pounded into the ground with short 1x4 cross pieces attached for lateral rigidity.

The first step was getting all the locations of the footings spot on.  Lots of measuring and staring at the blueprints.  That fun thing on the tripod is the German laser level, Hans.
Then a solid six or so hours of pounding stakes. 
The next step was to attach cross-pieces to make sure the wood and plastic held solid while thousands of pounds of concrete is poured into it.  Then the rebar work started.  Lengths of rebar are laid horizontally and vertically to reinforce the concrete.  We have a manual rebar bender/cutter on site to make all those crazy shapes.
Each length of rebar has to lay at a certain height in a certain place in the footing.  To make that happen we used thousands of little metal twist ties and a funny tool called a whirleybird to tighten them.  I made my carpal-tunnel appointment in advance.

 And a pointy rebar section christened the work site with the first blood drawn.  Might not be the last.
 At the end of it we had an intricate snaking tunnel of metal and wood, ready for concrete.

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