Week 84 (Framing begins, masonry continues)

This has been a pivotal week for the project.  The masons have finished their work on the Music Room and are now turning their attention to bringing up the walls of the control room and the isolation booths.  At the same time, a framing crew has joined the project full-time, and they made a grand entrance indeed.  Here is the crane that presaged their arrival:


Let’s take a closer look…

Well, the closer one gets to the crane, the more impressive it looks:


And heavier:


And more imposing:


And more awesomer:


But the crane’s not there for it’s own sake.  It’s there to move a pair of custom-made 21×44 W-beams to the top of the Music Room so that we can establish a ceiling, a roof, and ultimately, our room.

Here are the two 1600 lb steel beams to be raised up:


And the first beam starts to go up.  The string on the end give the impression that it can be flown like a kite:


Here it is flying:


And flying:


And flying:


And landing…


You may ask, as I did, “why is the crane extended so far?”  The answer is: cos(θ).  More specifically, as the crane’s boom moves forward and backward to position the load, it also lowers or raises the load by cos(θ1)-cos(θ2).  When θ is close to 90° the cosine is nearly zero, and there’s scarce little change in height.  Thus, the taller the top of the crane, the more perfectly it can move the load independently in both the North/South/East/West directions (pivoting and rotating) and the Up/Down directions (using its cable).  Good enough for me!

With the steel properly landed, hole locations are drawn for the anchor bolts:


Holes are drilled into the concrete:


And then the bolts are put into place:


If you look closely at the above photo you can see that there’s a gap underneath the steel beam.  That will be filled with a special grout that will bond the steel beam to the concrete structure (in addition to the anchor bolts and sheer gravity itself).

Here’s one last portrait of the crane, this time from above:


Now with the steel beams in place, the next task is to shift the roofing materials up to where they’re going to get used.  Here are the materials to be moved:


And here they come:




After a few more swings, everything is put into position:


With the material in place, the framing team makes quick work of putting the ceiling joists into place:


And then cladding the joists with a layer of plywood:


The acoustics of the room have changed yet again, and now speaking in the room gives one’s voice a very flattering boost.

In the mean time, the masonry crew who had built and ruled the scaffolding for the past six months are now back on solid ground, bringing up the walls of the control room and the booths.  Here’s where they started the week:


Then up to the second course:


Then the grouting of the second course (which, because of the 3-4 courses of the foundation blocks was a fairly extensive grouting):


Here you can see more clearly how deep the foundation blocks go (the grey blocks beneath the architectural blocks):


After filling all the “regular” blocks, the team started to lay up the RPG blocks that line the insides of the booths


and the control room:


I love how RPG’s logo just pops right out of these blocks…form and function are one:


Every RPG block is prepared with its proper insert:


Selected for its good looks:


And then gently hammered into place:


A third course is finished:


So much work done in one week!  Let’s hope for continued good weather…

Author: Michael Tiemann

Open source pioneer. Red Hat Executive. UNCSA Trustee. Ninja.

One thought on “Week 84 (Framing begins, masonry continues)”

  1. Very inspiring photos, especially the ones from inside looking up the walls toward the ceiling. Dramatic views with a really good impression of the scale of it. Workmanship looks meticulous!

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