Week 177 (Starting the Pergola)

Last week’s post reported that construction was gearing up for the final push.  This week we are pushing hard.  A final (?) visit from the crane delivered the last major pieces of steel to be installed, a pair of pre-welded hexagonal steel columns each connected by a pre-welded flitch plate across the top:

Here is a detail of the steel showing a column marking “C” (of A, B, C, and D) welded into the flitch plate:

The 5/8″ thick flitch plate will be sandwiched between two 1-5/8″ thick cypress beams to provide both the racking strength and the cantilever point for the common rafters.

While the steel is being swung, a heavy-duty waterproof seal is applied to the water features:

More blocks that will become the top course of the water feature sit in the shade, carefully numbered:

Here’s a detail of one Block #23:

The holes, mated with the steel rods pictured above, are filled with epoxy before setting them onto the wet mortar.  The masons used seven 22oz tubes of epoxy, which is more than a gallon!

As the masons finish off the top course of the water features, a new round of infrastructure work begins.  Here a trench is being dug to lay in the pipes to carry water around our North Patio:

While that’s happening, one carpentry team is forming the common rafters for the Pergola.  The starting point is a huge number of boards that have been examined, sorted, finished, and marked as to which will be sistered to which:

These boards are then cut to meet the inside of a 22.5° reverse plumb fascia at a 30° angle, reflecting the 22.5° angle above the top of the fascia.  Or, something like this:

Here are two boards sistered together to make a common rafter:

When placed, the arrows will face up and out and the fascia will cover the writing.  Copper flashing will cover the tops of the rafters, and extend down the exposed face reflected above the fascia.

Here’s the sistering, in progress:

Those rafters are heavy!  I’m really looking forward to seeing these rafters flying across this structure:

In yet more news, the Annex Control Room is progressing nicely and rapidly.  Here two of the acoustic finishing team puts fabric over the fiberglass while a third installs the splines that will define the structure of the wavy walls:

Doesn’t that look nice?

The wavy splines at the rear of the room are similar, but have a smaller amplitude and a higher pattern frequency than those of the other walls:

The wavy patterns are then filled with insulation, with the smaller waves getting blocks of rigid insulation:

and the larger waves receiving larger, softer fill:

Here’s another view that really highlights just how Peter D’Antonio and the folks at RPG have thought about the balance of bass trapping and reflection in helping to design the acoustics for this room:

If you think that was a lot of progress, wait until you see what’s in store for the next few weeks!

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