I recently took some time visit a friend in Boise Idaho. I decided to extend my time off and take some time after leaving Boise to road trip through Southern Utah and into Arizona for a few weeks. Boise was relaxing and as usual its always great to visit friends. Working my way South I spent a night in Salt Lake City which impressed me as a very clean and well appointed city. I ate out downtown, visited the Natural History Museum and went to the lake. It was nice. After Salt Lake I drove to Moab and explored Arches and Canyonlands. After Moab I drove west and spent time in the Escalante region before working my way further west through Zion and Bryce and eventually down to Las Vegas. I met some friends and family in Las Vegas and with them I retraced my steps to Escalante as well as ventured into Arizona for hiking along the Grand Canyon and kayaking in Lake Powell. I drove everyone back to the Vegas Airport and drove myself home shortly after. It was a fun trip
About a month ago I happened upon a dahlia showing/competition at the fair building near my house. Perfect opportunity to try out some new photography equipment I had picked up. These are some of my favorites from that day.
Thanks for reading
I thought I would share/document a portion of a project I’m currently working on. I’ve been doing a partial remodel of a building built at the end of the 1800’s. One of the things we’ve done to update and improve the layout of the kitchen was to remove the abandoned terracotta chimneys. These chimneys vented the original wood burning stoves, stoves that have long since been replaced with natural gas supplied free standing ranges. These chimney stacks stand about 30′ and 40′ tall (they go all the way to the roof and our project is on the 2nd floor of a 4 story multi-family apartment building) and the terracotta pipe weighs about 30#/ft. There is nothing supporting the weight of the stacks save the terracotta pipe itself, a sheet metal pipe surrounds the stack to provide lateral support and prevent leaning/tipping/buckling.
The challenge was to remove each stack from our floor and up, about 1800# of chimney, in a controlled demolition. The way our small team elected to do this was with an angle grinder, a hammer, a cat’s claw, three sets of pulleys and cordage, eye bolts, tying cleats, and s hooks.
We had already removed the lathe, plaster, and framing members that hid the stacks from view and that had created an inconvenient jog in the corner of the kitchen. We were then ready to remove the stacks. First a straight cut was made with an angle grinder along the length of the sheetmetal tubing, it could then easily be opened and removed. With this task complete, eye bolts were pre-drilled and installed into the exposed joists surrounding the stack’s entry into thr for above. The placement was as close to an equilateral triangle as could be achieved. Then a short distance below and towards the top of a 2′ terracotta pipe section (but a few inches below the joint), we chipped holes into the terracotta with a hammer and cat’s claw. The holes were as in line with the eye bolts as possible. S hooks entered the holes grabbed the pipe and connected to pulleys attached to the eye-bolts. The pulling end of the cordage we pulled tight and tied off to cleats we had mounted to nearby joists. At this point we carefully smashed out the terracotta sections below the one which he had supported. Carefully we untied the cleats and the three of us gently lowered the entire stack down to the floor. We then began chipping out new holes higher up on the stack close to the ceiling but below the pulleys and always towards the top of terracotta sections to prevent buckling. We moved the S hooks up, tied off to the cleats, and smashed out more pipe. This process repeated until all that remained were a few pipe sections that had separated and remained stuck in the sheet metal tubing well above our floor. We placed bundles of lathe below and attempted to shake the sheet metal and vibrate the sections into free fall. We were not able to shake them loose and so we placed several framing members across the opening at the base of the stack with the intent that should the pipe ever fall, perhaps during an earthquake, it will be caught just before crashing through the ceiling. I have attached some photos of the day’s project.
I recently finished the renovation of another rental unit here in SF. It was a fairly complete remodel. A sub panel was installed, old circuitry was removed and new 12ga romex circuits were run through out. The gas line was brought up to code with a rearranged shut off and repositioned terminal to accommodate modern ranges. All gas lines in the ceiling, originally used to supply gas lamps, were removed and capped. A partition was built to create a bar top bridging the kitchen and the living room. The failed and corroded toilet sweep was replaced. Tile was installed throughout the kitchen and bath. A new window was installed in the kitchen. Hardwood cabinets, a bath vanity, granite countertops, and granite tile backsplash were all designed and installed either by myself or with my direct oversight. Finally the dining room floor was refinished and I contracted out the carpets.
It was a lot of work, there were some dramatic delays, and also a change of staff. I’m glad it’s all done and I think it came out nicely.
Here is a link to the video walkthrough hosted on vimeo.
Sharing video 1029A 9-15-14.mp4
I got it in my head a few months ago that I could figure out how to cast metals like aluminum and steel. But before I set about lining a 5 gallon steel bucket with refractory cement, I thought I would build myself a worthy work station in which to do my casting.
A few weeks ago I began working on my station in my spare time. Finally I’ve finished it, I now have a brick topped work table in my backyard where I can crank out dive weights and in the near future cast aluminum moulds or steel gauges and irons. I have included photos of the process from start to finish.
The next phase will be creating a forge and crucible to process aluminum, iron and steel.
Finally done with the kitchen renovation that another guy and myself have been working on for the past few months. We demolished the old broken down kitchen, re-wired circuits, re-arranged the plumbing for the range, leveled the floor, tiled the floor, installed cabinetry, cut and installed pre-fab granite counter-tops, installed a granite tile backsplash, did a little bit of trim work, and did a bit of painting. Glad to finally see everything come together. I’m proud to say I designed everything and chose the types of stone and cabinetry to be used. My helper did a LOT of the work and I appreciate his effort.
Got to pay for spearfishing one way or another.