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August - 2016
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This summer has been all about work on our addition. Here are the major things that we accomplished this summer; each thing took about a week to complete:
* Built handrails for the bridge. The upright banisters are made of square oak and the rail is made of angled aluminum. Cables run the length of the bridge. A short piece of sewer snake flexed 180 degrees reverses the cable to the next level up. This creates a cleaner look and cuts the cost of turnbuckles, eyebolts and cable clamps in half.
* Built an oak and poplar ladder that accesses the observatory hatch from the bridge.
* Custom built an insulated watertight hinged skylight that serves as an access hatch to the observatory. Made from welded square tube steel and two separated layers of clear polycarbonate plastic. The rubber roofing material extends up the 2" frame that supports the skylight/hatch. The frame support is capped with angled aluminum and a foam gasket.
* Extended the frames of all 13 windows. The walls on our addition are an extra two inches thick so all window frames didn't have adequate depth. The palladian windows were especially tricky. I had several pieces of 1/8" bamboo flooring that were flexible enough to glue laminate and match the curve of the window.
Drywall. Ok, we've been working on this for several weeks now.
We also re-enclosed the porch with plastic sheeting and reinstalled porch door and put a temporary door between the old and new kitchens. We put an old window air conditioner in a greenhouse window. I had my doubts that it would do much good in a room that has 13 windows, 2 glass doors, 2 skylights and a vaulted ceiling. But it has made a noticeable difference and has made our work this summer bearable.
Svea and the GFS Youth Group went to Germany, Austria and Hungary this summer. She will post photos when she get's around to sorting them.
She celebrated her birthday on their last day and we celebrated it with her after she arrived home.
Twelve years ago I made a "Merry-Go-Totter" for the girls. Many years later rot and a falling tree destroyed it.
Svea decided to build a new adult sized Merry-Go-Totter this summer and solicited the labor of her sisters. This one is 14 feet long and has wheel-barrow tire "landing gear". The person on the high side sits over seven feet high. With the G forces that can be generated with such a big radius and such height on the high end, this ride is surprisingly exciting. The hand grips and foot rests are adjustable and have built-in clamps so that different sized people can balance.
Our $20 peach tree has gone nuts. We've used several straps, ropes and poles to keep the peach-laden branches off the ground.
The tree still split down the middle and branches have broken. One broken branch that is only the size of my finger had 75 peaches on it.