Thursday, July 19, 2012

2nd Summer Project in Motion

I got home from work Monday night, thanks to my counterpart who was able to come to work early.  That gave me an early start on the 2nd major project of the summer - building a pole barn in which to store motorized equipment out of the weather.

It has been a bit of a hectic couple of days.  In addition to working on this project I've had to deal with some other issues.  One of those was a meeting regarding proposed standards of animal care regulations being written by the State Veterinarian's Office of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.  You can read about my input in that meeting in today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.  So much for my most recent foray into the sewage pit that passes for modern politics and bureaucracy.

Back to the fun stuff.  The first step in my new equipment shed was to clear the site.  This shed is going to be situated along the west perimeter of the dog yard, as it will be convenient to the house so machines can be easily warmed during cold weather.  It does need to be far enough from the house to ensure that snow sloughing from the roof doesn't bury a corner of the shed or make the passageway to the dog yard impassible.  It will probably be easier to show you the new layout as the project progresses.

Here is what I had to start with:
In the beginning there were weeds, equipment and stuff in the way.
Working single handed, it was easy enough to deal with the weeds, old moldy straw and other stuff blocking access to the site, but that shed was more of a problem.  I had originally planned to just tear and down as it is quite old and isn't particularly necessary anymore.  On the other hand, each handler I've had on the property has needed additional covered storage space.  When Jeff offered to move it up to the cabin for his use, I agreed but there was a caveat.  It HAD to be moved by this evening, or I was going to do whatever I felt necessary to get my site ready.

So, here is what things looked like this morning:
The shed on blocks, ready to move.
 Jeff rented a Case 621B loader with extended pallet forks to move the shed.  That was by far more efficient than any other scheme we had considered.  It took less than 2 hours to pick up the machine, move the shed, and then return to machine to the equipment rental shop.

The fate of the shed was literally up in the air.

Given that the shed has been standing for well over a decade on a wooden frame work elevated on concrete blocks, and nothing else for a foundation, it held up surprisingly well through the move. 

The shed on the trail
It took some finesse, but Jeff got the sled in place behind the cabin without breaking anything major.  Meanwhile, it didn't take very long at all for me to fill in a couple of holes left behind using the little tractor and bucket.  As of this evening, the site for the new pole barn is just about ready to survey the job.

Location of new pole barn ready to survey
Tomorrow I have to do several errands in town, and then host the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives compliance offer as part of the process of renewing my black powder dealer's license.  I doubt I'll have time to work on this project further until Saturday.  With a bit of luck and perseverence, I'm hoping that by Saturday night I'll have the site fully prepped, the posts cut to length and moved into position near the job site, and maybe even be ready to start digging holes for those posts.

Until then, there are other tasks to keep me occupied.

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