Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Engineering at Its Finest!"

Today took an unexpected turn. We started out the day playing with Kiki. She's such a doll, and it's hilarious to watch her explore the living room and intimidate the dogs. I headed over to Grandma's to work on my quilt, and got 9 more patches finished before Uncle Gordon showed up. He was heading out to the west quarter, and I said I would tag along. It's Grandpa's plot of land. His "farm" in west Cochrane. He's building a picnic shelter, and I knew he would need help today, stabilizing the main beam, whether he'd admit it or not.

At first, I was the official photographer, banished to the picnic benches so as not to get squished with the 3 ton timber. Then they needed me :) Of course, there are no pictures of me working, since I took all the pictures, but I earned supper tonight.

Here's when we got there:
Setting up the home-made tripod. Interesting? Definitely. Safe? Unlikely
Lifting the first main beam, and trying to place pillars and knee-braces:

There are lots more pictures, including some of wild raspberries I had for an afternoon snack, but here's the final product:

By the way, this may look like something we nailed together, but let me tell you... heh heh... when the father of three engineers is an engineer, you KNOW that every angle of that baby is 90 degrees, the floor beams all around, with the concrete pilings are level, the pillars are a perfect vertical level, and the notches cut in the wood to line up are perfect. This is the sturdiest picnic shelter in history. Actually, the dinner table tonight went something like this.

Uncle Gordon: You know, the weakest part of that structure is the shingles.
We'll have to replace those every now and then.

Grandpa: Those last 25 years! Lachlan can replace those! (My now 12 year old

Uncle Gordon: Ya, but the structure will last 500...

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