Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/1/23

10/2-6/23 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I had an early morning dentist's appointment which delayed me some, but I arrived at 2:00. I made five trips to the cabin with my gear. Three of them were with a 60-pound sack of mortar in each wheelbarrow load. It felt like it might rain anytime but fortunately it didn't before all the gear was up at the cabin.

I had a late lunch, skipped my nap and my dinner, and then practiced the piano.

On Tuesday I started by practicing the piano. Then I worked on the hole in the stone wall that provides access to utility wires. There are a lot of things to pay attention to with this hole. I want it to be mouse tight, bug tight, and have a removable lid (or two) that allows access to the fiber optic conduit, and telephone wires. There are also a couple of ground wires going through, but they are not a problem. I had a nice big flat stone chosen as the lid but as I was shaping it, it broke in half.

After looking at it, I could see it would work better in two pieces anyway. The smaller piece would provide a cover for the fiber optic conduit and the bigger one would cover the telephone wires. The challenge remaining is to seal the space around each cover and yet allow them to be removed.

Next, I painted the PVC conduits that penetrate the wall. They are gray schedule-40 PVC, and they don't stand up to UV light. They were getting discolored and would eventually deteriorate. I painted them with UV protective paint and now they look nice.

Next, I went into the woods and hung up a salt block for the deer. They have gone without one for too long.

On Wednesday, after practicing the piano I went to work outside and made the removable stone covers for the service entrance hole. After lunch and a nap, I mixed two batches of mortar and began sealing the service hole and laying a few stones.

On Thursday I practiced the piano and went outside to see if the deer were licking the salt. I was happy to learn that they are.

I selected a bunch of stones and laid them in the wall using one batch of mortar. After lunch and a nap, I laid up more with another batch. I didn't allow quite enough time, so I had to work late to finish up. Once the water is added to a batch you need to finish the job because the mortar is going to set up on its own schedule.

On Friday I practiced the piano and then filled the water jugs and loaded them into the truck. I picked up the tools for the weekend and noted that the batch counter read 30 batches. I left for home at about 12:30 after a delightful week of laying up stones. I'm glad the complications of the service entrance hole are behind me, and I expect the pace to pick up once that's done.

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