Send in the Clones!
People often ask how we get it all done. Our secret is revealed here. Please do not let the UN know that we are doing cloning work and are well past the experimental stage in humans! Just tell them something like, “Ben was just having a little fun while Walter took the construction progress photo.” Nothing to see here. Nothing unusual. There are only two people in the photo… (Soon I will have my armies of invinzeeble clones ready and be able to take over zeee world! Bwaa-haa-haa!!!)
So what is happening there, besides Ben’s fun…
We’re working on finishing up the forms for the administrative section of our butcher shop. The hope is to pour during the scheduled nice weather next week. I’ve mailed my bribe to the weatherman. Think warm thoughts. Very warm thoughts. This is to be our last outdoor pour of the year and then we’ll begin indoor construction on the butcher shop.
This concrete pour will be another one piece ceiling and wall pour. In the photo, the truss ribs are in place for the arched ceiling forms over the smokehouse/mech and the office/bathroom. These are much more subtle arches than in the other rooms or our cottage roof. These ceilings will have a mere six inches of rise. The hallway is still open and you can see the form boxes that will leave holes in the concrete walls for doorways and boxes.
On top of the doorway going into kitchen entry and the inspector’s office are rail pass boxes which will allow us to eventually setup a suspended rail system so that things can move around the facility hung from the ceiling rather than wheels on the floor. This is more sanitary and makes it easier to move heavy loads. This way we’ll be able to bring large roasters right out the front door to our delivery van.
So why, you ask, does the inspector’s office need a rail? Ah, well, you see, someday that might not be the inspector’s office. Instead, it could become a hallway leading to more work rooms if we expand into charcuterie, making prosciutto and other cured products. Then we’ll take down more of the old farm house and build additional curing and aging rooms. Initially we’ll do those things in the commercial kitchen that we’ve already built in the reefer but if we need more room there’s the potential for expanding the space all on the original foundation.
In the background of the photo you can see the plastic covered reefer section of the building. That is the two thirds of our facility which will be chilled. The vaulted ceilings have already been poured over the chiller, cutting room and kitchen.
As I write this progress has been made since that photo. The hallway ribs are in place and we’re about to put on the ceiling forms. After that we’ll add expanded metal lath, welded wire mesh, rebar, conduit and PEX lines. When all the wall complexities are done we’ll snap in four more forms in the interior of the hall and brace them with walers and joists. This will allow us to pour the walls and ceilings all in one shot. Jello mold construction.
There is one little complication I discovered in my design. I like to recover the materials such as the long boards that are bracing inside the rooms so that I can reuse them later. As is often joked, I hate cutting string. Actually, no joke. Cutting 16′ lumber to 8′ lengths just to get it out of the new rooms is almost sacrilege to my frugal nature. But, there was no way to get them out of the rooms once the walls were poured with the design I had. Ah-ha! An idea! The solution is we’re going to leave a 4″ by 12″ hole in the west side of the ceiling vertical portion of the bathroom and the mech room so that we can slide the boards out through there as we disassemble the forms. Then when we’re parging the interior of those rooms we’ll fill the little gap with concrete. Only we’ll know there were ever holes in the ceiling. A simple solution – saved again!
When we’re done the hallway, inspector’s office, bathroom, mech room, etc will all have gracefully curved white concrete ceilings and recessing lighting. Who says a butcher shop has to be ugly?
Outdoors: 37°F/15°F Sunny, 1/2″ Snow in morning
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/59°F
Daily Spark: Want to make the gods laugh? Make plans. -Many