Walter’s Marble Play Blocks
We made me this set of 2″ marble cubes. Sort of play blocks for big boys. You wouldn’t want to give them to a baby as they’re rather heavy and could smash little fingers or shatter when banged together. Besides being visually and tactually interesting they make great paper weights or perhaps mementos of building the vaulted concrete ceilings for the reefer. The cubes come out of chunks of stone either from our farm or from the waste stone material we get from the stone sheds and quarries in Barre, Vermont which is just west of us on the other side of the mountain. They has promised to make me cubes of all the different types of rock. Perhaps for my birthday or Christmas. They’re kind of fun.
These cubes were used in making the vaulted ceilings of our on-farm butcher shop chiller, cutting room and commercial kitchen in the reefer, the cooled section, of our building.
Cutting Cubes with Diamond Ring
Years ago I gave my wife a diamond ring. It wasn’t the typical engagement ring. Rather it was made up of thousands of diamonds and about 8″ in diameter. She uses it to cut granite, brick, marble, concrete and other hard crystalline things. Over the years she’s worn out her ring. And the next one. And the next one. Fortunately diamonds are cheap. At least the ones I buy. She insists she doesn’t want one of those kind that goes on your finger and costs as much as the down payment on a house so I keep getting her these. It is pretty amazing what you can do with a diamond blade on a skill saw or table saw.
Spacer Cubes in Place
These spacer cubes are being used to make the rebar curve to the arc of the chiller’s barrel vault. Once they are pulled tight and pretinsiled they make nice smooth curves. The rebar is held up 2″ away from the final interior surface of the chiller ceiling by the cubes which become incorporated into the matrix of concrete. This is the proper spacing to keep the metal up away from the concrete surface and the marble is perfect in the mix. The rule of thumb is 1.5 times the diameter of the rebar. This is #4 rebar which is 4/8″ thick, that is to say 1/2″ in diameter.
Steel Worker Ben
Ben is sitting on the steelwork adding more ties to hold it tight for when we do the pour. You can see spacer blocks that are holding up the rebar which then holds up the crossing rebar which then holds up the welded wire mesh. The concrete we poured also has fibers in it. Graduations of reinforcement.
Reefer Ceilings Poured
We did this pour last fall. In the photo above you can see the three separate vaults of the chiller, cutting room and kitchen. The chiller ceiling is much higher so that we can hang big boars and even beef carcasses. The open near space by the blue pipes is the abattoir and the other one behind it on the right is the administration and smokehouse. See if you can spot the steel worker and do you know who is that snappy dresser.
Butcher Shop in Progress
A parting shot further back where you can see piglets and mothers to the left as she departs for deliveries in our white Ford E-350 extended body van in which she transports pigs to butcher each week and then delivers to stores, restaurants and individuals throughout Vermont on her regular route. Sugar Mountain is in the background on the left. Further up the valley you can see Knox Mountain in the distance.
Outdoors: 32°F/22°F 1/2″ Ice, Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/63°F
Daily Spark: A bumble bee is considerably faster than a tractor. -Old Saying