Wednesday, June 30, 2010

12 Steps on Building a Stairway to Heaven

This is the spiral staircase in the castle. It is the only staircase that goes from the first floor to the fourth floor, no I don't know how we are going to get furniture to the upper floors yet Patti, but I am sure Andy has it all figured out and will tell us all in due time.
Anyways, we need the staircase to go up one more flight to the roof because that is heaven! You've seen the view from up there in previous posts, a hottub, bar, and roof top garden are a must!

So Andy found three pieces of concrete work at the castle during the cleanup and he quickly realized they were formwork for the spiral staircase, he's clever like that!
He then decided he was going to make the rest of the formwork needed to get to the roof, so he took the concrete pieces and studied them carefully. He finally figured out a way to reverse engineer the formwork, which he wanted me to note was very complicated, so that he could make these forms to extend the staircase up from the fourth floor to the roof.

What may seem like a relatively small part is, in actuality, the linch pin for how the stair works. The piece is an unusual piece of conrete work in that it has to be cast with a hollow center and has to leave exposed the structural rebar in the casting that will help anchor it during the second pour.
These are pictures of Andy's process for re engineering the concrete pieces.
Andy & Rex were able to work on this process in the workshop back here at the house, so everynight for 14 days, the minute Andy got home from work, he went right to the work shop to work on this.
Of course, he would not have certain pieces or materials he needed, so they made alot of trips to Lowes, I need to go to Lowe's and make sure there are no good looking woman there, cause he went alot.
Sure these pictures seem to be flowing smoothly and it looks like a piece of cake, but there was alot of trial and error to make this all fit and work, editing, my friends, is a wonderful thing.
and now it is time to pour the concrete. It took a couple of tries to get the concrete at the right consistancy, but we did it!
and here is the final product. he made 14 of these. One will be placed on top of the other and a stair poured for each.
this is a picture of the stairs where they currently stop and you can see how this piece will go on, right there in the center.
The formwork all made it to the castle last weekend and Andy hopes to set one in place and pour a stair tread a day next week while he is at Boyscout camp with Rex. Funny how the boyscout camp is only 15 minutes away from the castle and Andy says he usually has about 2 hours of downtime there in the afternoon that he can head to the castle to pour! Fate or coincidence?
Stay tuned to find out how many stairs closer to heaven we are in a few weeks

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