Sunday, June 26, 2011

Let there be light 6.25.11

Apparently our guard knight fought with the wind and the wind won. Now we have a leaning Knight of Leary Castle!

Andy always gets to the castle a few hours before the rest of us, so when we finally came rolling in @ 9am on Friday, this is what we saw. look close at the right side of the picture, do you see it, the bricks have moved. OK, so Andy was behind them sledgehammering them, but the window was coming! These are the ones Andy cut last fall and had never pushed out.

Half way there. I videotaped from the time we got there until it came out, but it was over 20 minutes, so I am sparing you all the video and just showing the still progress of it.

Rex got the final hit and here he is standing in the new front window!

Next the boys set up the scaffolding in the cisterne and started hammering out the three windows on the south face.

Here they are working hard.

and here are the new three windows on the south face! These will give the wine cellar/game room alot more natural light.

these are two enlarged windows on the north face.
These are providin more light to the central staircase leading into the great room.

Rex took some time out to play airsoft war with his friend Jack. Rex got to use his fort for the first time.

He was very proud of how he set up shop on top of the fort and didn't come down for 30 minutes. He also notes he didn't get hit once either.

Ruby came up for a look and to remind him that it is her fort too!

Patti didn't want to come up so she stayed down with Tosh who wishes he could climb ladders. Look at all the pretty ferns surrounding my pretty friend. Patti said according to the Adirondack Park Agency we are a wetland because they say anything with ferns on it is! Patti is a wealth of Adirondack knowledge.

I stenciled the large brackets all morning. Patti came and helped me all afternoon. We made good progress as you'll see in the next few pictures.

Once the brackets were done we went back to work on the small beams, they are very stressful as the stencil is so small and tends to like to move alot. We did alot of deep breathing to get through it.

Here's the small beams we have left. and Andy said we'd be stenciling all summer!

Andy put up a new temporary door and decided we should put the new knocker her had made on it. Here he is measruing it up.

and here it is on the door. It looks awesome and will look even better once we get the real door.

Thanks to Agost Raulli, from Raulli Ironworks in ROme, New York for taking Andy's sketch for this door knocker and turning it into a piece of art!

Boys Weekend 6.18.11

So the boys had to go to the castle without the girls last weekend as Ruby made it into a state track meet and she needed her Momma there. So the girls went to Rome, NY and the boys went to Tupper, NY.

Andy & Rex spent much of the first half of their day installing the crane to the top of the roof. It doesn't look like much, but it can lift up to 1000 pounds! Andy also wanted me to point out, with the crane installed on the top of the castle, that it is now the highest tower crane in the Adirondacks at a height of 47' 9". Here is a picture of Andy making the final touches on that.
He has a belt on that has him harnessed to the roof for those of you who are worried that he might fall.

Here is Rex taking a picture of himself to show he was there helping too.

This is Andy with the camera at the roof, pointed down at Rex as he loads one of the panels to the crane. Apparently it was quite hot and windy last weekend and they had to break early, around 4pm because the panels were getting blown all around going up. They went and had an early dinner, took a dip in the pool, and came back in the evening to finish up.

Nice picture of Andy with the mountains in the background.

and here is Rex's video that shows the panorama from the top of the castle, along with the panals on the roof, and Andy & the crane.

Friday, June 3, 2011

First work Weekend in 2011

Welcome Back, the good weather in the Adirondacks has come back and we are back to working @ the castle, we headed up last weekend for the long Memorial Day weekend and got alot accomplished! Ruby found that she could "Ripstick" in the great room her she is with a great big Hello.

My Uncle Frank, or Sears Contracting to most of you, was busy excavating the week prior to our coming up. It was a wet winter/spring and while we knew there was no waterproofing done previously, it was very evident that the problem needed to be fixed before we went any further. Here is Uncle Frank digging all around the perimeter of the castle so we could get in there and do the waterproofing. Apparently, my cousin Dawson, who works with Uncle Frank, wanted to rent a little fancy machine to do this job and Uncle Frank said, "yeah, no, I can do this." Andy said Uncle Frank uses the machine like it is a natural extension of his body and was amazed by his dexterity and senses with the machine. Guess 50 years in the business pays off that way!

All I saw when I got there was a bigger mess than when we started, but sometimes that is the way construction/renovations go and I will just hold on to the bigger picture and trust Andy knows what he is doing.

Andy had Ruby & I working on the turret. This is Ruby's picture of the turret from the bottom looking up. If you look close you can see the concrete screws they used to set it sticking out. Ruby & I had to go through with a hammer and knock all this screws off so they didn't rip the waterproofing and insulation. My arms felt it the next day.

We rented a pressure cleaner from Aubochon Hardware, they are our new best friends in Tupper, and Rex went around the perimeter getting all the gook off. I also spent a fair amount of time with a big wedge getting the wood trim they used to set the foundation off from the base.

Ruby has found a new passion for taking pictures and most of the ones you see in this posting she took, these and about 400 more! She loves it and she is getting really good. So this first picture is what we saw everytime we saw Ruby and the second picture is a cool one she took of herself, sitting in the drainage piping, with the castle in the background, love it!

Tosh sits very nicely for Ruby and just wanted everyone to see that our 15 month old puppy is now 75 lbs!

When we were excavating and preparing the foundation, 10 feet under the ground level @ the base of the foundation, Andy came across this. Ed Leary wrote his name in the corner of the foundation and then it got buried until now! We traced it in blue chalk so you could see it better. So excited to see what else Ed left us around the castle! There are talks of buried treasure, no lie!

Thomas, our neighbor, came over on his four wheeler to help us one day. Here he is helping us wrap the castle in the waterproofing skirt. It took four of us to unroll it, stick it in place, and secure it. We did this all the way around. It took about a full day and a half!

Andy ordered some very large Douglas Fir beams to span the ceiling of the great room and become the base for the second floor, they came all the way from California the week before, thank goodness they were delivered with a truck that had a lift and they were able to lift them right into the second floor. Andy then designed a pattern and had another friend make stencils from it so we could paint them onto the beams before we raise them into place. This is a pile of the bigger beams in the great room.

This is Andy giving us a demonstration of how to do the stencils. Seems easy enough, but it does require some technique and patience to ensure they don't splatter out the sides.

Here we all are doing the first go around with stenciling.

and here is a close up of the stencil on the beam.

Our friends, Maria and Dave came up for the third time since we started this adventure to help us. This is Mari and I working on the beams. The two of us literally spent 8 hrs. one day doing this. We had some great talks and listened to every Glee song out there, the time flew by.

Patti came to visit twice with the kids and while she was very nervous to work on the stencils for fear of making a mess, she pushed through her fear and did a great job! Proof is in the beams!

We managed to finish all the big beams with everyones help and we got 17 of the smaller ones done, but there are still alot to go, so if stenciling is something you like to do, we got it to be done!

as we stenciled, the boys continued with the outside work. Once we got on the sticky black first waterproofing layer, Andy laid down some drainage pipes. He also had Uncle Frank dig out a run off from the back corner down into the hill and into the stream. Ed had planned on holding water in the cisterne and as such had not had any drainage in this corner, but we are turning the cisterne into the game room and want it dry, so we had to build in a new drainage route for the excess water.

Here's the boys putting up the insulation now that the waterproofing is done.

The last day of any visit at the castle for me is always cleaning up the mess we make while we are there. Here I am getting rid of some excess water and cleaning the tool/utility room.

While dogger is crazy and running around when we first get to the castle, this is what he looks like at the end. Needless to say, he is dead dog tired and sleeps well for about a week after our trips up.

On the way out of town, we stopped for lunch @ the Lumberjack Inn, this is our new friend who was there! They grow them big in Tupper!

The Volunteer Fire Dept. of Tupper is having a fundraiser and auctioning off a four wheeler, we supported the cause and the kids are sure we are going to win!

and that was it. I am tired just writing about it and I can't wait to get back and do more.

Happy June!