Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Boys Weekend

So Andy and Rex were back to work this weekend at the castle. Brian and Mark continue to work also, so lots has been getting done. Here you can see the big stencil beams and the smaller stencil beams are almost all up, this is the ceiling to the great room.

This is looking down from 2nd floor, through ceiling into great room. You can see how they are starting to extend new second floor over the top of the ceiling.

This is the framing in of the area above the great room stairs. The small powder room off the library is behind this wall. You can see Rex holding up a piece of art work Andy found at an antique store that will go right there perfectly.

This is one of the new windows Andy cut way up high in the great room for a fourth floor bedroom, now the window is getting a floor to go with it.

More framing in. I believe this is the kitchen area extending into the great room.

A couple weekends off for Easter, but we will be back the weekend after.

Have a good Holiday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Five Guys & the story of the Beams & Brackets

As the Five Guys left Sunday afternoon after a long hard weekend of castle building, alittle bit of partying on the side, this is what they saw. The sunlight floating through the new windows and dancing on the new beams and brackets

It all started last Monday...
I mentioned in passing that my cousin's husband, Brian Reed, was helping us with the castle when we are up. Well now, he and his friend, Marc Segabache, are working during the week when we are not there and that means things are moving along even quicker than we hoped for.
Last week Brian and Marc :
* finished trimming the rest of the windows on the exterior that we installed the previous weekend.
* knocked out concrete plugs in floor, that Andy had started last year, in preparation for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing to be installed.
* framed library wall out so we could put installation in before we slide the library built-ins in.
* framed portion of third floor, where kitchen wall is being knocked out & steel beam was installed in November, in preparation for timber framing to be placed in great room that will be floor for 4th floor.

Downside to them working during the week and me not going up last weekend is I have no pictures of any of this, but I will take them next visit, so if it is hard to visualize, stay tuned.

Last weekend, the kids & I stayed home due to activities they had planned and Andy headed up with our friend, Tom Corona, of NCI Home Inc. & his friend David Blair, of David Blair Contracting, to work with Brian & Marc, to install brackets & timber frames.

If you remember, Dennis, Rex, & Andy installed the brackets on the east wall last summer. We had to do those then as they were bolted in from the outside and needed to be done before the stucco went on. Well, now it was time to get the brackets on the west wall up, so we could get the timber frames up, so we can start building the ceiling to great room/ floor to 4th floor.
Well the boys worked hard and got all 6 brackets up and all 7 timber frames in place. There are the 350 lb. timber frames that were delivered from California last year and stenciled throughout the summer.

As Andy tells it, the process started with trimming each beam to the exact length. He noted as good as Edward & his friends were as masons, they were still off plum and not square by 3 inches. Seems close enough to me, but Andy said, "as rustic as the beams look, they have a high level of precision that has to be maintained when installing them."

Once trimmed, one at a time, the timbers were hoisted into the air with a chain fall ( on loan from our friends at Leo's Body Shop). Once in place and precise, they were bolted into the brackets. Once secure, the chain fall is dismantled, the beam dolly is moved and re-set for the next timber. All this is being done by five guys just having a good time! five beams on Saturday, two on Sunday. These are the only pictures Andy got for us.

Thanks to Tom & David. Much thanks to Brian & Marc for taking on the task of weekday work, love coming up and seeing so much progress, you guys are awesome!

We are off this weekend, Andy & Rex are headed to DC with the scouts & Ruby, Tosh, & I are tryingto take advantage of weather and get Spring work done at home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The castle was bustling this weekend

Andy went up Thursday evening this week with the Contractors, Kevin Rich Construction & Team Install, to get cracking on the window installation. He was met by Brian & Mark who are helping from Wilmington, and they were working hard for 16 hrs. that day! The goal was to get the big window up and get several others framed and in.
This is the frame for the big window in the great room that would hold 9 of the windows.

Once the frame was built, they made sure all the windows fit securely.

Once they knew the frame fit and the windows fit and were in, they had to secure a hoist to it as it was too big to lift the way they origionally thought.

You can see here they are hoisting it up and there are window legs to support it

and in it went, realitively easily. Rex & I got there just as they were securing it into place in this picture.

and here is looking down at them securing it in at the top. That's Andy on the yellow ladder trying to get right in on the action.

and here is what the big window looks like from the outside. The exposed wood will be painted grey so it will blend in better.

there was alot of windows going up and downthe stairs.

There were alot of conferences fixing small issues that came up, Tosh oversaw all of them.

There was a temporary coffee bar set up for one break. This is actually the frame for the other big window in the great room before it went up.

people were sitting in and out of windows framing them up.

people standing high on scaffolding putting in 4th floor windows where there are no floors yet.

a plank was set up going from the fourth floor that is there to the scaffolding where the window needed to be placed. apparently carrying a window across this small platform is easier than lifting it up the scaffolding.

and here you see how easy it really is.

and the graceful movements of two burley men dancing on the upper scaffolding as they place the window and secure it. Once windows were in, Brian & Mark came along and framed them all up. worked like a well oiled machine!

back to the next big window. The coffee bar when it wasn't in use.

they agin built in a frame within the box & knocked out the temporary window cover.

This one didn't require a hoist, all the guys got at the end and slowly walked it forward and then used the legs to woggle it into place. again, relatively easy and no major problems.

Rex & Andy enjoying the new window seat overlooking the mout.

and from the outside here it is!

Team Install & Rich Construction left Saturday afternoon for a quick ride home and some rest. we stuck around to clean up, I worked on sealing around all the windows with my favorite Gaps & Cracks foam insulation, and Andy & Rex got working on getting another arch in place.

Tosh made sure they were doing it right.

Andy is sitting on the scaffolding hooking the arch onto the top bolt, Rex had the middle and bottom bolts. This one gave us a little trouble, but we eventually figured it out and got it in place.

Tosh guarding the tools

and voila, another arch in place. These are in preparation to get the big huge beams to span across them for the base of great room ceiling and floors above.

Andy is back up for a guys weekend weekend. Goal this weekend is to get big timber frames in place atop the arches.

Brian & Mark have been working there all week too, so we'll have an update on what they have been up to.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cold, Snow, Windows, & Arches

Welcome to Winter @ Leary Castle. That's right, we finally got some snow in the Adirondacks! I think we got over a foot last weekend and it was a beautiful winter wonderland, but enough of that, let's see what work we got done!

The windows arrived from Erie Materials (Auburn, New York) right on time @ 11am Friday morning

Big truck scared me pulling in, but there were just 25 windows. Remember on the smaller, thin windows we are going to do out own XanderBlue stained glass, so this is not all the windows.

My awesome cousin Nancy and her husband Brian, also awesome, came to help us unload the windows, which we did in record time according to out task master. Not only did we unload them, we placed each window near the opening where it was to be installed. Brian, Andy, and Rex did the windows to the third and fourth floors, it was a good thigh workout!

After a great brunch @ the Lumberjack Inn with the cousins, it was back to work for us. We got the red steel beam up that will support us being able to cut through the current tool room wall into the Fungeon/wine room, we are opening it up so we have more room for fun and wine!

Here you see Rex on a big ladder in the wine room tightening the bolts tothe red beam on the other side of the wall. Can you just picture how great that is going to look when all the concrete in front of his ladder right now goes away!

Andy wanted the third and fourth floors cleared of all equipment that wasn't necessary for window installation, so here we are lowering down the broken and new cement mixer with the crane.

Time to get back to those arches, I have kept you in suspense long enough. Andy stumbled upon a farm jack that can crank up ridiculous amounts of weight to high levels in one of his catalogues, so what castle doesn't need that, we got it! His new arch plan was to use that to get arches in place. He made a wooden support to go into the arch and a wooden support on each wall and then Andy, Rex, and I were able to push arch from flat position on the floor to an upright position and lock it into the wooden frame, then we just slowly jacked it up.

The red handle in this picture is the jack handle and look at how high the arch is, right above the door where it is suppose to do. Same process on the other side and ...

The arch above the spiral staircase entranceway is up and secure and it only took a few hours with no major problems.

that wasn't the case the next day when we went to do the double arches over the Fungeon/Wine Room. same concept and plan, but because this area didn't have the walls right there at the door frame Andy had to make a frame with wood and apparently the stone arch getting jacked up was stronger than the wood frame, so the arch kept moving, ever so slightly within the framework and we had alot of extra manuevering with this one. Here is Andy trying to wiggle it back into place.

We finally got it up, but ran out of time to do the other ones. What would a weekend be without one problem or another.

My good friend and college roommate Barb happened to be in the area this past weekend and she stopped for a visit with her daughter Hallie and their gorgeous dogger, Caymen. The girls (Hallie & Ruby) and dogs had a great time sledding.

Tosh loves peeing in the deep snow and he looks so regal doing it!

The boys allowed Ruby & I time off on Saturday to go snow shoeing around the property with tosh, it was goreous and we had a great time.

Ruby is never without the camera. We were stopping every other step taking pictures.

Ruby found some ice on the mout and was trying to clear an area to skate on. Unfortunately, it was snowing just as fast as she was shovelling and she didn't get very far, but again, had alot of fun.

That was it for the long weekend. getting redy to leave now to head up and get those windows installed, can't wait!