Thursday, June 28, 2007

Weighty Matters

I have been thinking as I have been moving limestone from our old house to Foxcroft. I took a load of rock on Sunday in my station wagon, Pete and I took a load on Monday with his truck. I took two loads on Tuesday in my wagon. I took another load on Wednesday in my wagon. Today I got the last of the limestone by using Pete's truck. I'm generally a pretty good estimator, I think I've moved somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 tons of limestone. Besides using my aching back as a guide, I figure that the new owner of our place took about about 35% of the total I had built in the back and I know I put in a total of 10 tons of limestone so...
Here is how it looked on Wednesday:

I was working along with my board and level and got nearly half of the middle section laid. Here's another shot of working:

I am grateful to Brian, the owner of our old house, besides being a nice guy I got enough stone to build the entire patio/swimming pool base.

After getting all the rock home it was time to head to Iowa River Products to get some lime waste to use as filler between the stones. "Lime waste" is basically pulverized limestone gravel that is a by-product of gravel quarrying. Farmers will use this on their fields if they are too acidic, and you can use it in mortars. I used this stuff on my previous patio too. It packs firmly but does allow water to drain through. Pete's truck was invaluable in this operation as you pull up to a mountainous pile of lime waste and an end loader dumps into your truck. I stopped the guy when I saw the bed move signifigantly and thought I'd probably have enough to do the whole job. When I got back to the scale I had .55 tons, 1100 pounds of lime waste. This stuff sells for the princely figure of 10 dollars a ton, so I handed the scale master $5.25 and was on my merry way. If you look at the last post you will see that I am now over $50 in this project. Here's is Pete's truck in the neighbors driveway that is closer to the patio, so I unloaded from there. Here is what half a ton of lime waste looks like:

The first section was ready to go so I loaded a wheelbarrow full and dumped it on and brushed it all around. I use a push broom and a regular broom to spread:

I still didn't have the middle sections completeley laid and leveled so I did that and then brushed them too. I started laying the last section and was halfway done when supper was ready. After supper I came out and finished the last section:

I then covered it too. I have about two wheelbarrow loads left in the truck. Here is younger daughter, who was my shoveling assistant most of the afternoon:

After brushing it all out, I wet it all down with the hose. I'll tamp on it some tomorrow and then dump the rest of the lime on it. We should be putting up the pool on Saturday.

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