Wednesday, March 22, 2017

O&G Tower Construction Crew

Moving the Landscaping Stone
Yesterday school was out in Putnam County.  About a week before, my 14 year old grandson, Owen, asked if he and his 12 year old brother, Grant, could spend the night with Evelyn and me on Monday night.  We, of course, said YES.  Then he said, maybe they could dig the hole for my new tower.  DUH!  Free labor?  SURE!

So, the pair showed up Monday after school and we had a lot of fun that evening.  The next day, they were up about 0630 local time, ready to get out there and DIG!  Temperatures were in the high 30's at that time and only made it up to the middle 40's for the day!

I managed to put them off for a bit until I woke up enough by having them eat breakfast and hunt up the tools we would need.  They didn't actually start with the hole project until about 8:50 a.m.  By 11 a.m. they were DONE!  Just over 2 hours and all they had to work with were a couple of shovels and a maul that they used to break some of the rock.  That also included putting together a couple of Rohn 25G tower sections and standing them up to see where the hole needed to be in order to clear the gutter.

On Monday I actually went to Bosley Rentals in Cross Lanes to see about renting a jackhammer because I knew that the land here was mostly rock.  I had no idea those two youngsters would be able to actually dig a 2'x2'x2' hole without the need for a jackhammer or explosives!  I was SURE this would turn out to be a real PITA before the hole could be completed.  As it turned out, there was a fair amount of sandstone and some blue colored rock.  They could sometimes force a shovel under one end of a piece and pry it up.  If not, a couple of swings with the maul would break the rock into smaller pieces.

Grant Really Gets Into His Work
The first step was to remove the landscaping stone and the landscape fabric that were already in place.  In the photo on the upper left, you can see Grant throwing a shovel-full of the stone over one of my wife's nice bushes.  We did not actually have to remove any bushes but we did do a little judicious trimming on one.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

On the right you can see that Grant really "got into his work" by going headfirst into the hole to loosen up some of the rock near the bottom.  Neither of these boys are afraid of dirt!  Nor are they afraid of hard work.  They actually look forward to doing things with their hands.  They love to work on engines and constantly are checking the oil in my 4-wheeler and coming up with jobs that we can do around here.  In fact, a couple of months ago over Christmas break, they actually re-grouted my shower!
O&G Tower Construction Crew

There was not much space to work so one of them would shovel and the other would carry the dirt away (over the hill) then they would swap jobs.  They took a break or two to go ride my 4-wheeler (they consider that to be BIG fun!) I don't think either of them broke a big sweat.

After they cleaned things up, I took them to lunch at Wendy's (yep, Grandpa is a Big-Spender) and we ate with Tim, K8RRT, and Steve, WW8RT.  After a nourishing 4 for $4 lunch, we drove to Home Depot and loaded ELEVEN 80-pound bags of Quickrete plus three 40 pound bags of gravel into the van.  The ride home with an extra 1,000 pounds in the back of my van was interesting.  If we hit a bump, the rear tires would rub in the wheel wells.  Twice when we had to go up a steeper than normal slope in the road, the trailer hitch drug a bit.  At home, we loaded the Quickrete and gravel onto the 4-wheeler and moved it around to the back porch where it could be covered with a tarp and kept out of the rain ready to be mixed and poured soon.

This even turned into a bit of an archeological "dig" in that they found some metal twist ties, the end that had been cut off a tube of caulking, something that looked to them like Fools Gold, and a crushed Coke can.  No money was found and the "Gold" was not real.

The boys even got a short carpentry lesson in how to cut a 2x4 to fit a 24"x26" hole.  They did not know about the fact that two of the sides of that "box" need to overlap the other two sides to provide a place to nail them together.  Call that a good life lesson learned.  They used a measuring tape, carpenter's square and a handsaw to cut the 2x4 into the sizes we needed to frame the hole.

One thing I will say for sure, and this is NOT just a Proud Grandpa talking, these two boys are WORKERS! And, beside the fact that they do so much work around here, I'm very, very glad and proud to know them!  They are growing into a couple of really exceptional adults.

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