Well, as anyone who has read much of this knows, we are all but consumed these days with the house. We are out there every day, sometimes for several hours. This week, we have been watching a driveway go through some changes.
Two weeks ago today, the driveway looked like this:
Ten loads of fill had been brought in, shaped, packed down, we could have driven right into the garage.
Then, on Wednesday, we showed up to see a big honking backhoe digging up the side of it all to install the septic system and graywater tank:
This, of course, wreaked new havoc with the driveway, leaving large piles of rock and dirt ( which here is really just crushed limestone powder).
Then, On Thursday, another machine was there scooping up the debris the big honking backhoe left, and using it to cover up the septic system:
He did a pretty good job, too. We spent the afternoon watching him turn it back into a usable driveway:
So, after getting it all smooth again, we went back out yesterday (Friday) afternoon, and discovered that the backhoe had been back, this time with a vengence. The whole driveway was trenched down about two feet into the rock. There were several of these trenches, leading from the new septic to various drain points on the house. I had to put together a three-photo panorama shot to get this all together:
I guess you could possibly use the driveway now, if you had a good offroad bike and were not afraid of leaping some trenches. Amid mounds of fairly respectable hunks of broken rock.
Those grooves in the bottom of the trench are the backhoe's tooth marks, scraped into solid limestone. After the pipes are run, all the crushed stuff will be used to cover it over again. And then, I suppose, it will all get smoothed over one last time. At least we hope it's the last time for a while. At least we can say that slurry of limestone dust and crushed rock is extremely compacted from all the heavy machinery that has been driving all over it. That should be a good thing. I know I can stand on the very edge of the driveway and it doesn't seem to want to crumble. This limestone dirt is some sticky stuff.
That's basically it for news of the house. Oh, there are still things going on inside. The crew is constantly painting, now working on the second coats. Felix the cabinet man has been here several times, and the cabinet tops are getting fitted. Most of the electrical fixtures are now in. Work progresses on the plumbing.
And in the meantime I have been messing around with garage plans. I think I have settled into some version of this for the basic bench setup:
I put a rolling section in the end, so that I can use it as bench extension, or a rolling cart that will attach to the bench anywhere along its front. Or it can of course be free standing, since it's going to be on locking casters:
This approach lets me standardize on "benchtop" stationary tool. If I need to reposition something, I should be able to put it on the 'cart' section and move it where I want it. It also gives me both a corner, and accessible end on the work bench, should I need them. That's sometimes a good place for a decent bench clamp.
I figure this design works for this garage. It keeps everything( so far) within two feet of that large far wall. Now I can start working on some shelving ideas. Putting this all together in SketchUP is time consuming, but by the time you have thought it through, you have essentially built the project in your head. Now it's just a matter of taking the measurments off the components, cutting them out, and putting them together. Kinda like a "Do-It-Yourself Kit" project, only in this one you also get to design and cut out the parts to make the kit. You can take the detail about as fine as you need to. For example, I have all the support pieces for this bench already worked out, down to the 3" tall casters:
I have almost the entire house on SketchUp now. La Gringa's office is mostly designed. This is a very good way to determine just what you need in materials. Helps minimize cost and waste. This is a very useful little CAD program, and it's free!
We haven't been on the boat the past few days. The Trade Winds continue to blow hard and we presently have nine foot seas where we like to fish. I do, however, see a break in the wind forecast for mid week, meaning a fishing expedition is likely coming up.