Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, October 30, 2005

And now for something completely different

Since the screening fence was completed, it was more than high time we shift into clearing out the barn to get ready for construction. We spent a day clearing out junk. I have to say it was somewhat amusing to come across evidence of many of our past projects: "White Lightning" wire from fencing off the pond, several sections of electric cable, water pipe, the backs to the benches that we purchased at auction and promptly ripped off... The whole stack of T-Posts wasn't nearly so amusing as a pain in the butt to relocate.

The next night we spent removing the wall-panels that the seller had left in the barn. These were two 'rooms' (sans-ceilings, each about 12x10 in size. Originally we thought this was really handy and we'd use them for the kennel. Once we looked at issues such as sound proofing, convenience, and just professional-ness, it was clear they should go. Only, that wasn't nearly as easy as it sounds. They came apart into 7 sections, but each section must be 1" solid wood sided by metal, encased in a galvanized frame.

Marshall, Gingers son-in-law came over to help us, but it was seriously just about all the 4 of us could do to slide those things around and drop them onto the flatbed trailer. Actually it was pretty interesting that after the first several, we learned a trick of bolting a chain into the bottom edges of them (into bolt holes used to attach them to eachother) and that increased our ability to handle them a thousand-fold. Otherwise there was just no way to grip them, and definitely no way to put more than one person per end. The last three, which were all large solid panels without doors actually went the easiest. Anyways, got those stacked down behind the horse barn. Before next summer we'll re-assemble them and construct a roof and then they will be storage and 'club house' for the campers.

Our other task is to demolish the concrete in the barn that is where the new plumbing needs to go. Oh my goodness! Some things are worth paying to have done for you - and I suspect concrete removal is one of them. We rented a concrete saw and a jackhammer and got to work. Mid-day Dave had finished all of the cuts, but I'd run into sections of concrete reinforced with wire, which just slows the process down a ton. So upon returning the saw Dave picked up a second jackhammer.

Some sections, about 50% of what we had to remove, are about 12 inches thick with actual rebar. It took some experimentation, but we figured out a method to attack those, and then cut out the rebar.

It took us through mid-day Sunday to finish all the jackhammering. Lastly it remained to remove the broken out concrete. Interestingly, the most painful part about that process was in deciding what we would do with it! We were advised not to load it into our pickups as we'd overload them too soon. We tried to get ahold of both neighbors who have dumptrucks to no avail. Finally we just picked a spot outside the barn to dump it until a real solution comes around. Patrick, the neighbor boy who we've hired on numerous occasions, and his friend Seth came over. Using both tractors and manually loading the front buckets, we had it all cleaned up in a few hours.



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