Gregory and I arrived at Pennsic Sunday afternoon and Casa Bardicci was starting construction. In order for us to set up the house in the planned orientation, the entire Casa layout was shifted to the south 12 ft.
Once the rear loggia (Balcony) was set up, we could layout the floor of the house. In order to level to floor I made a simple tube level. This is nothing more than a piece of tubing, clear Tygon in this case, with an added feature of a clear acrylic tube at each end and small metal stakes to hold the tubes vertically. Since water will seek out its own level, the tubes were just place at either end of the house frames and since the water surface is level at each end, we simply leveled the frames to this.
It took about an hour to level all 7 cross frames and crib up each one, because the ground as about a 1 ft. crown in this location. This time cribbing was made from sections of leftover 2x10’s, but now that I have the measurements of where the house sits (and will each year) I will make dedicated blocks for each location under the cross frames. This will make the process much faster.
Once the floor was leveled and squared, we set up the vertical 4x4’s and the 2x10 frame. It went very fast with just Gregory and me, with some additional help when pieces needed to be handed up to the second floor. Once all of the structure was up, and the upstairs furniture was in place it was time to attach the walls.
Remember me commenting on how the scaffold system would come back to bite me, well, here’s what happened. I plugged in the scaffold support bars into the houses frame then because others were busy, I wrestled the 2x12 scaffold board to the back of the house where the canal is and into the bars myself. Not noticing I had rested the board on the 5/8” “locking” bar, instead of the ¾” “load” bar. Now the 5/8” bar should still have supported my weight, but I had not tested it, and it turns out it was not fabricated from low carbon stainless, but high carbon stainless, and it was too hard and brittle where I bent it. Because while on the scaffold right near the top of the stairs, I leaned over to grab another wall screw and heard a snap and instantly realized I was falling. Now early in my life I did stunt work, so I immediately tried to kick my body backwards towards the canal. Figuring it would be better to land in this putrid water than on the hard ground or the houses foundation. I partially hit the water and bounded my head off of something because I saw stars. As I dragged myself towards the embankment I’m thinking, what the hell broke? Well a number of people saw this and came scrambling over to me. Meanwhile I was taking a mental inventory of my “parts” and thought ok, nothing hurts I must not have broken anything. It is then I looked down at my right chest and saw a rather large gash. Crap! This is definitely a hospital trip…and I Just bought this tee shirt! There wasn’t much blood but I was told in no uncertain terms an ambulance ride to Butler hospital was required.
I’m sure the hospital reception though I was a drunken homeless person because I was all wet, no shirt, missing one shoe and the back of my head was caked with black mud. After waiting in the triage center for a ½ hour the hole was given a good “scrubbing” (that felt “good”) and 14 stitches (on the outside, I don’t know how many inside. It turns out it was pretty deep) and a drain tube. Oh yeah and a huge bottle of antibiotics!
Well the next morning I went to see what had broken and saw the broken lock bar. I then realized my mistake and remembered that old adage, “When making something fool proof, Never underestimate the power of the fool.” Or as an old boss of mine said, “Next time I need a “dumbshit”, I can go myself!”
Gregory was a huge help and we (with me getting yelled at for lifting anything) were able to get the rest of the house together in the next couple of days. Here is the final result.