Monday, May 7, 2018

Real men don't read instructions...

They fake it! ...There I said it! :-)

Our weather has been pretty good for a while, which means lots of outside works in our yard to attend to.
This year, the plan is to cut down trees around the property to fence it, in order for Rudy to roam free range in the yard and keep black bear and deer's out of the yard,  And a few other critters also..
Of course, you just cannot build a wall high enough to keep squirrels away.

So after figuring out my property lines from markers to markers, a few trees went down, mostly young poplar saplings.
Figured out where our new shed will be built, while the old one has to remain until new one is ready.
A few more trees down, and wild black berries bushes (ouch)

There was also some cleaning up around the property following big winds this winter.

All that to say, that my current fire pit is wholly inadequate and has outlived its service life, need a new one.

So since we are in the yard landscaping mode, figured out the general layout and what kind of fire pit to put.

A short trip to the lumber yard later, back home with a fire pit kit to install in the yard.

Hum, took a fork lift to load it, not coming out of the truck in one piece...

A few trip later, every pieces has been moved, were it would lays for a few days.

My own version of Stonehenge :-)

Days later, put t down the ring and layed out the bottom row pieces (three (3) rows of 22 pieces)
I did not count the pieces, I just lay them around the ring until it went around. Had to be 22 pieces, right? (big fat assumption)

Cut around the perimeter of those rocks, leaving a wider margin for the bedrock layer.

Removed all the pieces and the ring, dug all around the hole and everything in between, roughly levelling the bottom sand layer under the top soil. All the removed soil, went to the fruit beds area, for upcoming expansion.

Late last week, got an excavator mouth full of crushed rocks into the bed of our truck, that load stayed on the truck until today when we finally got back to it.

The rock crusher at the pit

Feeling small in between the machinery

One mouth full from excavator is all it take to fill us.

One mouth full to go

One long week end trip to the city later, to attend to the First Halifax African Violets Society
show and sale.  It was Heather last AVs club, I stayed on as secretary.
Both Jean and I are members

We had a fair amount of rain lately, but none was showing in my sand hole, everything drained perfectly.

Leveled the sand, brought the gravel from the truck spread and level, Ready for installation.

Put the ring back and started at one end, level each pieces as I went around, first itself and then to each other etc. as I went around. Again , no counting, just putting them around as they fit.

On the third layer, the last piece did not quite fit, and Jean asked me why we had extra pieces left HUH? yes, 4 middle layer, and two for the top cap.  Count my pieces around, I have 20, not 22 ..??:&^$%#@

No way this will fit...

Read the instructions, and sure enough, it says 22 per rows. Tabarnouche!
Took all the lovely pieces off, took off the ring, enlarged the hole, lays more rocks, level, spread rocks to fit 22, re-levels each lovely pieces again all around, put back the next two layers everything fit as it should. And the ring? You are suppose to centered it, since there is an air gap between the rocks and the metal ring, which did I mentioned is lovingly heavy??

More gravel from the truck

Re-Re-level the foundation layer and each pieces around
were leveled (again) one by one and to each other

As indicated by my trusty
SW Stanley No 0 level.
And yes, I used my reference 48 in level to ensure, it read true

Tada!! Done, for now, more work around it coming.
Including seating area

And there you go, more top soil moved, more rocks from the truck, and my back is now out.
Bring on the Voltaren extra strength Babe :-)

Oh, and the infamous instructions? Well, maudit Calise y'arais pas put dire tout de suite qu' y aurais in Tabar.. de gap entre les deux Ostie de morceaux Grrrr. See, that's why I don't bother with instructions, they pissed me off :-)

Besides I wrote instructions for a living, I don't have to read them Ha ha , Yah right fool....:-)
SO there you go men, you don't to have to read instructions, but if everything else fail, give them a scan.

Bob, resting his sore ass, err back


  1. Hi Bob
    The new fire pit looks excellent.
    Just waiting for some nice summer evenings and having a glass of whatever wine/beer/rum etc. at the fireside.
    Jonas (who for a brief period in life worked ashore and also wrote manuals for electric instruments that no one ever seems to read).

  2. Oh damn Bob, there you go making me feel my age :-). There ain't no way, no how I could even start that project much less finish it without a trip to the ER.

    Ken....sipping whisky and honey with two critters at my feet hoping the scratchy throat goes away.

  3. An uncle of mine used fresh willow for the post for fencing (in a fairly humid soil). Most of them did grow roots and are now trees. The advantage is they will not rot and you can regularly cut branches for fire wood. Do not use the trunk because the fencing wires are embedded in.

    "I used my reference 48 in level to ensure, it read true"?
    To check my level, I just ensure it read the same when I turn it left-right to right-left when posed on two pencils for example.

  4. HI Jonas
    Thanks, and yes, I can see that happening in my near future :-)
    Well, some time this summer. So many projects so little time, it seems :-)

    Bob, whose back is so so today

  5. Ken, you are right about the back, thank god for Voltaren, that stuff save my back a few times...
    Only reason I'm doing it is because I still think I'm young (big fat assumption :-) and stubborn as heck. Mission first people!
    You can take the man out of the military, but you cannot take the military out of the man. Old habits die hard.
    Shoveling the gravel, brought back memories of doing suck tasks, part of our yearly physical evaluation. Shovel gravel from one box to another, move sandbags, advance to cover, carry drag a person etc. HUAA

    Bob, who by the grace of god managed to pass this year physical exam...good for another year ha ha

  6. HI Sylvain
    Yap, that's how levels are proved, read same both ways.
    It never cease to amazed me how an older level, such as this Sweet Heart Stanley still reads bang on as the day it was made, almost 80 years later.

    I have seen this type of living fence you described, in my travels overseas, and I think somewhere here in the valley.
    Not sure it would be much bear and deer proof though..?
    And again, nothing is squirrel proof :-)

    Bob, who is somewhat butt scratching over how to best handle the ground elevation around the back for my fence. Chain links perhaps?

  7. Bob I think you missed a chance to buy a concrete saw and still not have had to read the instructions.

  8. Darn Ralph, now you tell me. I missed that opportunity :-)

    Bob, who wonder what kind of handsaw they used on cement :-)

  9. A fire pit is something I've had my eye on for a couple of years. Currently have an outdoor fireplace, but the pit is great for burning brush, branches, etc. so food for thought and thanks for sharing the procedure!

  10. HI Norm
    Highly recommend those fire pit kit, all included.
    Just make sure to layout the required numbers of pieces first... :-)
    Later on I will add a cooking fire place, but for now I sure need the capacity to burn all those branches. All set for the grand kids tomorrow, we will do hot dogs and smores on it