To say Covid threw a wrench in the gears would be a vast understatement. Now that Phoenix Rock Gym is making money I have been back to work on the house. 13 of 15 trusses are up. I’m welding the trusses together creating one big unified roof structure. Plywood going up soon.
We got truss #12 up today before the rain. We tried rubbing bar soap on the support beams. This made sliding the truss into place so easy we did not need to use the come-a-longs. You can see some of the soap along the edge of the truss.
It has been awhile since the last update. We had a very successful Hidden In The Hills Studio Tour in November. Sales were great and I have lots of commission work to do. In between I will be back working on the house.
Once the truss is lifted above the support beams (which the truss clears by one inch) one end is pulled over the beams. Gandalf stands on that side of the truss to hold it in place. He presses the lift button so the other end clears the support beams and I pulled the truss into place while he lowers the truss so it rests on the support beams.
A question I get often is: How do you stay cool working during the summer when temp reach 100+ and often 110+? Answer: I don’t. I get very hot dressed in heavy welding clothes. I sweat a ton! I drink two tons of water. The line on the ground behind me is a garden hose that is on and ready to go (why? see below).
About an hour into my ride I stopped to pickup this saguaro fruit off the ground for a quick tasty snack. As I looked to the northwest I could see a plume of smoke in the vicinity of our home. I called Maggie at home. She went outside and told me the fire was about 1 mile to the west and the air was getting smokey. Raced back to the trailhead and drove back home. Luckily the fire department was able to quickly contain this plumber started fire. A garage and casita burned to the ground. Other recent fires quickly cosumed 1000 acres and destroyed serveral homes.
When welding outside I always thoroughly wet down any nearby vegetation. I do this every 10 minutes to make sure the plants and ground stay wet.
Our climbing gym, Phoenix Rock Gym, was shut down on March 18. We were finally allowed to reopen on May 13. We had been using my income from the gym to fund house construction. During the shutdown I focused on helping folks worse off then us and bringing in some income from Desert Rat Forge and Rope Guy.
With Gandalf on the east side and me on the west side of the house we used come-a-longs to move the truss into place. I created a device (I’m calling it a beam horse) that slides over the 5in beam we are sitting on to give us stable foot rests.