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Friday 7/29

July 29, 2011

I think we’ve finally noticed that every day begins and ends just about the same way; with Ed Schum working. Folks were anxious enough to get back at it today that we started a full hour and half early, supported by a kind of rotating breakfast and lots of coffee.

Truss post haves arrayed in their final relationship. You may remember that in addition to whatever camber we elect to give this bridge (a subject of much late-night discussion) with the tension rods, the ‘bent’ post pairs are themselves splayed along the truss run, furthering the illusion of archness.

This nice young carpenter from town, Teresa, has been with us for several days and distinguished herself as a capable cutter under the big top. Here’s she’s beta testing some carving tools for a newspaper reporter.

Truss assembled and ready to go (almost) on an overcast day with occasional light rain, torrents to follow after dark. We were blessed with a lot of local help today, especially with the hand lift that brought the truss up to waist height shown here to finish the drilling and bolting from below. The truss is alleged to weigh 3,500 pounds.

Photo above shows the entire raising crew for the final lift, including the elegantly slender gin pole set up, festooned with a tirfor left over from the Suriname Project. Our goal was a low-tech hand-powered raising, and we had a fine, slow, and quiet time.

Most of the way up in this picture to reveal how the gin poles rotate perpendicular to the truss, cable from a steel snatchblock at the top of the gin, supplemented with 4-part line through rated steel pulleys back to ground anchors to control overturning. All this rig times two still not nearly as cluttered as some we’ve deployed elsewhere. Thanks to the crew from VMI for a clever set up and execution. Those tirfors may be slow, but they are inexorable.

80% home and still plenty of cable capacity. Backhaul team now providing some strain.

Nearly vertical and now a question about two-blocking emerges. But the calculations proved true and we came to 90 without fanfare in front of a bigger crowd than this image shows, who were appreciative of the show, though some disappointed by the lack of drama (our plan, all along).

All good. Immediate bracing and de-rigging, then supper, and back to work.

After supper the rainfall increased while we all moved chords into place from the cutting tent and then various cutting stations were revitalized under the big top for the few sticks that remain. Predictions are for a very early truss two assembly on Saturday and a mid-morning tip up.

The real action under the tent was mostly conversation and refreshment, while Teresa pecked away at the carving.

They’re still out there, as I write this.

It’s a wonderful life.

Come see for yourself.

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