🀠 Rodeo Roundup 2018 Week #16

πŸ”Œ I complete my welding assignments. 🚜 Work on the retaining wall continues. πŸ”ͺ Casper volunteers at the Teen Kitchen Project.

🀠 Rodeo Roundup 2018 Week #16

πŸ”Œ Welding Class #11

This week I completed all work we're going to be graded on. Our teacher, David, cut the backing bar off my 3/8" test plate. I ground the weld flush with the metal plate on both sides. Sergio, our teaching assistant, then cut 2 test strips out of the plate. One to test the weld's root pass and another to test the weld's top.


By bending the plate over the weld with either the root or the top face up, you place the root or top under stress. A good weld should show no cracks.

The test strips after bending

I did reasonably well. The top of the weld showed only the faintest of a hairline crack.

Faint hairline crack in the top of the weld

The root of the weld wasn't as good. It wasn't so bad right after bending, but by the time I took the photo below, the fracture had opened op more.

Ugly fracture in the root of the weld

Still, I passed with an A-. πŸ€”

Cutting torch cuts in 1/2" steel

The second assignment I completed this week was cutting steel with a propane cutting torch. The assignment consists of cutting:

  • a straight line at a 90ΒΊ angle,
  • a straight line at a 45ΒΊ angle,
  • a square hole and
  • a round hole.

All in a 1/2" steel plate. For this, I also received an A-. I'm consistent if nothing else. πŸ˜‰

🚜 On the Farm

The 3/4" drainage rock I'd been waiting on finally arrived. For weeks the local quarry, Olive Springs Quarry, didn't have any. Doris Sakamoto was kind enough to keep checking and after 2 weeks called with the good news. She drove out to the quarry with her dump truck and delivered 3 cubic yard to the top of our driveway. Right behind the workshop.

3 cubic yard of 3/4" drainage rock

I was itching to continue work on the retaining wall. The drainage rock helps lock the hollow bricks in place and provides a path for ground water to drain behind the wall to the drainage pipe at the bottom of the wall. That water can then flow away to the sides through the pipe.

Continuing the retaining wall; the first pallet is almost empty

I took my time laying out the bottom row. This row had to be perfectly level and straight. For subsequent rows key off the bottom row.

The two bottom rows laid out neatly

πŸ”ͺ Teen Kitchen Project

Though Casper only goes to school 4 days per week, he does have to do some volunteering in his free time for school. It can be anything. Helping at the SPCA for example, or as we choose: volunteering at the Teen Kitchen Project.

Teen Kitchen Project logo

The Teen Kitchen Project is a non-profit organization that provides nutritious meals for adults and children with serious illnesses who, because of their serious medical diagnoses, have difficulty cooking and shopping.

Approximately 85% of their clients have cancer, and 15% have another acute illness. On Sunday, when Casper and I volunteered for the first time we helped prep food for meals that would go to cancer patients that week.

After taking a food handler's course online and obtaining a certificate of completion, Casper and I went to the project's kitchen in Soquel.

Casper's eFoodHandlers certificate of completion

The industrial kitchen is practically down the street from us. We sign in and the head chef leads us to a prepping station at one of the stainless steel tables. We don aprons and get to work on a lime, garlic & cilantro marinade. Soon our eyes are tearing up from cutting unions for the marinade. 😒

Teen Kitchen Project Soquel kitchen

Others are working on similar prep tasks. When done, we put the marinade in a container, label it and place it on the table with the menus for the week. The chef inspects our work and marks it off on the menu.

Teen Kitchen Project menus

That same table also has snacks for the volunteers, about a dozen kids. Casper is one of the youngest. There is only one other parent. And a kid Casper knows from Iris Science Academy where they played Dungeons & Dragons together. In no time, I've lost Casper to talking D&D.

Casper talking Dungeons and Dragons

Together we clean 12 lbs of carrots and we're done. We say goodbye to the chef and let her know we'll be back in May to help some more.

Photo by Lars Lankers / Unsplash