🔌 Welding Class
Thursday evening Adam and I went back to Cabrillo college for our 2nd class. We got to stick weld for 3 hours after an hour of lecture.
Each student received a 4"x4" metal square to practice laying down beads: straight beads and wider, woven beads. We signed up for a booth and went to town with a bundle of welding sticks in hand. Our goal was to cover the entire square with welding beads to get a feel for:
- the speed of travel,
- the angle to hold the stick under,
- what current to use,
- how to clean the slack,
- what weaving pattern to use, etc.
I was amazed at how hot the work surface got. That 100lbs slab of steel got so hot while I was running the welder that I had to resort to resting my arm on a piece of firebrick.
The class ended with our first quiz. As if I'm back in school. 😜
🎸 Music Lessons
Casper started taking guitar lessons from his teacher Rob. Every Friday he will take the bus to the Aptos library for some writing tutoring followed by guitar lessons. Tatyanna found him a nice Baby Taylor in a case and with stand.
Casper's feedback on his first lesson was positive, though the strings did make his fingers hurt. I'm sure that with practice he will build up calluses on his fingertips.
Tatyanna scored a nice full-size guitar for herself on Nextdoor so that she can practice with Casper and fulfill her own lifelong desire to learn how to play the guitar.
🚜 On the Farm
I brought the flu home on Tuesday evening and promptly stayed in bed for 2 days. I was just well enough to make welding class on Thursday evening. By Friday I was back to working from home, but by now Casper & Tatyanna developed the flu. Sorry family! 🤒
The weekend saw me taking care of Casper & Tatyanna. And in between working on the retaining wall. A few weeks ago we had settled on the exact continuation of the wall.
The new wall requires a foundation of drainage rock. Plus some space behind the wall to be filled with drainage rock so that groundwater can run down to a drainage pipe at the bottom. This meant more excavation.
Last weekend Tatyanna had helped me dig a portion of the trench while I moved rubble from the old retaining wall into it. This kills 2 birds with 1 stone: we get rid of the rubble and we're saving on drainage rock.
This weekend I was able to complete the trench, move the remaining rubble into it and finish it off with drainage rock. The area around our house is already feeling so much better with the rubble gone.
This creates a level base to place the bottom row of Europa Allan Blocks onto. I tamped the rocks down with my homemade steel tamper, one of the first welding projects. Having one makes me wonder how I ever did without. 🤔
You can see the tamper in the picture below, near the end of the gravel foundation just in front of the wall.
I'm pleased with the result. Now it is time to order more materials:
- bricks & caps,
- drainage rocks,
- geogrid and
- drainage pipe.