Thursday, 25 July 2013

a weekend of "selfless service"

This past weekend my good friends Avo, Edie and Diane came up to the farmhouse to help me out with their skills and company for a spell of "selfless service" as Alex would say. The big project was to rebuild the pumpbox by the pool. The plan was to use the original pumpbox as a template for its replacement.

The old box was falling apart but seemed upon closer inspection to have been built well. (When the box was originally built the pool people got the address mixed up and actually built it at the wrong property. They only realized their mistake when the owners came home and told them they had never ordered the work - although they did appreciate the effort!)
The corner of the lid broke off last weekend
 The plywood had warped over the years pulling the screws out in the process

The first step was to buy the materials; lumber and hardware. But before that a sustaining lunch was in order.
Diane and Edie admire the beautiful spread they have laid

The only real stumbling block Avo anticipated was how he would cut the notches for all the pipes that feed through the box. We bought a drywall knife but, not surprisingly, it didn't really cut it on 5/8" plywood. So, in true country style, I called my neighbour, Charlie, to see if he had a jigsaw he was willing to lend us. He came through so off we went to his workshop. While Charlie did locate the saw, blades were nowhere to be found. Luckily a neighbour of Charlie's, Larry, was at the farm cutting the  grass. Larry did have blades. So after nearly an hour at Charlie's, Larry's workshop was the next stop. This was the most beautiful, well stocked and organized workspace. Someone could spend many happy hours there and the evidence was all around in the form of plane mobiles made from pop cans and innumerable woodworking object d'art.

By mid afternoon we were back at the house ready to start. Avo worked single-handedly to cut all the lumber making a schematic for reference and labelling each part alphabetically for help in assembly.
Plywood beginning to be cut into the necessary proportions
Any job is made so much easier with the proper tools so Thea  takes a discriminating look at the selection
Avo using the jigsaw to cut the first notch
He scores!
In the time honoured tradition of adapting materials at hand for other uses,  the cooler finds new life as Avo's work saw.

While Avo worked in the garage Diane vacuumed the pool and I weeded.
Diane taking five from vacuuming

After inadvertently running my thumb down a rose cane, Edie got an opportunity to perform a little surgery to remove thorns from my left thumb.
As long as I can't see what's happening it will be fine....

By late afternoon it was time for sustenance in the form of appetizers by the pool.
Compliments of Diane; rose wine, smoked salmon, crostini, olives and Edie's traditional offering of Brie  

Cocktail hour also included podding the peas for dinner and the freezer.
Diane and Edie looking conspiratorial, or are they simply podding peas?

The next day it was time to start taking down the old pump box. Avo took many photos to make sure we had something to consult once the old pumpbox was disassembled. And then it was time to start assembling it.
Nailing down the battens

Avo worked tirelessly and with great patience (and very little help). My fractured wrist meant I was able to do very little "heavy lifting". There was a bit of a challenge removing the back of the old box but ultimately with a little bit of "brute force" it came off.

The erection of the new box went amazingly smoothly thanks to Avo's unfailing good humour and his alphabetical labelling of all the individual parts.
The two more difficult (because of access issues) sides are up
And now the four sides await the two part lid

The next morning was devoted to final details; securing the chains for the lid, adding the trim to the top of the box, securing the latches.
Avo attaches the chains to the lid

We made a small miscalculation buying lumber and so the box awaits four additional battens.

Avo signing his name to his creation!

This blog is dedicated to Avo, with thanks!!

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