Saturday, May 05, 2007

Definite improvement over cardboard

Jeff has finished the four side panels for the front door! What does this mean?? It means that the two pieces of cardboard that were standing in for the glass are no more! No more sitting on the couch on a windy day when out pops a cardboard rectangle and blows across the room! YAY! Now Jeff only has the top and bottom pieces to go!

In other news, Jeff has been looking at low cost options for flooring the garage. One option that interests us both is laying down a brick floor. This would allow water, etc to seep down between the cracks. To brick the entire floor would be costly, so Jeff has been experimenting with making colored paving bricks (yes, he's lost his mind). For the last couple weeks, our backyard has become an ever-growing brick making factory. The thing that could make this very cost effective (although a slow process) is finding broken bags of concrete for dirt cheap at home improvement stores. They practically give it away, you pick up a couple bags, take it home, and make the night's batch of bricks. He bought concrete colorant online, and is making bricks with different colors and shades. So far, they are all shades of red.

After a bit of experimentation with wooden molds, Jeff has found that thick pinkboard works great. He clamps the pieces together and lays the bottomless grid on top of a plastic table. He fills the molds partway with plain concrete.

Then, he shakes the molds with a hand-sander to get the bubbles out...

He then tops the mold with colored concrete (for cost reasons), and lets them dry. Once dry, he pops the molds. Here you can see the bricks he's made, and see the striation.

He's made more molds as he's done along. He's now up to about 30 bricks per session. Who on earth makes his own bricks? I've recently asked him why he doesn't crush the rocks by hand to make the concrete... and grow, pick, and stomp on berries to create the coloring. He wasn't amused.

We have also started to do a little landscaping. We can't do much around the house, because we are going to build the wrap around porch, but we are going to look and see what we can go ahead and do.


Allison said...

Making his own bricks. Y'know even as kids Christopher and I were amazed at what Jeff could do. It was like we had our own personal MacGuyver.

Holly said...

Yeah. Everytime he says, "I have an idea" I just laugh. There is absolutely no telling what is going to come out of his mouth!