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Starting out the first few feet of excavation.
Note the small, blond four-year-old operator with her hands on the controls.
Excavation for the foundation was one of the few examples where the work had to be done by outsiders (David Weilbacher in this case).
That was because Dean was running the dump truck.
(Check out the prehistoric 1969 International R-190 in the background. Runs on propane.)

Moving inexoribly deeper.

Loading the dumptruck.

Deeper still. Facing west. Old house adjacent.

Finally see a bucket full of dirt.

Classic operator expression.

Filling the truck. Hey! Keep your eye on the load!

This powerful old beast hauled 1000 cubic yards of dirt in a week.
Dean has had her since 1977.
After she moved the dirt she was used to anchor the big maple on the east from falling into the excavation.

This is similar to getting one's rocks off.
Note the perfectly polished front tires.
The dirt from the excavation became the top of the dam on the south lake.

Snapshot 3 (8-21-2016 5-27 PM)
Here is the finished excavation- 50 feet by 65 feet by 10 feet.
Gravel has been shot in as a floor to have a working surface.
There is a mound of dirt left there (actually four of them) to backfill after the foundations were poured.
This was later done by hand (and shovel of course).

Snapshot 1 (8-21-2016 5-25 PM)
Here my assistant "Twinkle Bear" and his minder speak with the driver spewing gravel onto the floor of the finished excavation.
This gravel was one of the few items not available as recycled material, although if given the time could have been located.

Snapshot 5 (8-21-2016 5-29 PM)
Here in six positions are placed aluminum seven foot scaffold walk boards.
They will be joined vertically at the corners to make a square form two foot deep.
This will function as a floating base or pier for the tons of vertical cast-iron columns.
The original building at 8th and Washington utilized a similar mechanism, but they used solid blocks of granite.
See the yellow building permit in the window of the white house. All permits were always up to date.
Around the exterior would run another footing two foot wide and three foot deep for the exterior walls of the building.
Believe it or not, the only inspection by St. Clair County that had to be signed off on was the sufficiency of these footings (It passed.)
One can see the first wall collapse from the torrential rains.
This would come to haunt the project until the walls were poured and the forms were pulled.

Snapshot 8 (8-21-2016 5-32 PM)
Here is a pier form ready to pour with several hundred pounds of reinforcing bar embedded.
The square plywood piece is a template which held the "J"-bolts in pattern for the later bolting down of the cast-iron columns.
Each one of these required four yards of concrete. All concrete was locally from the neighbors at Upchurch Concrete and Redi-Mix.
They have the highest quality rating in the region. It was poured with a seven-bag mix.
The first pour was the piers and the footings and required forty-two yards (six trucks).
The second pour was the floor and required forty-eight yards (seven trucks).
The third pour was the walls and required ninety-eight yards (fourteen trucks).

Snapshot 2 (8-21-2016 5-26 PM)
Here are the six pier forms and the wall forms in place. It was ready to pour.
The face of each form was covered with two-foot wide wax paper from a roll Dean had gotten from Crown Candy.

Snapshot 9 (8-21-2016 5-32 PM)
Here shows after it had been poured and covered with plastic to retain moisture for curing and hardening.
Dean poured and finished forty-two yards by himself. He was younger then.
Note the four inch PVC waste line suspended on the ladders. It ran from the house to the septic tank on the opposite side of the excavation.
This was a weak link in the chain. If this collapsed the job would be covered in hazardous waste and the site would take years to recover:-)

Snapshot 10 (8-21-2016 5-33 PM)
The remaining floor has been covered with the recycled 6 mil white plastic from the roof of the greenhouse to provide a moisture barrier.
There is a 12" x 12" grid of 5/8" reinforcing bar. At the pediments, holes have been drilled and the bar is linked into the pediments as well.
At the junction of the floor and pediment is an additional 24" footing.
The floor, footing and pediments are separated by plasric. The plastic buckets of gravel around the perimeter hold everything in place.
Ready for the next pour.

Snapshot 12 (8-21-2016 5-34 PM)
The contraption pictured here was built by Dean from an upside-down stainless steel playground slide sitting on a turntable.
The concrete trucks could reach everywhere except the last little corner in by the old house.
This solved that problem. It is basically a rotatable concrete chute.
Boardman chuckled at it, then used it later on his project.

Snapshot 13 (8-21-2016 5-35 PM)
Here is the freshly poured floor. Seven trucks worth of concrete.
Dean poured and finished the entire floor by himself with the exception of his son arriving home from school at the end to help.

Snapshot 14 (8-21-2016 5-35 PM)
This photo was taken the morning after the pour.
The last load was brought after dark and was sent in with street tires. Guess what happened to the truck.
It was swallowed up in the mud. David Weilbacher came over with his huge eight-wheel farm tractor and extricated the truck.

Skipping ahead to November.
The floor has been poured and is curing under plastic. Two hundred yards of concrete total will eventually be poured.
The light colored squares are the two foot thick pontoons upon which will rest the cast-iron colums which hold up the inteior.
Around the edge is the two foot by two foot reinforced footing to support the walls.
The floor is eight inches thich. Throughout, there are about five tons of epoxy-coated rebar.

Another view. Everything is covered in plastic and wetted to promote hardening and curing.
Note the circular sump in the upper right

Soon the work will begin on the vertical forms for the walls.
A rental place wanted $7000 for two weeks rental of commercial forms.
The steel forms standing upright around the perimeter will become the pillars 23" x 23".
Between them will be laminated 4" x 4" x 8" pine boards. That's what's in that cube in the upper center of the photo under the blocks.
These were 4x4's used to hold transmissions in place when they were shipped from Germany to Ford in St. Louis.
They were from Sweden and had accumulated behind the customs warehouse. They were a disposal problem.
Dean asked if he could have some? "Take them all." He did.
Dean's dad derided at him for dragging home junk. When he found out they were free, he de-nailed them while Dean got additional loads.
Before the walls could be poured, all the large cast iron columns had to be brought down the ramp into the basement (by hand).
This and erecting them as well as building the forms would take almost two more years before the wall was poured- it was that intensive.

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