Prepping for the Firefighters Blitz

Trip Start Nov 26, 2010
Trip End Nov 18, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Saturday, May 19, 2012

     Man, I got a nasty splinter this week.  I was shifting a pile of plywood from the back of the truck to a pile near the storage shed with Buddy from Florida helping me on the other side and as I was sliding the first sheet off, I felt a splinter go in the palm side of my right hand just below my forefinger, go in about 3/4" to the other side of my hand near the knuckle and then, snap, felt it break off below the surface of the skin. Ooh, that's gonna hurt, I thought.  Fortunately, a good friend of mine (F.O.P- friend of Peter) came into town Thursday.  Dr. Bob is from St. Paul, MN, and has volunteered with us in Biloxi, Texas, Louisiana and now Alabama.  He is a medical doctor and helped set up a free clinic in Biloxi after Katrina in 2006 which is still going this day.  Funny how a splinter can become the center of the cosmos.  Anyway, he numbed me up a bit and made a little slit, dug around a bit and out it came.     We hosted a group of volunteers from 1st Presbyterian in Fernandina, Florida this week.  Most were, well, more mature.  Unfortunately, the task at hand on Monday was more fitting for teenage boys.  The second home that we've started at the East Quad block foundation had been completed and the next step was to lay down the plastic vapor barrier on the ground prior to framing the floor system.  One little problem, though.  A few inches of rain had collected inside the foundation and the clay-y soil wasn't draining at-all.  I rented a pump to pump the water out and then ordered a truckload of river rock to spread around over the mud.  We had access to a bobcat to get the gravel up and over the wall, but there would be lots of slopping in the mud and schlepping of the rocks by hand and back.  The group didn't seem so inspired to join me in the pit.  Mary, the youngin of the group put on the boots and made a great effort.  That night I stopped by our volunteer camp, the Y's Acres, and asked a favor of the group of college kids from Marquette who are here this week with us also (working at a different site) if they could start Tuesday morning with us for one hour and finish spreading the gravel.  They did and forty minutes later they were done.  We then framed the first chunk of the floor system on that house.  We did lots of pre-painting trim and siding boards and two of the ladies became expert handrail assemblers.  They made all of the handrails for the front of the house including the tricky diagonalish front step rails.  We made the horizontal top and bottom pieces slightly longer to be trimmed to length after the colyums are installed.   Other task accomplished where the cutting of the double top plates by Dr. Peter.  All labelled and numbered and stacked nice on top of the saferoom ready for Monday's start of the blitz.  This home for Patrice Johnson and her family is sponsored by Major League Baseball and will be built in one week by local firefighters.  It's going to be fun.  The key to successful blitzes is the preparation before it starts with marking and cutting all the top and bottom plates for the walls, staging all tools and materials in the containers, coordinating inspections with the local officials and coordinating with the subcontractors. The first day's goal is to raise all the walls, set the trusses, install plywood sheathing on the trusses and then black paper to make it weather tight. First night the trades, electrical, plumbing and mechanical come in and do their thing, Tuesday morning, get those inspected and get green light to install insulation- 2 hrs later have that inspected and then the drywall sub takes over. Hang all the sheetrock in the 1100 sq. ft. house in 4 hours, start mudding and taping and on Wednesday morning we start painting walls that weren't there on Monday. And like that. Until Friday and Saturday, landscape, cabinets and presentation of the Bible and keys. Heather (office mgr.) is taking a timelapse of the process. Stay tuned- See ya next week. Love, Peter
      The other half of the group worked with Pete at the house way out in the sticks in Brookwood.  They raised walls and set trusses and nailed plywood sheathing.  That home is a bit of a challenge in that it's placement on the terrain has the back of the house 30' up.  Four scaffold sections high.
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Lori Brawn on

Dr. Bob saves the day ----Again !!!

Sally Ericksen on

What do you mean "more mature"???? I resemble that remark! It was a great week. Thanks for your patience and encouragement!

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