Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Working on the Milk Barn (part 1)

There were a lot of things that needed to be torn out of the old milk barn before we could start preparing it as a place for the milking the goats and making cheese.  If you missed the "Before" stage of this project you can read about it by clicking here.

One of the first things to get done was to tear out part of the wall that divided the milking parlor and the old tank room.  The plan was to make a bigger doorway (the old one was only 24 inches wide).  And, to make more space available in what would become the processing room by pushing the wall back 4 feet into the large hallway in the milk parlor.

In the photo below, you can see Kyle removing the dividing wall.  Kyle is my dear friend Tonia's husband.  Kyle has done a lot of work on this project.  He is amazing.  He can get more accomplished in a day than I've seen whole crews of men get done in a week.


He brought along this handheld concrete saw and a sledge hammer to tackle the wall.  He made quick work out of getting it removed too.


He also cut some groves in the old concrete floor for running the drainage plumbing that would be necessary for the sinks that would be going into the processing room.



These things had to be done before we could put the new concrete layer on the floor.

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My Dad is 75 years old and has put a lot of effort into helping me with this project.  He had to drive over an hour each way every time he came to help.  Here he is taking out the old pipe guard rail in the milking area.



Here is the milking side of the parlor after the extra pipes and old cow feeders have been removed.


Here's what it looked like before we cut and carried the old stuff out.


After removing the cow feeders, there were holes left in the ceiling where the feed was loaded into the feeders.  The ceiling would need more work.


Dad always came prepared for the work we would be doing that day.  He had his pickup loaded with the cutting torch, all the tools and supplies he'd need, as well as his generator since we didn't have electricity in the milk barn yet.


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After we took out the concrete dividing wall, some of the waterline pipes needed to be shortened and capped off before we could put in the new floor.  Dad brought his cut off saw/grinder to do the job.  He also brought a tool that cut new threads into the pipes so the caps could be securely screwed on to prevent future water leaks.



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Remember all that old paint that needed to be removed from all the walls and ceilings?


Well, days and days of standing with a pressure washer aimed at the walls and ceilings took care of the problem.  I must say that I never ended any of those days dry and I was always covered with little white paint chips.   But the end result was much smoother and cleaner surfaces that was almost ready for paint.

You can see in the photo below how some of it came out.  I also sprayed expanding foam into the rather large gaps where the ceiling and walls met.


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Getting electricity to the barn was another very important task.  Dad and I mounted the new 200amp service box in preparation for the wire being run to the milk barn.


Cody brought in a backhoe and had the trench dug from the meter on the pole by the house.  He then brought the heavy wire inside of conduit over to the milk barn.


I pushed the heavy wire through the box on the wall into the service breaker box.  That was not easy.


Here it is ready for Dad to hook up.  As soon as we had the box wired and ready, the electric company came out and hooked the wire up to the meter and we were "hot".  It was such a good feeling the day we had power in the barn!


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When the backhoe man was out digging the trench for the electricity, he also dug the trench for the waterline coming from the well house.


With the trench dug, we could test the old waterlines inside the barn to be sure they flowed freely.  I hooked a hose up from the well house and back flushed the inside waterlines.  I did a happy dance when I found that the water flowed freely out of the pipe that would bring the water into the barn.


The old pipe was a little damaged, so Dad cut off the damaged part and used his tool that puts new threads on the pipe.  Now it was ready to install the new water line in the trench and hook up the water from the well house.  Cody put a water hydrant in when he hooked up the waterline to the milk barn.


It was time for the big test ... to see if the water flowed freely from all the outlets in the barn.  I was holding my breath when I turned the first one on.


The water flows!


A lot accomplished and a lot of work getting it done.  Some great memories were made and new skills learned working on the milk barn.  Now, we were ready to pour the new concrete floor in the processing room.

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2 comments:

Melodie said...

Wow! So much work!What a blessing to have such good helpers!

Brenda said...

Yes, it is such a wonderful Blessing to have great helpers.