Thursday, December 22, 2011

Working on the Milk Barn (part 2) The Floor

It was Saturday, July 2nd (2011) and the temperature was forecast to be around 103* again.  This summer was really a hot one!  But, I couldn't let that slow down the work on the Milk Barn project.  I had given notice of my intention of not renewing my lease to the lease holder of the farm I was living on.  I had to be completely off the farm by the middle of August.  There was so much work that had to be completed before I could move all the farm stuff, the goats and the milking operation over to the ranch.  The milk barn had to be completely functional before the move since I was still milking over 40 goats every evening.

The work preparing for the new floor had been completed and we were ready for the "big pour".  We would be mixing bagged concrete with a small concrete mixer and carrying it into the processing room in 5 gallon buckets.

I brought lots and lots and lots of these bags out to the ranch in preparation for the big day.

We were lucky to have access to this concrete mixer.  And, lucky to have the help of 2 of the ranch interns.

Lina was one of the interns on the ranch this summer.  She is from Hawaii.  I always teased her about going back home to Hawaii at the end of her internship with a Missouri "farmers tan".  She was so much fun to work with.

And, Dylon was also one of the summer interns on the ranch.  He is from California and had a personality all his own. He was always willing to help and learn new things.

The work on the floor actually started a few days earlier.  Since the floor slopes to the two drains in the floor, I needed flat areas for the walk-in-cooler and the large commercial fridge.  Kyle poured these two areas before we started on the main part of the floor.  I wanted these concrete pads to be a little above the level of the new floor to keep water from standing under the refrigeration units when the floor was being cleaned.

The photo below shows these completed pads.  You can also see some of the repair work I had done to the cracks in the block wall behind the pads. I used Quickrete caulking on these cracks.  It worked great and was pretty easy to apply with a caulking gun.  I was able to "sand" the repaired areas smooth with an old piece of broken block.

Kyle (my friend Tonia's husband) is a professional brick layer with many years of commercial brick laying experience.  So, he was completely in charge of the concrete work!  Here he is working the new concrete on the floor.

Lina is adding water to the mixer  ......

..... while Dylon is opening the bags of concrete.

Kyle taught them exactly how he wanted the concrete to be mixed with just the right consistency.

Here's most of the floor poured and smoothed out.  You can see one of the floor drains at the top right of the photo and the other floor drain just at the edge of where the new concrete is in the lower part of the photo.  Kyle did a wonderful job of sloping the new floor just right to drain to the new drains. When I wash the floor, the water flows off of the floor right into the floor drains.  It's great!  I have no idea how he was so accurate with the slopes.  He did it all by eye.... and his experienced hand trowel.

Here they are mixing the last batch to finish out the floor. 

It's ready to be tipped over into the 5 gallon bucket to carry over to the floor.

Gotta be careful to get it all in the bucket.

And, here's Kyle finishing the new concrete floor.

Actually, he stayed for several more hours working on smoothing the concrete after the interns went back to the ranch house for supper and I went back to the old farm to milk the goats and take care of evening chores.

You might ask what I did during all this work ?? Yes, I took lots of photos, but it became apparent that we were going to run out of concrete before finishing the floor.  So, I had to run to the lumber yard for more bags of concrete so we wouldn't run out before finishing.  By the time I got back with the extra concrete, these 3 had such a smooth flow of work that I stayed out of the way as much as I could.  Dylon, Lina, and I took turns carrying the 80 pound bags of concrete over to the work area from the trailer I had hauled them in on.  We were all exhausted by the end of the day!  Thank goodness for great help!



V.L. Locey said...

Wow, looks like a lot of work!

OurCrazyFarm said...

You have all worked so hard! I am enjoying watching the transformation, Brenda!

Any baby goats yet??? Thinking about you . . . and excited to hear the news!!