Sunday, October 31, 2010

Firepit - Started Seat

Sunday, October 31

I started on the seat part of the firepit bench today. The seat will be made up of the same Trex composite boards, flipped on their sides and curved to form the half circle. First though, I bought a new tool. I bought the DEWALT 7-1/4 in (DW369CSK) circular saw to cut the boards in half. My brother has a similar model and said he loves his.

I wanted to cut the boards in half for 2 reasons. 1, I figured that they'd be easier to bend being smaller, and 2, I believed that the Trex composite boards are strong enough to support the weight just fine with how close the support posts are.

It was pretty easy to cut through the boards with the saw. It had gone through them very nicely and I got to screw together 4 boards. It was cool seeing the seat come together. I love working with the Trex boards. There's not enough to sit on yet and try it out though.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Firepit - Finished Backrest

Saturday, October 30

Today I finished attaching the boards for the backrest of the firepit bench. It's been..."interesting" bending the Trex composite boards. The have flexibility even in 50 degree weather, which I didn't expect. I expected them to be as hard as rocks and they weren't.

They were actually quite easy to bend using clamps. I've been using Irwin clamps. They are my fav clamps so far. I've been using the SL300 One Handed Bar Clamps/Spreaders to clamp the boards as I bend them and I just bought an XP600 One Handed Bar Clamp/Spreader. That sucker can apply 600 lbs of pressure opposed to the other one's of 300. The end of the board is obviously harder to bend, with less leverage, so I'm using the heavy duty guy on the ends.

Anyways.... I managed to finish the back rest today. I'm loving how it's looking....and I love that the Trex boards can flex like this as I can be creative with my designs cause of it and have a circular bench :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Firepit - Started back rests

Sunday, October 17

Originally I started out cleaning the garage and trying to get stuff out of the way as my new car is 3 inches wider than my last. I was working with the door open and said to myself...hey, it's such a nice day, I think I'll try to bend a board, for the firepit seat back, to see what it'll be bending those 20 foot suckers. the plan is to bend the Trex composite boards and attach them to the posts, which form a semi-circle. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Once I clamped the board to the first post, it was fairly easy to use the clamps and bend it in place as I had gone along.

It was going well enough I managed to get to boards up. the second one is have screwed into place as we had to leave for some Halloween fun :)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Firepit - Set rest of post supports

Saturday, October 9

Today was a fun day. We had helpers today setting the rest of the firepit bench supports. Our friends Kelly and Tom came over to lend us a hand, in exchange for helping with their deck next yr. And we couldn't have asked for a better day. It was absolutely beautiful, blue skies, sunny and on a warm October day.

It was fun working together...lots of laughs, teasing each other, and good memories. And of course we got work done as well :). While Tim, Kelly, and Tom were working with 50 lb bags of concrete, mixing them and filling the holes, I was hand pumping out the water from the holes, placing the supports, and leveling them with gravel. We had a nice little assembly line going. In a few hours time we set the 14 posts (7 supports) that were remaining.

It was really-really cool to see them all in place and form the half circle. And afterwards we got to relax a lil bit on our deck. As I sat there, looking at Tim sitting on the bench, and Kelly comfortably laying on the lower deck, I realized that we finally had a yard to relax in with friends. This was the one thing that's been missing for 5 yrs., that we finally have, and it felt amazing. I'll never forget that moment :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Firepit - Built Support Posts (5 & 6)

Sunday, October 3

I built the 5th & 6th supports for the firepit bench tonight. It's been raining a lot lately so the post holes are filled with water. I'll have to pump out the water before setting the rest of the posts. The one's I built tonight I just kinda placed in the holes and kinda leveled them to just see what the incline is doing. I found that the ground is not really level on the right side and will have to come down and bit.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Firepit - Built Support Posts (3 & 7)

Friday, October 1

Tonight I built the 3rd and 7th post supports for the bench. I built those one's cause they have the same dimensions. The first 2 posts, on each side, are the tallest. The one's next to them are a step down, and then the rest are the same height as the seat backs. Here's an elevation view of the bench showing the height differences of the supports.