Monday, August 3, 2015

I promise to write about something else next week …….

……. but this week the garage is still my highest priority.

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I’ve reached so many milestones I don’t know where to begin.  The most satisfying one was definitely the bloody door.  If there were 97 possible wrong ways to install it then I did all 97.  Once I finally ran out of possible wrong things I could do all I had left was the right method and, not surprisingly, the door worked just fine at that point.  Up until then – not so much.  It was incredibly frustrating – the directions were less than clear, in fact they were ambiguous at best and downright confusing in some respects – it took way too long and kept me up at night but it was all the more rewarding when it finally came together.  Right now it works as well or better than any overhead door I have ever seen, let alone owned.  It literally is weightless for its full travel, up or down. 

With the door out of the way the next priority was a general yard cleanup.  Once that was done I could backfill the north and west sides of the building.  The east side is still waiting for Steve-the-concrete-guy to come back and pour me an apron.  I managed not to disturb the south side at all so it didn’t require any cleanup. 

Once the east and north sides were levelled I could use the Genie lift to attack the eaves.  Its incredibly sensitive to being level.  The day I brought it home I thought I was broken because it would go up a little bit, then start squealing loudly and refuse to go any further.  I thought it was “level enough” where it was sitting – we park the truck and trailer there all the time – but once I got the machine inside and got to know it better I learned that it has an extremely low tolerance for side to side out of level conditions.  I guess that makes sense from a safety standpoint – when it extends to its full 26 feet elevation even a very little bit out of level could be  a huge problem.  Its more tolerant of fore/aft out of level conditions but that too makes sense because it is considerably longer than it is wide.  The fact it is so sensitive to level meant that I needed to get the sides of the building cleaned up before I could even think about using it to finish the eaves.

Concurrent with getting the sides of the building levelled up I discovered a feature of the Genie lift that I was previously unaware of.  I was aware that the front end of the platform was supposed to extend but I was also under the impression, mistaken impression as it turned out, that the extension was somehow power driven.  Since I couldn’t make any of the control buttons cause the platform to extend I had concluded that this feature was “broken”.  The lift was incredibly useful even without that extension feature so I didn’t give it too much thought.  There came a time though during the door installation where I was going to have to use a ladder to install the last track hanger.  I had another round of trying to extend the platform and accidentally discovered that extending the platform is as simple as lifting the lock lever and pushing.  It just rolls out as easy as you can imagine and when its fully extended I have a rolling scaffold over 12 feet long.  Its a unbelievably wonderful machine.  It was indispensible to me during the renovation even though I thought the platform extension was unusable.  Being able to extend the platform increases its utility 100%.  Or more. 

The final milestone this week was getting the electrical hooked up.  That happened today.  I trenched the cable in last week and I wasn’t really intending to do anything more until this fall but I had some time on my hands last night which I used to get started on the hookup and I finished it this afternoon.  I’m by no means done with the electrical – in fact I haven’t much more than started but I’ve got a light in my mezzanine parts area and a couple of duplex outlets in the main building.  I’ve also still got the original line powering some outlets so I’m pretty well set up even if I don’t do anything else until winter.  All in all a very productive week.

In fact it was such a productive week that I even took a few minutes to hang parts on the Frankentraktor.  It has been hors de combat since late spring.  I had ordered a coil, points, condenser and voltage regulator from various US suppliers and they finally all arrived a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t feel like I had any time to waste on what is really just a toy.  When things were going so well late last week I took an evening to install all the parts and it has been running like a champ since.  Last night I even took SWMBO on a romantic evening drive around town.

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