Week 81 (Course 34, Start of top bond beam)

In construction photos by Michael Tiemann

The weather has been very uncooperative the past 10 days, but there have been enough good days to lay and mortar the 34th course, which means we’re now in the final lap of the masonry for the Music Room.  Here’s what it looks like from the driveway to the garage entry:


Several aspects of the progress are visible:

  • The scaffolding is now 4 storeys tall
  • The wooden frames supporting the bond beam are all in place
  • The entire 34th course has been dry-laid on top of the frames

You may recall from postings about the establishment of other bond beams [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], merely getting all the blocks to sit properly on the frames is a major undertaking when the automatic level is placed on a solid slab of concrete.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to establish this level when working 22+ feet up using scaffolding that cannot touch the building (because every exposed block is a finished surface).  It’s wobbly up there!  Nevertheless, based on their previous work, I’m sure that the blocks are plumb and true, and it’s great to see them getting mortared into place so that the next two courses can go up.

Here is a preview of some of the blocks that have been cut to become part of the top bond beam:


And here are the bits that won’t be going up:


Here’s a view of the 34th course (and the window frames it sits on) from inside the Music Room:


It looks a bit more dramatic with some people for scale:


Here’s a telephoto perspective of the shed where the blocks are dried, graded and cut.  You can tell that we’re getting down to the short strokes now:


It’s unfortunate that the North window frames are shrouded in plastic, because otherwise you’d be able to see the trees through the two sets of window frames (South and North).  As it is, you can see the plastic on the North side through the South windows.  I think that’s going to make for a cool effect when people are sitting up by the house and looking out at the studio.

Finally, another snapshot of nature.  This image of Indian Blanket up by the main house shows where we are, seasonally, in North Carolina’s cycle of beauty:


Enjoy the summer!