Saturday, June 28, 2008

Garden State

Glorious New Jersey. And no, we didn't have time to make it to the Olive Garden. Next time maybe.

Well. No one can say that my days aren't an adventure. We went to Jersey on Friday to pick up the first part of our load of Black Locust wood from Citilog, and wow - what a day. We picked up the truck at 8am from Penske over on the west side. Jason made the reservation and for some reason we ended up with a 26fter, and holy cow - the thing was HUGE. It was also a stick, which was a super fun surprise. We made it out of the city ok - and hit Yarde metals first where we had to pick up a load of aluminum. That pace was awesome - they had some wicked cool stuff there and I wanted to take it all home for our project.

Yarde metals warehouse. They had this like 14" W section - solid aluminum. Awesome.

Then we headed to Citilog - I had no idea what to expect, and it turned out that we were picking everything up at Stubby's house which was a heck of a place. We met Stubby, Maria, Stubby's kids and some other peeps - they were all sooo nice and I really, really liked them. They are really passionate about Black Locust and work really hard to promote it. They harvest fallen logs, lumber from building sites, and other reclaimed wood. Black Locust is basically an environmentally-friendly substitute for Pressure Treated lumber - it has a natural rot and insect resistance and holds up really well outdoors and under extreme conditions. It is also pretty damn good looking - although until it weathers it is a little yellow for my taste - but still nice.

Stubby's spread - that is a bunch of Oak that he is currently milling into flooring. Down the hill are his workin' horses - as in, he uses them for logging. Wow.

The undressed Black Locust - we were debating using it rough-sawn, but it was a little more . . . rustic . . . than we imagined, so we're going to plane it all down.

Our monster truck. I made Star drive so I could nap.

The stuff we got is nice - but super green. Joel's girlfriend tested it this morning and it came in at 35% MC. Oh. my. god.

Our beast at Yarde.

Jeeze Jason - think you got us a big enough truck? ;)

Stubby is a little under the weather - so his son helped us load the lumber. Luckily it was only about 95 degrees and humid - perfect lumber moving climate. We got it all in though and headed back to the city - we had to take a little detour to pick up some Ipe at Dykes, which, unfortunately, is like right next to the Lincloln tunnel entrance. So we got stuck in insain traffic - and then . . . the baseball game let out (apparently a subway series double header, game one at Yankee stadium, game two at Shea) and there were all of a sudden hundreds of busses all around. We were super late but thankfully George (from Dykes) waited for us and so we still got our lumber! Saved my weekend - thats for sure. We got stuck in the parking lot there for ever though, cus traffic was so bad. That was also the exact instant that both our cell phones died - we were using my fancy internet phone as our map so we killed the battery (means we didn't have a map after that), and Star's just stopped working for no reason . Flying blind from that point on. When we finally made it out, we ended up in bumper-to-bumper all the way into the city.

Oh - and did I mention I don't drive a stick?

But I figure there's no time to learn like when your driving a 26ft monster with a clutch that could hold back an elephant, filled with 4000 pounds of lumber and a thousand pounds of aluminum, stuck in crawling traffic going uphill, trying to get through the Lincoln tunnel at 5pm on a summer Friday, right before a baseball game. What? You don't think so?

Yeah. It was awesome.

But we made it into the city, and after some . . . maneuvers . . . unloaded everything into the studio. I figured the second-best time to learn to drive a stick is driving around the tiny-ass little roads in the west village while millions and millions of people wander down the middle of the street. And then trying to park on 13th street.

I'll tell you what though - it was a pretty damn good feeling to hand back the keys to the penske folks that night - and that was pretty much the best outside ever. Finish the day off with a beer, and it makes for a damn fine time. Don't you love those humid summer days, after the sun finally disappears and all your work is done for the minute, and you can actually relax. Such a nice feeling. . .

But this morning we jumped right back in on it. Planeing Locust and organizing and . . . finally: building! I tore down this funky aluminum wall assembly to make us some more space for the greenhouse building, and we started rough-cutting and cataloging all our material. We've got our heads screwed on now - so hopefully tomorrow we can fly.

Our lovely greenhouse space. Dang. . . this thing is going to be bigger than Elvis.

Look! We're actually using those slatting shelf things!

Awww . . . look at that Aluminum. Isn't that the sexiest stuff ever?

Black Locust after dressing - 8 passes through the planer and 2 rips on the table saw. God - remind me again why we agreed to do the finishing?

Shulzie started prepping some of the PV bracket steel as well. We are going to be painting it all with a dark blue/green/black. It'll look hot. Trust me.

The Ipe we will be building the greenhouse out of. I like it and I think it looks great against the aluminum and polycarb. Sucks to work with though.

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