Friday, September 7, 2012

A Project No Sane Person Would Ever Undertake...

Follow along with this build journal.
Just about every single pro carpenter I talked about this project thinks its insane...they just can't understand how we're going to spend all this time and money on something and then burn it...

BackgroundThe Burning Man group that I am a part of lost one of our key members 2 months
ago to a tragic accident. His widow was supposed to be heading up this project but
she just can't deal (understandably I think). So now its been dumped in my lap (and a couple others laps)  and
its gotta be done by August 18th. Since we here at Chez Neumansky also lost a close Haunt-Nerd friend at about exactly the same time it made sense that we help complete this.

This piece will be part of a much larger installation called 'The Temple'.
From Memorial Pergola Project

InspirationThe widow has picked the design/theme of a Japanese Pagoda with Buddhist prayer
We are going to basically copy this Pergola.

Our Pergola will be 10' square center to center of the corner posts. Instead of the
shutters along the one side picture both sides the same but instead of shutters we
have the prayer wheels.
Which look like this.

Construction Details
Here's an idea for the prayer wheels.

Sonotube, Plywood, Allthread, and washers.

We have no idea how to make the curved 'rafters'.
Here's our first guesses.

The plan is to build it at my place with through bolted connections and screws.
Then dissassemble it and reassemable it up in the desert.
And that's all I've got so far...
The entire structure will be painted in a paint the shade of birch plywood to match
the main temple.

Okay some pics of the first build day.
Supplies, we went with 12" sonotubes to make the prayer wheels.

We cut the tops/bottoms out of 3/4" ply with jig saws...

Then we routed the tops with a 3/8" rabbet bit. We made the size so that the inner circle would fit tightly inside the tube and let the outer edge 'run wild'.

 You can see several glued/screwed finished wheels behind the guy routing here.

And then the benefit of doing a project with a guy who is an ex pro chef, who has that
ridiculously sized BBQ I posted about before. I'm the one in the hat...

BBQ'd oysters (2 doz) lobster tails and sweet corn!
All on the 'cue at once.
All this stuff was crazy on sale I spent $40 on the food.
Next up, day 2

Okay now day two of building the pergola.
We decided to take y'all advice and build the curved rafters out of 1by4's.
We built a bending jig.

Then got to work gluing and screwing em together.
In this case I did not feel bad about using piffin screws.

 Its good that the yard keeps this wood outside as it was pretty wet and bent well and did not split once.

Close up of first rafter.

While the curved rafter build was going on another team was using a flush cutting
router bit to clean up the end caps on the prayer wheels.
Sorry no pics of this for some reason..but the women did all the routing for this part.

After the prayer wheels were all routed it was time to paint em.

At the end of the day all the rafters were done and the prayer wheels were painted.

 For a bunch of total amateurs things came out pretty well.
We used utility grade 1by4's and they are kinda rough.
The plan is to smooth out the sides with belt sanders.
No great sales so the food was pretty boring this time.
More sweet corn and sausages and a tri-tip...and no pics.
Next up, build day 3...which is tomorrow.

Okay its done, loaded up in the truck and will be headed off to the playa in a couple of days.

Here's some shots of how it turned out.

Yes, we actually stained the framing lumber! With three different stains!

We carved symbols into a couple of the rafters to signify the folks who had passed.

One of our many screw ups...we didn't make the tops of the posts long enough for the curved rafter to sit on top of it like we we quickly gang cut a bigger notch and it seems to be working fine.

 The structure is really stable in the direction of the walls.
Not so much in the other direction. This pics don't show the corner braces we built to
strengthen it in the weak direction. Hopefully they will be strong enough.
We are using earth anchors to anchor the structure to the ground. We will be putting 1/2" through bolts through the earth anchors.

Next UP
Pics of the Pergola installed and pics of it burning!!!!

Donovan, Rik

1 comment:

Mom said...

Very nice. I'm impressed with the amount of help working on this project. I like it.