Thursday, September 18, 2008

Excavation Day!

We had a great turnout of volunteers for the Artist Studio excavation project!

Students from both the University of Idaho and Washington State University, PCEI members and staff, and friends and family all turned out to move some dirt. We had about 20 pairs of helpful hands.

A lot of the excavation was done with hand tools: shovels and wheel barrows!

A great day for friends to get together and do some cool work on a hot day!

It was such a hot and dry day that this hastily erected shade shelter turned out to be crucial!

We cut back into the hill. Our deepest dig was 24" below grade. We used GeoWeb material to provide slope stabilization and essentially create a simple earthen retaining wall.

We also used a rented diesel Dingo for our auger and scoop. The dingo was not very helpful unless the ground was softened up with shovels by the volunteers. But once the ground was softened up, the dingo could efficiently push dirt around.

The post holes for the footers and sonotubes turned out to be our only problem. The ground was just too hard.

The hard Palouse clay was a big problem for our little dingo with the 30" auger. Digging with this auger bit was rough going. We ended up largely polishing the clay instead of digging through it.

The next steps are to complete the footer holes using a larger (heavier) machine and a smaller auger bit. After that, we'll setup the footers and sonotubes and rebar and prepare for the concrete pour!!

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