Ranch Redux: A Ranch Done Wright

Pole Dancing | May 27, 2011

This was a good week for our project.  A few weeks ago Tim and Fernando completed the last interior pour and set the templates for the outside structural steel posts.

The pour went smoothly, no problems really at all, but then the sleepless nights began.  Are the templates placed correctly?  Did we measure the height of the poles correctly?  How are we ever going to place these massive steel posts?

These posts are crazy big.  They are made of galvanized steel and are 6 inches in diameter.  Two of them weigh nearly 700 pounds and the third weighs 550 pounds.  During the weeks it took them to be fabricated we puzzled endlessly over how to place them.  I would pass by large construction sites and lust after their big, beautiful cranes. Would they even notice if it went missing for a few hours? I even looked into renting a small crane, but, unless we rented a huge and hugely expensive crane that could go over our house, there was no way to get a crane in the backyard where the posts need to be planted.  Tim thought maybe a Bobcat with a forklift would do the trick. Still there was the problem of getting into the backyard with the equipment.  In the end, it was sheer manpower that did the job, just like the Egyptians.

Tuesday morning, Richard, Timmy, Joe K., Charlie, and Tim were nervously waiting for the guys from Del Mar Fabricating to come to the house.  I did the math: eight guys, 680 pounds per pole, meant each guy had to handle 85 pounds.  That’s a lot of weight, but doable as long as no one loses their grip or trips over a chicken or something.  When the guys from Del Mar Fabricating arrived the mood quickly changed.  The men were suddenly transformed into a team, working together, as if they did this every day.

They backed the truck up on the lawn as far as they could into the side yard, pulled out these sling devices to hold the pole, and got to work. Two guys were in the trench guiding the pole as the other six pushed the pole into place.  It looked a lot like the iconic picture of the flag raising on Iwo Jima.  Twenty minutes later we had three massive posts bolted to their cement cradle.   If you ever need structural steel poles, I highly recommend the people at Del Mar Fabricating in Escondido.

Relief!  They are in, they are up!  The poles look a little funny right now, just holding up the sky, but I imagine when they are supporting the second floor they will look just right.



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We are embarking on an adventure turning a boring little ranch house into a modern style remodel.







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