Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Garden-side pavement project

 Take a peek into my other post first. Here:

This is in continuation of that project. One picture to start with from that project:

In this post, pictures are taken from the other side. Notice the earth and some greens - weedy grass and a stone slab.  This stretch is about 26-28 feet.  First stage was about 25-30%, done last December.  Keep an eye on the 'shed floor' behind 'the mason' - you will see it again at the end.

Now take a look at how it looked just before I took up the second stage.  Picture from the opposite side.  I had added two more slabs that I got. Weedy growth and soil erosion was a problem and too much work, too often.  

The best idea was to cover the larger portion with more slabs and fill up the ends with concrete. I was short of slabs.  So I bought new 2x1 pieces - I needed six.  Cudapa slabs. I had excavated earth on the sides and put in thick gravel.

I filled the gaps with small gravel [left overs salvaged from the house project].

Closer view of cudapa slabs and small gravel.  Ready for cement filling.

Cement-sand mixing. 

The mason himself has to carry out every step - from planning, choosing materials, bringing them, moving them, mixing concrete, moving it to work place, do the job and also 'cure' the cement later!  He also has to maintain the garden [just behind him in this picture ] all year round. Good thing is that he is a resident in the plot.  It was sunny. So I gave him my late uncle's 1965 Khaki cap to protect his head.

Job done. He came the next morning and did the small portion that forms the entry to the garden space on the right. 

Fish eye view lens shot - see curing process - wet pavement. And the mason has to document the scenes himself!  :)

Now about the shed floor I mentioned. After pavement work, the mason neatly filled the gaps between the slabs. This is an old photo taken after arranging the slabs. 

Someone asked how this mason does the job.  So here is a close-up of the 'finish', but just before the cement smoothness.  Dry cement is sprinkled - best done after an hour - and worked with the trowel for smoothness.  This requires some skill.  Otherwise, the dry cement which picks up moisture will peel off and stick to the trowel while working. 

The mason was seen playing on dry cement with the trowel before mixing it with sand.

He put his seal on his work using a rusted nail, cleaned those debris and went away. 

The pavement is ready. This area was eating up lots of my time as weeds were growing too much. This also forms a protective extension of the platform on this portion of the house that stands on the brick foundation.