Monday, May 27, 2013

Vault 3_Day 1: Foundations

With the first two prototypes (almost) finished the team began preparations for our final build before our summer adventure: the construction of a full scale vault. Since the very start of our experiments in tile vaulting, our advisors Fernando Vegas and Camilla Mileto continually stressed the importance of having a fixed foundation. The reason, is any small movement or vibration during the construction of the vault - especially the first layer with plaster - risks catastrophic failure. Our professor Lindsay Falck provided invaluable advice for the planning of the foundation structure and even came by to help and demonstrate a few of the processes. Our solution for having a very fixed foundation: lots and lots of mass. Here is what we used:

(4) 55 gallon steel barrels
(55) bags of ready-mix concrete
(2) 6 x 4 x 3/8 steel angle
(2) 4 x 3-1/2 x 5/16 steel angle
(8) 18" galvanized steel bolts
(8) 1-3/4" class 8 steel bolts
(2) 3/8" rebar

we started the morning at 7am digging and leveling the ground for the barrels

soon after we started the concrete bags were delivered.
luckily the truck had that giant arm - otherwise we would have been passing each bag through the fence

once the barrels were leveled, buried, and secured, we started to fill them with concrete.
lots and lots of concrete to give us lots and lots of MASS

Kordae and Erik: concrete masters

Professor Lindsay Falck finding the center of the barrels and taping them off 
so we could properly anchor the angle iron

Lindsay demonstrating how to drill through steel:
pilot holes are a must in this case

Kordae making sure I don't hurt myself

Kordae, Erik and Kelly showing how well they work together

concrete and concrete and more concrete
also lots of drilling through steel between 3/8" and 3/4" thick

Moira Nadal pitched in and mixed some concrete too

once the holes were fully punched through, we dropped the bolts
which anchor the steel to the barrels

Erik became a master driller

first look at the arch using the rebar as our guides

Lindsay and I discussing a few construction ideas

Sam Rosen and Alyssa Olson dropped by to help lay the first layer of tile
these were laid in beds of cement mortar directly onto the angle iron
 to create an absorptive surface for the plaster

everyone hard at work

we worked after sunset in order to meet our goal for the day

we had to lay completely cover the surface of the angle iron
in order to start the first layer of the vault first thing the next morning

finishing touches. we were done by about 10pm