Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Mulch Bunker

Once upon a time there was a county bridge.  It was on a back road and little used, so it was built out of wood.  The deck was made from 20 foot long 2"x6" treated lumber nailed with their sides against each other forming a 6" thick deck.  The top of this was tarred and a layer of asphalt was laid on top.  It was a serviceable bridge, but there came a time for it to be replaced.  A thrifty Town highway worker asked Tim if he had any use for the material.  Tim's motto is Repurpose, Reuse, Redistribute, so he went and broke down that deck nail by twisted nail and hauled it home.  Now this took many hours and cost more than one splinter but when all was said and done there was about $1600 of useful lumber there.  These boards lived tucked away in the woods for several years until just the right purpose could be decided on.
In the mean time.  Around here, there are always piles of material.  With all our projects there is usually at least one pile of mulch, one of crushed bank run gravel, and a couple of piles of top dirt either freshly sifted or reclaimed from one of our changes in the landscaping plan.  Each time we have to figure out a place to put the pile and then give directions to our trusty excavator friend which usually go something like: "go down Mike's driveway and cut across to where you dumped the last load of _____ and try to get it there off the drive."  These spots have to be accessible to a very large truck, and quite frankly, we're running out of them.  So for a few years Tim has intended to build a series of bins or bunkers so all he will have to do is say "put it in #3" and he won't have to worry about the truck getting stuck or dumping in the wrong place or damaging some trees/road/lawn in the process.

The past few years we have been losing our ash trees.  Some of this, probably, can be attributed to the Emerald Ash Borer, but we haven't actually seen any tell tale signs of that insect.  But something is killing a lot of Ash in our area, and ours have not been immune to the die off.  So we are gaining a little extra space.  We needed an area for staging material, and a dozen dying trees that needed to go.  The process began early in July... these things take a lot of time.

The Ash Trees are Dying

Large Trees Removed

Pulling Stumps

Each Stump Leaves Quite a Hole

Driveway Outlines and Base Gravel Added

The Base Must be Compacted and Allowed to Settle

The First Posts Go In

The Dividing Wall Posts Go In

The Perimeter Walls Go Up
This is a three bay bunker.  Each area is 12'x12'.  Any horse people out there beginning to think that this guy would be really good at building a run-in shed?

The Dividing Walls Go Up

The Posts are Cut to Size and Finished
As you can see the 2x6s still have a lot of tar on them.  This has actually helped to preserve them.  And hey, its not that often you get a pile of fortysome twenty foot 2x6s for free!

A Load of Bank Run That Was in the Way Takes Up Residence

The Finished Product
There is still some finish work to be done.  There will be a threshold added along the front and the pea gravel for the drive will be added.  Then we have reclaimed concrete pavers to put down the center of each bay.  But first the snow load over the winter will help to settle and compact everything so Tim will finish that in the spring.  Then we will have a load of mulch delivered, and we will be all set to go cleaning up the landscape for another season.

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