This blog is mainly about Telescope making, and some things about my politics. At last we finally have a President that can say "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me." instead of mixing up with an old Who song.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

No leftovers

At 16 years of wedded bliss, I can say that I don't mind leftovers anymore. Susan is a really good cook, and its par for the course I guess.
But when you take apart a lawn mower or a printer, or some other thing with screws, gaskets, washers, springs, levers and opto-interrupters (not that the lawnmower has that) and you start to put it back together again, I can't help but get two mutually exclusive yet sinking feelings in my stomach...

"There aren't enough parts here to put it back together..." and "I screwed something up, because there are two many parts here."
When I get both of those feelings at the same time, then I know I am doing it right and all will work out well.

So when I estimated how much dry mortar to dip out of the quikcrete bag to put into the wheel-barrow... and wondered if it was going to be enough... and got that feeling... I threw a few more scoops in for good luck. Funny thing about luck... if you get it, you are lucky. Well, I got lucky. There was just enough leftover to fill a crevase by the door of my shed that I keep meaning to fix. Oh happy Friday. (well Thursday, actually, but tomorrow is the 4th :)
After filling in a few of the places of missing tile with tin foil as suggested by David Harbour, I pulled out all of the interim stabalizing match sticks and made ready to pour.

Here is the bag of Quikcrete Mortar mix I used. I estimated that I would use about a quarter of it, and then upped that to on third. Yeah, go ahead, call me a wuss. I put it on a hand truck to get it from my pick-up down to the shed. Easier that way.

Here is the water jug. I used the amount of water that was between the black marks to mix with the mortar mix. The instructions say that you should be able to have 1/2 inch of the stuff on a trowel, and that you should be able to hold the trowel vertically. That seemed too thick to me, so I added a little more water. It was about twice as thick as a slushy down at the 7-11. (we don't have 7-11's down south anymore. But I remember :)

And here it is after I added the mortar. I ladelled it in there, starting from the center and working out, so that there would be no bubbles. It was about 1/2 inch thick as I worked to the edge. After that, I just piled it on, wondering with ever coop full if there was going to be enough. It was hot out there in the shed today, about 90 degrees. I was already sweating, but wondering if I had enough mortar made it worse. And there is nothing worse that having to make a second batch, because you never get it the same consistancy.

One thing I had to do was to level the mirror. If I had listened to Francis O'Rielly, I would have done that beforehand. But of course, I am stubborn and want to learn from my own mistakes rather than the wisdom of others. I'm such a toad.

Its about to storm here in a few minutes, and I left the tool just as you see it here, unwrapped. I'll go out later on for one last screeding and close it up with a damp towel inside and wait a week and see what I get.

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