Sometimes upside down is the right way up.

Troweling on our fiberglass reinforced concrete is tricky business. It takes a great deal of practice to become skilled and proficient. Each day my crew gets better at the task but they still need more hours to get really good. When they apply the concrete mud to upside down areas it becomes apparent they need a little more practice. When these upside down surfaces are in tight confined areas it is especially hard, even for the seasoned professionals. But there are always ways to make it easier. 

The top of the lighthouse was especially tricky but as I thought about it last night I came up with a simple solution. I welded up a quick jig to hold the lighthouse top and then this morning we flipped the piece and threaded it onto a bolt I had welded to the holding rig. I then welded four pencil rod braces onto the structure and it was ready to mud. I then left with two of the crew to work up at the lake. Jenessa did the bulk of the trowel work and Sarah helped out a little with the flat areas. TJ did the mixing of the concrete. It turned out great.

Tomorrow with the help of my VERY tough and strong crew we'll cut off the temporary braces and gently unscrew the topper from the holding jig. Then we'll carefully flip the now very top-heavy (or is that bottom heavy that is upside down?) piece back on it's feet and it will be ready for the roof concrete to be troweled on and carved. I love it when a plan comes together so perfectly!

-grampa dan