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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
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Smallpatch

 We left a very perfect size shop where we retired from. A  40x60  with a concrete floor.

 So in thinking ahead with my lovely we won't need that much shop cause in our visions every road and highway is the U S was going to be our work shop.

    Wild thinking but hey the very first 8 years of our last business we were open 7 days a week. Every day and even when it rained, we had many things to do. 

From experience, so believe me when I say build a shop for 20 or 30 years down the road. It will eventually get to where every tool and piece of machinery known to man and a few gorillas will end up in your shop. And lots of those just got to have, I can't work another day with out those new inventions never gets touched again. They are there taking up room and yes you will smirk and brag to every one who enters your shop. I almost have to pay someone to come in my door anymore cause all the people I know has learned their lessons. Once I finally get someone inside the door they claim I lock it so every one who enters has to go through the long sermons everyone has learned word for word over the years...

   Side tracked from my story already and not even talking bout the size of a shop. Men know size matters. In less than six months after I finished my shop I was tearing out the north end of the building fixing to add 12 more feet so now it would be 30x62. A motor home came into our life and I didn't want any part of it fading...when parked at home. But with all those highways, and some of them are even free to drive down but in a round about way still cost a bundle. Every trip we took a new map and a different color of Marks A Lot was used was to show every road we drove down... A new map and the marker thing was a results from the very first trip we went on right after we got married. This was before any kids showed up on our doors. We still argue how we got to Florida from Texas. Now every trip is recorded in color. I wounder if the markers fades like sales receipts? 

    Never having gone to any kind of construction or building classes, the library was my best friend. Having lived in the Lubbock area after I got out of high school another learning place was in the area where new homes  was being built. I never talked to any carpenters on the jobs but would sit around and watch. I bet they all thought , that is the youngest inspector we ever saw. I might have been responsible for their doing better work when I came around..I did witness a few guys who had picked up  hand full of nails for the other side of the house and had to put them on the ground and get some for the side they were working on.... 

   After having put up the forms for more concrete for the extension and waiting for the concrete trucks to show up it dawned on me this adding to another existing building was going to be somewhat harder than building one out all by itself.. So this is where I will show wife how exact my style really is, bowling or horse shoes or building a building a person should be at his best for all the world to see. 

  I used oil field up set tubing for all the up rights and had welded flat 6x6 plate steel to the bottom and top of three foot long 2 7/8 tubing burried  in the footing before the concrete was poured. So after the concrete set up I welded the steel studs on to the foundation.

 The building structure is ridgid and will be there after a tornado comes through. They might be bent all the way to the ground but will still be there.

    So how do I get the same exact roof slope and wall sides exactly in line so they will match up like it was all built at once. Quick and easy to say>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 I think I ended up with thirty different string lines going all kinds of directions and the metal siding and metal roof panels were not hardly faded in the six months or so they were up so hey, it all looks like one unit..

   When you work by your self you do things differently and make helpers using other methods. A really old fork lift that would only reach 8 foot high was my best helper.  I built an addition that would allow me using a chain hoist to lift up the pipe trusses to more than 16 foot in the air so I could let them down on 9 foot tall  2 7/8 pipe uprights and rest there while I jumped down off the forklift and weld each truss every ten foot  on the wall pipes. The old Perkins motor of the fork lift smoked like a mosquitoe sprayer but as long as I run it at an idle it worked great. Make the trusses stay sitting on top of a 2 7/8 " pipe I used 2 pair of Vise Grip chain wrench's locking two pieces of metal on to each side of the up right pipes. Thus making a saddle and the fork lift keeping them in the air, I could go in an get a cup of coffee while the trusses sat there..

 The only help I got was one day after I had put most all the sheet metal up on the walls a brother in law drove up and said looks like you might need some help. Well I could have used some the three previous weeks but yes today finishing up I could use it.

   The trusses I built one on top of the other laying down on the concrete. My reasoning, if one truss was crocked they all would match and would make the sheet iron all lay flat and pretty.

   I knew after all this extra extending would not get the motor home a place to park inside for the motor home clearance is 12'4" and the shop has 9 foot walls. I would get the extra clearance by cutting out the inside of the pipe trusses but first I would have to drill holes in the concrete installing new pipes under the end of each truss I would  have to cut out.  This was I would still have each end of each truss welded in to the ground through the concrete.IMG_8505.JPGIMG_8510.JPG 

 This area was a trailer paint room last week.

 

Then after I got each pipe buried in the concrete and welded under each truss I could go ahead and using a cutting torch cut the inside of each truss that was in the way. The motor home just barely fits but I have walking room beside it and I still have working space on each side of the shop and still have a 30 x 20 insulated with heat and air plus the shop area for wifes stained glass  8x20 heated and air.

  Oh and I was smart enough when putting up the concrete forms to lay pipe and drains for bathroom  and sink which saves lots of walking.

   I have more nonsense on shops but gotta wire my trailer right now thats it warm out.

IMG_8503.JPG

Smallpatch

Retirement

I had enough time working at the fire dept to draw a small pension when I turned 55. Being 41 at that time something kept telling me to go and do something else with the rest of my life...

My wife was an RN but not working so she could raise the kids so I knew she could go back to work if my ventures went bad.

 

I want to build a nice,big go-cart track. WHAT, say that again. There aren't any go-cart tracks around here, how do you know you could make any money was my kids questions and answers, except for my boy, it was OH BOY.

Working for the city fire dept was , back then, a very low paying job but because of the hours worked, 24 on and 24 off let one if he wanted to, have a part time job, which I had, so actually I wasn't going out in to the world cold turkey so to speak. My part time job was selling Mac Tools out of a step van...This was also a fun job for I knew my products and enjoyed being around people who used hand tools....

 

Pictures of the track I might not can find for back then pictures wasn't a concern.   The track and buildings took three years to build. The only professionals I used was to pour the cement and smooth it on the track its self. I put up all the forms. I poured and smoothed all the sidewalks Building the buildings and everything on the property was a new experience to me so I would go to the library and check out all the books I could find for what was coming up in the next few days of work.... I put in the septic system, did all the plumbing, electrical and all the sidewalks but I did trade out wiring the overhead lights over the track on the tall poles which I put in, I traded go- cart tickets for two guys labor for the track lights. This was before I decided to get the know how books from the library. The land was almost 2 miles past the city limits so I needed no permits except for the septic system. I called the inspectors before I started and they said come get  some instructions and go from there. 

8 years of labor is all it tookto  building this.jpg

 

 

After I closed the track at 11 each night I would closed the gates and leave the lights on so I could go into the area where I was planning to put the golf course and using strings and 2x4's I would lay out some thoughts on the ground then the next few days think over why was that good or what problems I would have with each hole . Most all my holes were multi holes. The only time we worked on the golf course during the day was on Mondays when the track was closed. The first 8 years the track was open 7 days a week. And most all those years I was plotting a golf course..

 

I realized right quick having a bunch of high school boys working for you was not good without some supervision for they would let their buddies kill each other on the track if I would have let them.

I added lots of things a normal mini golf would not have. Like in this pond in the picture. You can see a green on the other side. You putt in to a hole and then the ball goes down in to a cave which was under the waterfall to finish putting in the cup under the falls then come out from under the waterfall on this side of the pond.. I had added a 4x4 foot hole so they could see the waterfall from the inside the cave. Something I didn't plan on. On windy days the wind would blow water through the hole onto the carpet and get it dirty. So I installed some plexiglas over the hole and that solved that, just a little extra work. Number 3 green you laid down your putter and picked up a chipping iron and had to chip over a river to get to the hole. I built rivers and waterfalls everywhere. People would tell me there were more trees and flowers on our four acres than all of Odessa combined. So I went and looked myself and sure nuff, There are four trees in Odessa. kinda. 

 

My sweet wife drove the tool truck for a couple years while I was building the golf course. She was better at sales than I and especially she could make those guys pay their bills where I would let them slide for a while. She said some would go in to the bathroom to wait until she had gone to come out again. She would knock on the door and say I am not leaving until I get some money.

It took me 8 years to finish the golf course and about 6 years was changing my lay out of each nightly chore all the while doing lots of what if's. I had to replace a bunch of 2x4's making some of the greens cause they had rotted from ground contact. We had some remote control boats on a big pond with lots of shrubbery and women really bragged about the beauty we had created. Beauty yes but at a lot of extra labor. We finally got to putting name plates on most of the stuff because people could see things in the nursery and our stuff had grown larger with more flowers and things so it made our stuff more attractive, so they told us.

 

My thoughts were if I make mom and dad happy with our surroundings they would for sure bring the kids more often.

Running the go-carts while I was building the golf course I actually paid for everything as I built...No debt when finished

 

I also built a kiddy track for the small kids who were too young to ride the big go carts . It only had two coin operated animals that they had to drive by them selves on a 40 foot circle.  I never saw either machine sitting  idle.

My age limit to ride the carts was 9 years old but first they had to ride in front of mom or dad to show me and and the parents they were mentally old enough for them to handle the stopping and turning and this would make the parents feel more at ease....

 

You can't believe how many parents would lie and tell me the kid was nine just to get them to ride. Some dads thought their kids were smarter than a normal 9 year old. It took us a couple of years to come up with the age of 9. Most but not all could start to concentrate at that age, but not all. I would ask a kid how old he was before he got in the go-cart, nine was always the answer. Then as he was sitting there ready to go I would ask them what grade they were in. They had not learned to lie that good and would tell their actual grade which they would say 2nd or 3rd. If they were 9 years old and only in the 2nd or 3rd grade their minds was not ready for go-carts...

 

Maybe I can find this post so I can continue later. Sometimes all it takes is guts to do something different with your life.

I might can convince someone it isn't that bad even it you don't come out with a good ending, at least you were brave enough to try. 

 

Later.

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