We rented a crane to put the roof frames up. It was scheduled to come on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday morning, we stopped by Kreps Ranch to borrow their bucket truck. It had some trouble starting up. The cattle dogs were not impressed as we waited for the battery to charge. The truck eventually fired up, and Sam got a brief lesson before driving it to our property.

The bucket truck would optimize our time with the crane. Sam could be on one side of the building in the bucket truck while John is on the opposite side in the scissor lift. Then, they wouldn’t have to drive the scissor lift back and forth ten times for each roof peak. 

Sam was so excited about the tuck and practiced operating it while we waited for the steel. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning. Do the power company employees look that happy?

The reworked roof frames arrived later that morning, as promised. They appeared to be cut at the correct angle this time. We were just about to start assembling the roof peaks when we got a call from the crane rental company. The crane just broke down and it might take two weeks to fix! 

I spent the rest of the afternoon calling about 50 crane rental places (even some as far as Portland), and everyone was booked solid for 2-3 weeks! Sam and I got a few more contacts and kept bothering people. Finally, someone came through- Chris, an artist outside of Hood River, had a small boom truck and was available that weekend!

But… the thermostat on his truck needed to be replaced before he could drive it. And… his mechanic was out of town! At this point, we had no choice but to wait.

In the meantime, we started working on our bridge crane that will live in the shop. We purchased the used Demag crane over a year ago, designed our building around it, and it has been sitting outside since.

First, we mounted brackets/shelves to the steel columns for the crane beams to sit on. We used the laser to make sure they were all level.

The crane beams run the length of the shop. Rails (similar to railroad tracks) sit on top of the crane beams, and the crane itself bridges the two beams and rolls along the rails.

We cleaned up the crane components before installing them. We began by pressure washing the Ronald McDonald beams. Then we sanded them to get as much of the old flaking paint off as possible. The last step was wire brushing the ends that need to be welded.

Sam and I prepared the rails earlier this year. Sam ground the rust off, and I painted them. None of these tasks were fun, but we got everything cleaned up. Ideally, we would have repainted everything, but we didn’t have time.

We placed two of the crane beams inside the shop to see how they would fit.

Then, we set them up on the brackets. We used wooden blocks to space the yellow beams out from the columns. This also made sure that the beams were parallel.

We’re still making progress, but we’re on the verge of a major set back if we don’t get the roof up. Optimistically, we are banking on getting Chris’s crane over the weekend.

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