Front Steps May 25, 2009

Here's what the front steps have looked like for weeks.  A whole column of block on the right was loose so
I knocked them over and removed some block for patch work.

After finishing all the other work on the house it was time to remove the old steps so my son-in-law could
paint the white cinder block brown.  We used temporary steps until I could build wooden steps.  These old
original steps were getting pretty delapidated.

I bought a new hammer and block chisel for the job.  I had a hammer like this but it got lost.  I think my
grandson used it last.  Hmmm. 
I paid $15 bucks for a new one.

I first removed the upper row of block then started on the next row.  I knew this project would take a
while.  It took all day long.  The sun was hot and I had ot work slow.  Soaked my clothes and my do-rag
several times.  I had to replace the do-rag 3 times and the t-shirt once.  I also drank about 40 gallons of
cold water.  Maybe it was only 39 gallons.  I didn't count the last 8 or 10 gallons.

I chiseled around all sides of one block, removed it, and went on to the next one.  It's like eating an
elephant.  You do it one bite at a time.  I removed the steps one block at a time.  Like I said, it took all day
but I got 'er done.

"Take one down and pass it around..."  Nope, that's a drinking song.  With this job it was "Take one down
and move to the next."  Too corny?  Hmmmm
 Ok, rhyme or no rhyme, it works for me.  When I got to
the last few blocks I had to lay the small hammer down.

With more serious tools, the work was more intense, like arabs  and indians.  You know -- (in tents).

And so I came to the last block.  Linda said, "I want to take a picture right when you remove the last block."
But she was too slow to photograph the roaches.

I must have come across 2 dozen of them in the process of removing the steps.  They scurried in a hurry.
I told Linda, "I'll bet they're all waiting behind the last block.  They were, well, the ones I hadn't squashed
anyway.  And they fled so fast when I removed it she couldn't snap the camera fast enough.  There were
probably a dozen or more roaches behind that last block.  

Ok, The wall is really dirty, but it'll clean up and it'll look much better after it's painted.

When I hauled it to the dump they said the gross weight was 7,180 lbs. and the empty weight was 4,460.
That's 2,720 lbs. of cinder block on the truck.

Behind the truck the are the temporary steps my son-in-law loaned me.

This photo taken later shows the temporary steps which had been used for a mobile home.
They were made of iron with wooden treads.  I placed a row of solid cinder block as a 1st step.

Four months later, on September 23, 2009, I built these permenant steps.

These were the first steps I'd ever built and I studied a YouTube video to learn how to measure the rise and
the run to get the measurements right.  Six years later, when we built the deck, I learned you can buy these
stringers already cut.  Wish I had known that.  I cut these myself.

I cut the treads out of scrap lumber.  My son-in-law later built me some hand rails when he painted everything.
We painted the steps with only one coat of paint.  Look below to see how bad the lumber looked in June 2015.

The paint didn't hold up.  The lumber had big cracks in it.  The steps had to be replaced with new ones.
Here's a photo taken June 2015.  Everything was repainted a month after this photo was taken.

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