The tower installation continued today after a three week hiatus. We made up for it, however, getting the rebar work completed and about 95% of the tower assembled.
The large size of the foundation (11′ x 11′ x 5′) necessitated quite a large rebar cage be built and installed in the excavation. This in turn required rebar of several different sizes.
The three man rebar crew cut, bent, and wired the cage together in record time and by the end of the day everything was finished.
While the rebar work was underway at the site of the tower foundation, Steve, his two helpers, and I assembled the tower itself. The tower consists of six separate 10′ sections that bolt together to form the 60′ height. Each section consists of three vertical members along with cross bracing. Both the vertical members and cross bracing are formed from sheet steel, so assembling the sections is perfectly analogous to the erector sets we had as kids. The pieces bolt together in a horizontal position and we did the work in the driveway in front of the garages.
The first section took almost 1-1/2 hours to assemble, and much of that was reading the instructions and interpreting some of the more subtle aspects of the process. Once we completed the first section, we progressed much faster. The last two sections were assembled in just an hour. Steve and I marked and drilled the rotator plate and top plate while the last section was being assembled. These nestle inside the last section and are secured by beefy bolts. These plates are 1/4″ steel and massive overkill for their intended function.
We didn’t complete the top plate drilling as our cordless drill batteries gave out. We’ll finish up assembly tomorrow, when we complete the installation of the drilled top plate and then tighten up all of the fasteners (all of the tower bolts are just finger tight at this point) while making sure everything is nice and straight.
Another big milestone happening tomorrow is the first inspection. The County inspector will inspect the rebar work and sign off, giving us the go-ahead for the next step, which is pouring the concrete. This will probably happen sometime next week — stay tuned. Then comes the really exciting part: grabbing the tower with a crane, lifting it over the garages, and bolting it to the base embedded in concrete.