Flying Of The Salt: Day One

Shawn and I got an early start for a Saturday- I picked him up and we were on site around 8am. The day started with Gordy telling us the library director wanted all the wire shrink-wrapped, and that no place carried it so we’d have to order it- putting us a week out for another week of shrink-wrapping. Not being sold on the whole shrink-wrap idea, it seems smarter to just find some clear metallic wire and replace all the goofy red/black tails. Shawn and I headed out to Lowe’s and found everything but the wire, but a Lowe’s employee suggested Radio Shack and gave us directions just a bit farther down the road. Sure enough, Radio Shack had the goods.
Back on site we cut all the 5 foot red/black tails back to a fingerlength, then put in lengths of new wire cut to length for the run of each stone back to the main hanging rod. Next I stripped the tips of all the wires while Shawn spliced the red/black to the new wire. This took many many hours.
Around 3pm we finally moved on to hanging the first element- the big yellow salt box. We kept it in its protective sawhorse frame, and used the hoist to pull it up through the high door of the Lift. Then we positioned ourselves directly under the hook and 30′ up in the air and Shawn figured the easiest way to get the box out of the horse ( I had somehow lifted it into the horse on my own months back- but that just wasn’t in the cards for either of us) was to remove the hanging pin and let the box rest on the floor of the Lift, then lift the horse up over the box. It worked nicely.
Next we clipped the hanging arm for the box to the Trans-Arm and clipped the Box to the hanging arm. We tried some counterweight hoping it would mitigate the hanging angle a bit- but we would find that it had no effect, about 250# shy. Then it was a struggle to drop down- we had to shift back a bit, drop a bit, shift back, drop- to keep the box from being crushed against the safety cage. Eventually it flew free and we could drop down. Before we started the next step we would go back up and remove the weights…
That box is all we could fly from that side, as hanging more weight would overstress the steel trans-arm as it rose up through the nearly 160 degrees of rotation back toward the ceiling- especially as it neared horizontal to the floor. But it was good to have it up and mentally out of the way. The entire other side needed to be hung now, before going back to hanging on the box side.
The first stone piece is the heaviest, with 14 stones and the biggest run of steel- weighing in at well over 115lbs. We had to get it up into the Lift, which wasn’t too bad just with muscle power.
Still lots more to do tomorrow: hang the rest of the salt block side, tighten up all the wiring, connect all the runs, etc.
so now it is time for head to hit pillow…

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