, , ,

Just kidding… Don’t get your hopes up. If you accidentally skated off the edge of this “rink,” you’d get a little more than a scraped up knee.

Here are a bunch of our workers at the cold beginning of the day, waiting for a job to fall from the sky.


Lavon and Lowell Bender and three of their employees (Ryan, Jon and David) came down from Bender’s Construction (Goshen, IN) to take charge of the concrete job.

Randy Short and three of his sons (Christian, Jonathan and Joel) came from West Unity, OH to help with the concrete. And when we say “help,” we don’t just mean that they showed up with smiles and willing hands – that family has a lot of experience and expertise.

We also had the privilege of working with Phil Swartzentruber, David Blair and the rest of the normal crew – the Bylers, the Boleys and James Fyffe.

So many good people. It was fascinating to watch them work together – they made everything look so smooth and easy

The surface of the building, all prepped and ready to be filled with concrete:


This place was going crazy with concrete trucks. It was like peak ladybug season. Except instead of useless, smelly ladybugs that crawl around randomly and end up in all the places where you don’t want them… these trucks were carefully coordinated and extremely useful.


The concrete comes out of the trucks, into the pumper truck….


…up through a tube and down onto the building.


It comes out chunky…



…but there’s manpower and expertise, waiting…IMG_0822


…with a wide variety of equipment to smooth things out.  The big leveling thing in the foreground is like a weedeater hooked to a big metal blade that vibrates and makes the concrete settle into sweet smoothness.IMG_0837

Here’s Lavon Bender and his laser screed. (That would be a great book title, don’t you think? It would be illustrated children’s science fiction.) Actually, that name is probably only funny to people like me. Screed is the term used for a board or metal pole used to level concrete. This one just happens to use a laser. (And there just happens to be a man sitting beside me to make sure you get the correct details.) On top of the poles are two electronic receivers that monitor the level of the screed and adjust the lower blade to the exact thickness that the concrete needs to be.


After the concrete’s been leveled to the right thickness, Jon uses the bull float (this term is as amusing to me as laser screed) to give it a smooth surface.

IMG_0873At this point, about half the concrete has been poured:



Here they’re working around the edges with hand tools, and the guy on the far left is running the power trowel to give the surface a smooth finish.


We had a little bit of rain throughout the day, and the falling leaves were kind of a nuisance, but these guys are professionals and they know how to prepare for everything.


The final step of the process is cutting lines into the concrete – so it has room to expand and not crack. Here they’re bringing up the saw. That forklift is a hugely important part of this building project. There are a lot of things that couldn’t get done without it.


Here he’s marking where he’s going to cut the lines. Then he walked behind the machine, guiding it as it cut.


Now that concrete surface is finished and beautiful. The only thing left to be done to it is putting on the stain.

Monday we’re supposed to be getting a load of lumber delivered. As well as gravel to start filling in around the building. To loosely quote James Fyffe… “There’s not going to be any more sitting-around days now!”