Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maiden voyage across my bridge.

Everything went perfect. I drove my tractor, all 8000 lbs of it, across my bridge today. There was no signs of trouble at all. I had set up a crude measurement gauge under the bridge. I wanted to se if I could detect and measure any sag in the bridge as I placed a load onto the deck. If there was any, I couldnt tell. It showed no signs of any downward movement as I drove the tractor across.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bridge construction update for November 2012

     Here are a few photos of my recent work on the bridge across hurricane creek. I am backfilling the concrete abutment with fill dirt from the nearby hillside.
     It has been awhile since I posted any updates. Some other bridge info for you, the deck is made from pressure treated 4x6 12 ft timbers. That has been the single most expensive part of construction for me. Each board cost around $18 and there are 65 of them!
The underlying bridge beams are from trees I had cut down in the woods over the summer. Averaging 12" in diameter and over 40 ft long. They were a real handfull for three of us to drag across into place.


The old dozer is my Allis Chalmers HD5. Built sometime in the 1950s. It has served me well over the years. I hope to one day give it a much deserved restoration.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A clamp kiln firing.

Here is a link to a video I made of my clamp kiln firing last summer.


This firing took place last summer at the canal park in Delphi, Indiana.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Roof raising on my barn tower

A few weeks ago I was able to lift the roof to my barn tower.  With the assistance of my two sons Will and Dan. I am not wild about high places and came up with the solution to constructing the tower roof in place was to hoist it up with my jib crane.

Here is a series of photos that show the lifting of the tower roof.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My barn construction progress update for 3/1/12

A quick photo update of my barn construction progress for 3/1/12. The first trusses are set.

Maple Syrup

This past weekend William and I boiled down 30+ gallons of maple sap over a wood fire. The day was cool and breezy, but the fire kept us warm. Early on we decided to put a lid over the large boiling pot of sap in order to prevent smoke and ashes from ruining the taste of our syrup. It took us about 7 hrs to reduce by boiling the sap down to about 4 gallons of sweet water.

We finished boiling the sap indoors over the stovetop. The final result was about 3 and 1/2 quarts of very tasty 100% homemade maple syrup. YUM!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Maple syrup and barn progress.

The weather has been very good for february here in Indiana. Because of that I have made some good progress on barn construction. With the help of my two sons, I have began erecting the roof framing. This excites me, to see the barn start to look like a barn.

We have took on another project this year. My eldest son William, my dad, and I will be collecting and boiling down sugar maple sap to try our hand at homemade maple syrup.

We have tapped 5 trees so far and will be tapping at least that many more soon. With the warm 45'F days and freezing nights, the sap is flowing pretty well.

For any of you that havn't heard of where maple syrup comes from, heres a simple web definition for you.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species such as the bigleaf maple. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees can be tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup."

I will post updates when we have collected enough maple sap to boil down into syrup. Ive been told it takes about 35 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. So thats gonna take a bit of time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Barn construction update 1/10/12

Heres a photo of the barn build so far. Its dimensions are 24' x 24'. Till now I have had it pretty good this winter with the warm weather. But as of today winter and cold is back.