RR (aka Big Red 2.0)
Tuesday August 16, 2005

operation: halfpipe = successful!

I'm happy to report that Operation Halfpipe was a success. No severed fingers, no leftover wood, no unhappy neighbors (er, yet). As I'm putting these pics together, I still can't believe we built this thing - going from the pic on the left to the pic on the right in two days (er, 14 hours of building!). I borrowed about 80% of these pics from up-and-coming photo superstar Youngna (thanks!), so you can thank her for the great shots in this recap.

Friday night. I left work around 6pm and ran around the city borrowing tools from friends (special shoutouts to Paul.K and the Barcade circular saw, Steve.R and the No Data Prom drill, and Strle and her trusty jigsaw). Me + Randy + Youngna left the city just after 8pm.

We made a pit stop in New Haven to pick up Youngna's friend Brook - who just happens to be getting his Master's degree in Architecture from Yale (read: knows how to build shit). Lucky us, Brook also let us raid the woodshop to fill in the blanks on our "Required Tools" checklist.

Saturday morning. Randy and I were up early to hit Home Depot just as the doors opened.

The Home Depot in Bennington, VT: "Where Halfpipe Dreams Come True."

It was a sad moment when we realized we weren't going to be able to get everything in one trip. (especially with Home Depot being a good 35 mins away). We grabbed as much as the Hoverpod would take...

.... which included 8 sheets of plywood...

... and about 40 2x4s.

I wish I had a pic showing how my truck was actually tilted to the right due to all the weight. I mean, look at the way we had to lay the 2x4s! The chassis of the car usually sits like 8 inches above the wheel. When we loaded all the shit in, we had like 2 inches (= not good).

The ride back to the house is all windy VT woods / 50 mph roads. 30 mph + our hands holding on the plywood, hoping it would not fly off the car = it took us forever to get back.

We got back around 10:30, ate some breakfast and got started. The original plan was to build this thing in the backyard, but that was BEFORE we saw how unlevel the ground was (the 4-foot-tall grass threw our initital measurements off).

So, we ended up building it in the driveway. Remember the old footprint pics from a few weeks ago? (20 feet?) Well, the new footprint is a little bit bigger (27 feet).

About a week before, I ordered some ramp plans off the innernets. One instruction book + two pages of schematics + one DVD = $29.95. (ps: if you are planning on doing this, order the plans. These guys really have their shit together.)

Here, me + Randy + Brook reviewing the master plan. Let me walk you through a few steps:

#1. Draw the transition. 6 foot transition = draw a semi-circle with a 6-foot radius on a piece of plywood. Use a string and a screwdriver to make a pendulum-like-thing to make sure you get the curve right.

#2. Cut the transition. Use a jigsaw. Make sure all four pieces match up. The first time we cut a transition (and by "we" I mean "Brook") it was all "lumpy". Brook and a few clever re-dos with thejigsaw straightened that out.

#3. Assemble the thing. Drill in some 2x4s to make the skeleton.

#4. Then do it again for the other side.

#5. Assemble the flatbottom. Kind of looks like an Ikea bookshelf gone wrong.

#6. Then connect the flatbottom to the two transitions.

Around 4pm. Randy and Youngna share a moment as we admire our handiwork.

#7. Cover the skeleton with 1/4" plywood. Six sheets total. Then you need to draw chalklines and screw in about 80 screws per sheet.

Randy and I finished up w/ the plywood around 6pm and then left to Trip #2 to Home Depot (we had to pick up the rest of the 2x4s and the sheets of Masonite). When we left, Brook was still sawing and screwing away. When were returned he had finished one of the decks (which are connected to the transitions).

My dad actually called in the afteroon to ask if we had given up yet. I proudly told him that we were almost done thanks to our "mystery guest". Big Dig says: "What is he, some kind of master ship builder?!"

We got back around 9pm. Youngna had cooked up some burgers (delicious), we finished off a few growlers ("Reserved for Team Halfpipe") and then went to check out the pool / hot tub / high school girls / Bartender Steve over at Snow Lake Lodge.

Next morning (and after a hearty breakfast of 40 eggs)...

#8. Lay the masonite layer (another 6 sheets) and countersink the screws (meaning you need to drill twice for each of the 10,000 or whatever screws). This took us a good three hours.

Blue lines = chalk lines that you need to draw (or, as we in the industry say, "snap") so that you know where to place the screws. The snapping part is Youngna's specialty.

Randy and I tag-teamed most of the masonite layer - I'd countersink, he'd drill. The two-drill action definitely helped a lot (thanks Steve!) though the battery-powered drill we borrowed from Yale crapped out on us a bunch of times.

We finished up around 3:42pm.

And, so this is it. Whew.

It started raining just as we put the last 10 screws in, but luckily the big rain held off for about and hour and a half giving us a chance to ride.

(Seriously, the weather could not have been any more cooperative - we drove through a monsoon on the way up and another on the way home, but we had nothing but perfect weather while we were building.)

Youngna threw on my helmet and ran around a bit to test it out. See how much the pic on the instructions looks like our ramp? Woo!

(ps: and thanks to everyone for making fun of my helmet. Safety first!)

And some more pics from Youngna.

She's something special.

Behind that camera of her's.

(ps: reverse haiku! 7-5-7!)

The rain picked up again around 5pm. So we thew a tarp over the ramp, ate some dinner, took a nap and make the trek back to NYC. See you next weekend, Little Halfpipe.

Seriously, Youngna, thanks for the pics. To everyone else, I highly recommend flipping through her "Operation Halfpipe" Flick set (or watch the slideshow!) to see the rest of the pics. The recap is almost better without my words... (stoopid teendrama!)

Team Halfpipe recommends listening to this John Frusciante track (3.7m) while flipping through her pics. Thank you. - The Management.


Tue 8/16 @ 12:46 PM | # link| Comments (7)
hosted by dreamhost