Bóveda Day 2!
This morning we will be returning to Pete & Jimena Schuster's home construction site. We are soooooo excited about seeing more bóveda construction. Reader Hotel California asked in Shoutbox, "How does he get the correct arch without any template? And how does he match one corner to the others?"
We will be asking the bóveda man these questions today and post the answers for you to read.
News about Fleetwood!
Reader Rich emailed us a link to a news story about Fleetwood. As you may know, Fleetwood is the manufacturer of MsTioga, our wonderful RV. Fleetwood went bankrupt awhile back, and its remaining assets are being liquidated to pay off its obligations. If you would like to read this story, click [here].
We visited the Fleetwood plant in Riverside, California twice, and were soooooo impressed with how automated the company made their assembly line. Fleetwood was able to complete an RV in about four days. An amazing accomplishment.
We toured Fleetwood on March 16, 2005 [link] and again on April 30, 2007 [link].
Pedro gives Bóveda answers
I asked Pedro, the bóveda man, to give answers to our questions:
Q: How does he get the correct arch without any template?
A: It requires a great deal of experience. When I first began as an apprentice at age 14, I had a great deal of trouble. Now I know how to start laying the bricks so that they come out at the correct height.
Q: What determines the height of the center of the bóveda?
A: My height. I construct bóvedas that are my height, no higher.
Q: How do you match one corner to the other.
A: At the center of the wall, the bóveda bricks begin going the other direction. You see the bricks zig-zag at the intersection.
Q: Why is the cement mortar so thin?
A: If the cement were thicker, it would be difficult to work and to clean. The cement does not need great strength because the bóveda is an arch, self-supporting.
Jesus the helper
Pedro is the master bóveda builder on this job. Pedro has been building bóvedas since he was fourteen years old. All Pedro does is build the bóvedas. Pedro is very fast and needs to be resupplied with material often.
All the other work is done by Jesus the helper. Jesus mixes the mortar, puts the mortar in a bucket and carries the bucket to where Pedro is working. Jesus brings the bricks to Pedro. Jesus also cleans the finished bóveda bricks, cleans the mortar joints and wire brushes the bricks.
2PM - Bóveda finished!
I had a bet with Pete that the Bóveda would not get completed until tomorrow morning. Pete claimed this first bóveda would be finished today. When we returned from lunch, the bóveda was complete! I was sooooo surprised!