Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Sticky Fun"...

Taking some time off from the "Serious Fun" of bridge building to have some sweet "Sticky Fun".  The first batch of syrup has been made. This is what 40 gallons of sap looks like after 15 hours of boiling. Imagine the smell of Maple sap boiling away. It has been a long winter. Go ahead, as the steam rises and swirls around your head, breath in and let your sense of smell enjoy this time of year. Ahhhh...

 A foaming boil like this is a sign that the process is close to complete and the syrup ready to be drawn off. Just like with the Three Bears, the hydrometer is the proof that the concentration of sugar is,  just right. This is critical.  Taste, color and thickness all depend on the 211 degree hot test for a 32 reading. Ah, "just right".

And here you have it, a gallon of the golden fluid, filtered through a linen dish towel. Bring on the Eggo's and lets eat!

I did manage to fit in a bit of work on the bridge while the sap was boiling too. Study the pictures of the 3/8 scale model of a roof rafter. (Note: the truss is on its side but the fit is very good.) Can you see the button and rod assembly?

If you study the two pictures above you can see an important difference. In the bottom picture the primary rafters have been removed and only the secondary rafter, collar ties and diagonal bracing remain. This is how the actual rafters will be installed. After they are secured to the top chords with a button and rod the primary rafters will then be added.

Puzzler - Can you explain why the rafters need to be installed this way?

Tech Vocab - Collar Tie - Primary Rafter - Secondary Rafter - Diagonal Brace - Wall Cleat - Wall Cleat Seat

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