O.K., on with the show.
The process of leveling out the fill took a few evenings. Here you can see the third load of fill that was deposited on top of the first batch.
Many trips back and forth with the blade helped get the dirt close to level. A tractor and back blade is not the ideal leveling device, as the blade is either moving up or down. There is no positive hole position on the control, so it is trial and error, frantic adjusting of the lift lever. Occasional language experiments also help.
Once the fill was close to grade, we used the water level to get the initial grade set. We tested the flatness, sort of averaged out the highs and lows and chose a grade. We drove a stake into the lawn as a reference against which we calibrated the level.
Fortunately Peg's brother Gary has a compactor. A big old heavy thing with a gas engine that makes the thing vibrate like mad. It kind of walks itself around, you just have to steer it. I went over the whole area 7 times, then we started checking grade. We scraped out dirt here, threw some in there, and eventually got it pretty close.
In some of these photos you can see the water level in the middle of the east side of the work area. This is where the stationary end was fixed, and the 75' of hose allowed easy access to all of the work area. Saturday was spent on rough leveling and going to the dump, etc.
Sunday was spent getting the compactor, spraying the work area with the hose to keep down the dust, and running that blasted compactor. After the initial packing, we would check grade with the level, adjust where needed and compact again. Eventually we got it to the point where we were satisfied with the levelness of the base.
I really like this picture that was taken from the window in the upstairs West room. A unique view of the project. So that takes us up through May 6th. More later, I gotta go.