SweetWood Maple Products

Pennsylvania Pure Maple Syrup  


The Sugar House - 2002

Here are some pictures of building the main sugar house.  (click on the picture for larger image)

My previous shanty became the wood shed for the new building.

Never used a Bobcat before, so it was fun learning.  Our son Andrew had a few slow rides during the process.

After some time scraping and digging roots, we had a friend come with a 5 ton load of gravel.  Some 2 x 6 forms and string...and we had the 12' x 16' floor laid out and ready for the cement truck.

Bright and early with some help (see my Dad's truck in the foreground)...I actually convinced the driver to go down into the back yard with the truck and shoot the cement directly into the form.  More ruts...but it beats the wheelbarrow any day!!

Voila!  Not too bad for the first cement job.  Some finishing touches and keeping it covered were the only thing left.

Speaking of finishing...doing the edges after floating a few times.

Fast forward to the cement drying and removing the forms...the walls going up with the idea of bolting them down to the concrete.  With 6 inches of concrete, my idea was there was enough support to avoid post holes...also allowing to the whole buiding to be dissassembled in case we moved.

More progress....you can see the J-Bolts sticking up through the wood.  Also notice the "safe" play environment for Andrew!

Now we were getting somewhere.  Put up a 12/12 roof pitch to get some overhead storage.  Plus, with a metal roof, would look more traditional.

With purlins installed, ready for roofing.  All pressure treated lumber was used, so hopefully it will last a while!

The roof sheets were cut to length so they could be laid in place without trimming.  It was challenging manipulating them into place.

More roofing...and lots of screws!!! I was putting in the hatch here (which had to be resized) that would let the steam out from above the evaporator.

Roof and hatch complete.

Here is the roof hatch.  It is a shame that it would eventually not clear the stack and have to be shortened!

Well...costing as much or more than the sugarhouse itself..here is the brand new Dominion and Grimm 2' x 6' Evaporator Arch.  (the pans were still in the crates)

Thanks to Dad and a friend, got most of the brick for the arch as the insulating type.  The dark ones seen in the photo are clay, but there were very few.  This seemed to help boiling rate and start up time.

Well...that's all the farther we got the first year before sugaring started.  No siding, just tarps and the wood shed (old sugar lean-to) on one side.