Last Day Before the Debut!

On Friday, the students are working with a tight 4:00 deadline. The ULEAF stage needs to be ready for its first public appearance at the first annual LEAF Downtown festival this weekend. We’ll be unveiling the stage at 11:30am on Saturday morning.

Today’s most critical task is the lay down the flooring. First, the floorboards are affixed to the stage using liquid nail. Next, the students work in teams pre-drilling (making a small hole for the drill) and drilling (inserting the screw) the floorboards in place.

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Allison gets ready to lay down some liquid nails for the flooring.

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The team warns Ed he’s about to liquid nail his pants to the stage.

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Teamwork makes the dream work! Julia and Allison drill the floorboards in place.

Some of the other more pressing tasks involve reinforcing the canopy structure. After all, the stage is about to weather a weekend of breakdancing kids, drummers, and the Studio Zahiya dance troupe. Calum grinds down some gusset plates that will be reinforce the arch.

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Calum grinds the gusset plate smooth

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The gusset plate will reinforce the joint between these three wood pieces of the arch

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Calum mounts the finished gusset plate

The team takes a short break at lunch. Some generous fellows brought by pizza from Earth Fare and Asheville Pizza and Brewing. Yum! Miriam also brought a pot of dirty rice.

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Instructor Luke Perry supervises

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Instructor Miriam Gee and Veronique drill the floorboards to the wings.

Another important task is laying down the siding of the stage. The wing siding features lumber engraved with the names of the students, donors, volunteers, and partners who made the ULEAF possible. Some of the siding is temporary siding, because the team didn’t have enough pressure-treated wood; it will be replaced next week.

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Melody (left) and Lizete (right) measure the length of the wing siding to be trimmed.

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Testing the wing siding placement

After the sidings are mounted, Lizete sands down the names. A spelling error with one of the students’ names has to be fixed – try to spot it on Saturday!

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Veronique drills through the floorboards of the stage wings.

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Veronique trims the edge of this board so that the metal braces will run flush.

Another coat of paint is added to the metal components of the structure. All of the assembly work has added a few nicks in the paint; now is the time to correct them and even out the color.

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Allison adds another coat of the green paint

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Veronique adds a final coat of black paint

Next week, a fiberglass seal will coat the floor. This will help protect the stage from wear and tear and prevent splinters.

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Chad works below the stage

One of the final tasks before the ULEAF gets picked up is to add metal trim to the edges of the stage.

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Calum and Melody get ready to drill the metal trim into place.

The canopy is functional, but next week a few more screws will be added to hold it in place. This will keep the roof from flapping in high winds or driving down the highway.

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Canopy and blue sky!

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Evolution of the canopy design

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