Monday, April 11, 2016

Food Cart Project Part XLIII: Leveling, etc.

Moving the cart last weekend was, naturally, a very big milestone, but work is far from done before opening. The main thing after getting the cart in place was getting it level on its jackstands. My neighbor Tony graciously lent me his floor jack, which is a lot easier to use than my smaller shop jack. It's not dead perfect, of course, but I've got it about as level as possible:

I also had to re-engineer the back steps a bit. The risers are positioned a little more narrowly to fit with the curb behind the cart. This necessitated building a couple of supports out of some scrap lumber to keep it from getting too tippy:

I bought a sweep for the door yesterday, but it ended up being a bit too tall for the really small gap at the bottom, so I picked up a piece of angle aluminum, trimmed it to the door's width, and mounted it to the door such that it's flush with the bottom part of the jamb when closed. This should keep out pests and drafts about as well as the sweep would have, I figure:

So, things are coming along. We've got a pretty nice bright primary color thing going on in this corner of the pod. From left to right, we have Halibut's fish & chips, Dönerländ, TNT Grillin', and of course, the not long to open Burmasphere...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Food Cart Project Part XLII: The Move

A very big milestone in this project was achieved today: Moving the now-completed cart from the garage bay at Civilian over to its new home at the Piedmont Station Food Cart Pod. The first step was getting the cart off of its jack stands and onto the wheels, and then moving it forward enough to pivot it out through one of the doors. This required a lot of hands, and I was fortunate enough to have a group of ten friends show up to help out...

Next came the task of hitching it up to Hernan's rig:

The move itself was pretty short, only about two and a half miles. Once we got to Piedmont Station, Hernan pulled it in far enough to get it unhitched and maneuvered into place:

And here it is, back up on its jack stands, at its new home:

Though the whole process went off without so much as a hiccup, it was nerve-wracking nevertheless. Any number of things could have gone wrong. Taking it off the jack stands at Civilian was a very slow and dicey proposition, due to the uneven garage floor. Once supported by the wheels alone, it had a lean of several degrees, and I was worried that the whole structure might rack. I was also concerned about the tires, which are rated at about a half ton less than what the cart weighs; I was worried one of them would blow out on the way over. I was worried that the lag bolts securing the box to the frame of the trailer would shear. I was worried that a cop might pull us over. I was worried that we'd snarl up traffic somewhere along the route. I was worried about a lot of things. But none of those things happened, and the cart arrived safely and in one piece. After we were finished, I took everybody over to the Radio Room and bought them brunch. Needless to say, a pretty stout tab, but well worth it, and hey, that's what credit cards are for. I have nothing but love for these people, I could not have done it without them!

I'm still a ways off from opening at this point, though. I have to coordinate with the electrician about getting the power connected, then I have to schedule a pre-opening inspection with the health department. Then there's the issue of insurance, and getting up to speed on the accounting software, and making a few last minute recipe tweaks... It's getting closer, though. Stay tuned!