One of the key elements of our freemason society is individual development. Plumb Lodge 862 helps people step outside of their limiting beliefs to improve themselves by teaching them a skill or craft. Over time, the individual cultivates and develops this skill to become a more productive member of society. Masonry and paving are two crafts that we often work to develop in our members.
We took a road trip to Albany, New York to help our newest freemasons learn masonry and residential paving, which are very valuable skills that are always needed. Using our local connections in the Capital Region, we lined up multiple projects for residential paving in Albany. The first customer had an old driveway that was cracked with several potholes, so the asphalt needed to be removed prior to installing anything new. The home was 1,500 square feet and it was set back 200 yards from Washington Avenue Extension. The customer wanted us to pave a new driveway and then put in a stone walkway from the driveway to the home’s front door.
First, our paving contractors began by tearing up the previous driveway. We rented a backhoe from a local excavation company to help with this process. Once the space was cleared, our new members filled the holes in with dirt and graded the surface. While this was in process, the more experienced freemasons prepared the hot mix asphalt for application. This type of asphalt is a concentrated blend of stone, sand, and asphalt cement that was heated to 350 degrees to get it to bind. We then spread the HMA evenly across the ground and paved the driveway from the edge of the road to the edge of the concrete garage floor. We paved a total of 5 layers to ensure the correct depth, then we blocked off the driveway and left for the day.
On Sunday, we returned to the home to finish the driveway. Our contractors applied waterproof sealcoating on every inch of the asphalt, and then we began the custom masonry. We contracted a local stone mason to cut the rocks, leaving installation for us. We graded and prepared the ground under the walkway and then laid the stones from the driveway edge to the steps of the home. To finish off the project, we used hardscaping techniques to remove the grass along the edge of the walkway.