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He built a clay court with 46 tons of sand.

He built a clay court with 46 tons of sand

It took 46 tons of sand and a lot of hardwork to transform a flat spot at the bottom of Ed Mittelbusher's hillside lot into a full-size clay tennis court. A longtime tennis fanatic, Mr. Mittelbusher had always wanted a court but was discouraged by cost estimates for a paved surface.

To produce this well-drained playing surfaceout of heavy Californi adobe clay, he spread a 2-inch layer of river sand over the 80- by 140-foot area and rotary-tilled it in to a depty of 6 inches. (Professionally installed clay courts usually have a top layer of crushed lava rock, brick dust, or soft clay.) Mr. Mittelbusher used a small tractor to drag and flatten the surface with a heavy steel mat and a water-filled roller. He also gave the court a gentle slope for drainage. Wooden borders contain the sand-soil mixture.

Court lines are made of 2-inch-wide whitenylon webbing held flat and in place with more than 3,500 roofing nails driven through the tape's edges. Post-game maintenance is simple: he sweeps the court with a staff-bristled broom and then waters lightly to level and settle loose patches.

Each spring, the nylon lines are taken upand washed. The court is then raked, dragged, and rolled smooth.

Photo: For drainage, tan court tilts slightly downhill to right corner

Photo: Sweeping loosesurface material across width helps fill in low spots

Photo: Line brush cleansoff nylon webbing. Note pattern of offset nails
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:tennis court
Date:Jun 1, 1987
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