Thursday, December 23, 2010

from the beginning (part 4) to the present

Oct 2010: After Huey had dumped his load of white powder on us and things thawed out a bit, it was time to get fascias mounted to all those lovely purlins. Engineer's spec called for 2 x 45mm LVL cut from larger section. I got them to delete the external LVL, as it was only sacrificial to the weather. 8mm fibre cement was and is much cheaper and easier. We could also have gone with a custom made Glu-Lam piece but it was hideously expensive and would likely require cranage to get it airborne...what a waste for something that will be essentially hidden anyway! Next step was working out what the optimal size LVL board that a. I could handle and b. reduced offcut wastage. I racked my brains for a while but it's been 20+ years since I tackled any serious geometry calculations and I'm afraid I've forgotten it all. Enter the old man - retired mechanical engineer just itching for a problem to solve. I gave him a call then, lo and behold, a comprehensive spreadsheet of calculations promptly arrived in the mail. 360mmm deep was to be the go. Ordered, delivered and then I stood scratching the head again. I knew that the rafter radius is 65m, so I thought I'd have a crack at running out 65m of rope and scribing an arc on a piece of junk ply. Nice idea except that the weight of the line was waaaaaaay too heavy to get anything remotely accurate. Dad's option was to use protractors and draw segments and stuff. I went lo-tech and just attached the ply direct to the purlins and marked a rough arc. Cut this out and used it as template to cut curves from 360mm boards. It was all pretty rough but got the job done. Getting them up was a bitch though. On my own I could get one end attached with one batten screw to the lowest (South) end of the run and then rope up the other end and attach to purlins.

this one was ok
needed a hand with the rest

However, they were just too big to pull up the other 4 sections on my own. With framing inspection due asap, Dana and I were joined by Matt, Deb and Deb's mum, Steph to have a go getting the fascias attached. Of course, as soon as help was at hand, cue the bloody rain (sense a theme here?!?!). I made up some pulley gantries and we struggled in the wet to lift them in and attach. Northern end was just too much height for Dana and Matt to haul it up so we hooked up the ute to the rope and voila (I'll say only little about how the structure shook when the rope bottomed out...sheesh, fun ride for me). Anyways, we got 'em attached and gang nailed on the joins before sailing past inspection (even though fascia were yet to be trimmed and looked daggy to say the least). Jon, Karena and the kids then came to help us trim and fix a few blocks that were not completed.

looking better

Of course, it was a wee bit wet but we got the coolest rainbow in the backyard.

...over a...

Nov 2010: Next weekend old mate Biggsy joined in for a few days to finish trimming fascias and lay out some crusher dust for the impending corrugated tanks that were due soon. He is a gem.

Over the next week or so, I clad all fascias with fibre cement sheet. Had fun doing this lot:

cement sheet nailed on
tanks arrived and I roped them to the carport

I was also fighting (negotiating) with various manufacturers and suppliers over which corrugated sheets to use so the simple task of ordering some corro iron took on epic proportions. Initially, they all wanted me to use the most expensive sheeting, pre-curved offsite and done in continuous length. @ 13.5m, it is near impossible to get these around the tight corner 1km from our place on a truck (only just got 9m lengths on semi with Palfinger - this was the one that got bogged), so I got convinced on using 2 sheets with a lap, spring curved on site. Of course, after I went through all of that, got quotes, selected the right supplier and ordered away the bloody manufacturer "lost their order" or some such crap, so we had to wait another week for the sheets to get to site. Dana's mate Julie came over from Perth for a wedding and arranged a couple of days to help us pick up rocks for the walls. Waddyaknow, it bloody rained all weekend...again! At least we ate well...

all our lovely drainage washing away

Dec 2010: Yet another old mate Dave is a plumber by trade although works as a roadie these days. He agreed to help out getting the roof on. Haha, another sucker for punishment. Rain, wind, floods, you name it occurred...

I had to ford this to get out one day, only to get stuck at a fallen tree. Chopped that up and then found all major local roads out were cut.
one of the 10KL tanks broke free and went for a wander. thankfully undamaged.

 Anyway, over several weather interrupted weeks, we've managed to get 90% of the roof sheeted and will be knocking off the final bits in early Jan. Here's the sequence:

nice guttering job

part 1

wee weather break

part 2

part 3

part 4 - nearly there
While Dave was screwing down sheets, I was collecting rocks. Sorting rocks. Washing rocks. Tonnes of rocks. Off ground. In ute. On ground. Washed. Turned over. Washed again. Did I sleep well after that or what??

they're heavier than they might look
...for days
 Phew, that brings us up to the present. I'm-a-gunna try to keep this all a bit more regular from now on but I make no promises... :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

from the beginning (part 3)

...continued.: Sol & Phil struggled through 4 days of sub-zero nights and single figure days (Celsius here folks) that were drizzly, cold and gray. It was so miserable that Phil named the shouse "Mawson's Hut" after that odd fella who ate the dog livers. He had to go back North to warmer climes the following week, so Sol came back to help get the poles and rafters up.

sticks in the wet

another late finish

Jul-October 2010: The Weather!! There's this Irish bloke called Murphy and he's reputed to be a regular owner builder companion. I reckon we've got his whole bloody clan helping out. After 4 dry winters this one decided to be wet, wet and wetter. July was near double average rainfall, August the wettest in 25 years, September double average again and it capped off with snow in October (which was also well above average falls)! The local farmers are loving it but it hasn't helped us at all. Oh well, at least the dam is full to the brim. Patience is a valuable virtue in such moments. ;)

the view from Mawson's Hut in October

hard to build when your stocks look like this

our own little Mt Fuji
waterfall into dam

we be looking out for leprechauns now

Aug 2010: I'd had a crane organised to lift the rafters in place but had to keep bumping them out a few days at a time as we rapidly fell behind schedule in the wild weather. Further, the work site was getting boggier and boggier and I was pretty sure that we'd bog a crane if we tried getting it in. We'd already spent half a day extracting the semi that delivered the purlins and didn't want to go through that again! It had taken the 4WD and 2 tractors to get back up the hill.

...mmmmmm, nuff said...
After the first great washout, we decided to get on top of the site drainage and got the backhoe magician Warren back for a bit of digging. He scraped the Southern edge of the cut and dug a trench for the slotted ag-pipe (donkey's dick to those in the trade). We covered it all up with several metres of 40mm crushed rock and now had an all-seasons workspace.

can't drive on that!

ahhh, drainage

magician at work...who needs ramps

While he was onsite, Warren tested lifting the rafters (all 13.5m long) with the backhoe and we decided it would be cheaper and easier than a crane and dogger. Well, cheaper anyway! So we got him back a few days later to lift the remaining poles into place and then fly the rafters on top. All went surprisingly well and, at the end of the day, we had all poles bolted in and rafters on top with not even a scratch between us. Nice work Sol & Warren.

on the job

working through more rain
steel is flown
ready to make roof framing

Aug / Sept 2010: Purlins and blocking came next. Due to a shortage of available labour, I lifted most of these up by myself. At 290 x 45, the longer 9.5m sticks were a test of my back, arms and brain to get in the air without assistance. However, careful thought and perseverance won the day.

first few sticks up
and then a few more


more again


getting there

what a curve?

slowly does it

notice any wet slab theme going on here?


she's gonna look ace
ok, she does look ace

lotsa safetys working on my own

one end at a time

...and then walk it up the ladder under easy!

Sept 2010: Brother-in-law, Whitey spent a week helping trim and block out, then another bro-in-law, Jon spent a few more days on blocking. Unfortunately, many of the purlins had warped and sagged in the inclement weather so this was a sore test of patience. It took me a further few weeks to get it all straight(ish) enough. Several weeks of contract work back in town just added to the delay but did provide a few welcome bucks to the dwindling kitty.

Whitey on the case
first blocks

i like this shot
bit by bit

block by block

looking sharp
one row to go
J, D n K last row of blocks. Finn and Huon 'helping out'

Next: Fascias and how to cut curves in 45mm thick LVL...coming soon