Saturday 31 July 2010

Day 111 - scaffolding erected

View from the second scaffold lift.

View from the first scaffold lift.

Scaffolding complete!

Scaffolding starts to be erected.

Friday 30 July 2010

Day 110

We made the next two ladders simultaneously.

The nail gun in action, fixing one of the rungs/ noggins.

Today we are starting the next two timber ladder which will be located within the straw bales.  We have constructed this jig to make it quicker.  The rails of each ladder are fed in each side and the noggins (rungs) span between them.  Two gaps in the jig opposite where the rung is located allow a nail to be fired using the nail gun to fix the noggin in place.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Day 109

The rail lift up and fixed into position.

Once we have compressed the straw with ratchets we will put on permanent straps, which will go round the timber ladders.  These need to be in place before we fix the first timber ladder down to the masonry.  The straps are shown here, cut to length & ready to go.

The first straw ladder completed.  It was not possible to use a nail gun on these as we needed 150mm fixings (nail gun limited is 90mm), so we decided to screw the timber together.  The next ladders will use smaller timber sections, will be fixed with nail gun and do not need to be notched around the straps, so should be much quicker to construct.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Day 108

The rail notched ready to fit around the posts.

The bearers cut to length.

The carpenters have moved onto constructing and fixing the rail (shown in red) and the bearers either side of the post under the rail (shown in blue).

The first ladder section completed and laid in situ.  The added complication with this ladder is that it has to be cut around the holding down straps.

Construction of the ladders begins!

Next task to prepare for the straw is to start constructing the timber ladders which will go underneath and between the straw bales.  The ladder under the straw (shown in red) will be constructed of ex.50x100, while the other ladders (shown in blue) will use 38x50mm.  There will also be similar ladders on the first floor.

The ladders will be used to locate the ratchet straps around, in order to compress the bales.  They will also be fixed to the timber posts which will tie the bales to the main timber frame.

Stakes neatly pointed and bundled.

Of course the dog wanted to help again!

As well as pointing the hazel using the axe and billhook, we also tried using the table saw.  This was very quick!

We are now starting to get ready for putting in the straw.  Hazel stakes will be banged into the bales from the third bale upwards to pin the bales together.  These hazel sticks need to be halved and then pointed on one end.

All the frames now up.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Day 107

Two more frames up today, now only two remaining.  Work was stopped short today due to the rain.

Monday 26 July 2010

Day 106 - the first frames go up

The view from the boundary with next door.

The kitchen corner complete with framed out window.

The two part sole plate is fixed with angle plates and the straps are now secured over the plate.

Temporarily propped.   The weather is a bit miserable and damp.

The first frames are up!

Sunday 25 July 2010

Day 105

The timber in its new home!

With a mounting pile of frames at one end of the slab we need to clear some more space on the slab.  Probably about 2/3 of the timber already moved out in this photo... we're on the home straight!

Saturday 24 July 2010

Day 104

After a good days work the fire pit was christened!

Hazel stubs (300mm long) with their new points.

Voted the best tool for the job!

... by far the least effective method!

We also tried using an electric planer set up in a workmate - this was very quick but we decided it did not make a very satisfying noise and it was much more fun to employ one of the other methods...

... billhook...

We also started to put points on the end of the hazel stubs today.  There are different methods we tried - axe...

Upper and lower levels complete on both sides.  Now these need to be backfilled with top soil inbetween, and steps constructed in the centre.  The tops also need to be trimmed to the right height.