Thursday, November 24, 2011

The digging begins

The next job for the bobcat was to form up and straighten out the cutting, before making preparations for the garage slab. Pretty easy work with the backhoe, pretty impossible without it. 


Then with the track formed up and we could get the truck in, we picked up an old shipping container for site security first, but it will be surrounded by the garage and turn into a structural member / storage room later. 


Then with the container on-site, we needed to dig & pour footings for it. First, marking out: 


Then the digging. This was actually pretty hard going, the ground here is very hard and there’s lots of rock, so the rock breaker got a decent workout (and I even managed to break it once!) The small size of the pads (700x700) meant I couldn’t easily dig with the backhoe without making a mess of it, so most of this was done the old fashioned way. I am however developing a nice set of callouses… 


With the footings dug, we could form them up and pour: 


Finally, (doing my finest Jewish slave impersonation) I did the Egyptian thing and nudged the container over to its pads on logs. 


(granted, the Egyptians didn’t have bobcats, but they did have more than one slave…)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gearing up

This is what the garage and dwelling will look like (if it were made of paper!) 


The site is cut-and-fill, so the garage will sit right up against the cutting in the hill, with the dwelling above extending onto the hill. 

Since we’re doing pretty much all the work ourselves including the earthworks, the first thing to do was buy the right tool for the job: 


(it even came with a driver!) 

It’s a 1994-vintage Mustang bobcat, with 4-in-1 bucket, backhoe, auger and rock breaker. Its first job was to form up the access track a little for construction access, since it was basically nothing more than a couple of wheel tracks worn into the bush.