Friday, March 23, 2012


Some reasonable progress today in between rain showers.  I really need an area under cover so I can set up the saw bench without having to pack it up when the rain starts…

The Hilux tray sure does make a convenient work platform, and when it rains I can just bundle all the tools up and throw them onto the back seat :)

I’ve managed to put both columns together, although the second doesn’t have the chamfers yet.  These are a cast iron bastard to cut; my only 45º angle is the back of the guide fence on the saw bench, and cutting 2.6m lengths of pine on that at the full extent of the saw blade is slooooow going, with lots of smoke. Not to mention the circuit breakers on the generator tripping when I try to push too fast…

I still need to cut a 100x50mm chamfered “tongue” for one of the forms to create the control joints, but I think I’ll belay that until I can pick up some suitable timber. I’m tempted to use some 90x45 pine, but the engineering spec asks for 100 wide control joints, so I’ll do it by the book and get the right stuff.

The aim tomorrow is to make up the side panels. I had originally intended to use full 1200x2400 form ply sheets in order to reduce the number of joints visible in the rammed wall, but after putting the columns together I think full height panels will be too heavy to handle by myself without injury.  So instead, I’ll cut them down to 2400x600 and use the 50x50x5 steel angle I have here as horizontal bracing, instead of timber.  This will allow me to bolt two successive courses of forms together accurately and hopefully minimise the visibility of the joint between the panels.

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