Saturday, May 12, 2012

A productive morning

So far so good! I got through the first half batch in no time flat, which rammed down to about two thirds of the first course of formwork, about four or five layers. I’m getting better at measuring out the loose quantity poured into the forms too (having the reo mesh in place helps here, as the horizontal bars are at 200mm centres so it’s easier to keep a consistent thickness).

I had expected that having the mesh in the middle of the wall would be a serious inconvenience - I can’t ram the whole width of the wall from one side as I did with the test wall, but it along with the clamping bolts installed in the middle of the panel mean that I end up ramming the wall in quadrants and it’s actually a help rather than a hindrance. Concentrating the ramming on smaller areas at a time means I’m more consistent with my coverage, which with any luck will produce a better result. Time will tell :) Adding the bolts to the middle of the wall was well worth it - the forms haven’t budged a single millimetre, so this one looks like it’ll be perfectly straight!

So far I’ve used about 1.5m3 of loose mix, which has rammed down to about 1.0m in height. This equates to about a 2:1 compression ratio which is a little more than I expected, but I’ve got plenty of raw materials so there’s no problem.

So I’m a little under half way through the ramming, and it’s lunchtime. The compressor conveniently just ran out of fuel and I’ve used the last of the batch so it’s a perfect time for a break. After lunch I’ll leapfrog the forms, mix up another full batch and get back into the ramming :)

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