Saturday, May 12, 2012

Batch mixed, forms reset

So this is where an extra pair of hands (or two) would be very useful right about now. It’s taken from about 12:30 until now (14:45) to reset the forms and mix up another full batch of soil. Admittedly, securing the forms took longer than expected - although my measurements yesterday were pretty accurate, the holes in the forms don’t quite line up with the holes in the columns so there’s been quite a bit of fettling required to get everything bolted into place.

One thing I love about building these walls though is the reveal - carefully prising the form panel away from the wall, revealing an absolutely beautiful surface lurking beneath is incredibly rewarding. There are still small imperfections and minor tear-out where the bolts have been removed, but overall I’m thrilled with how the first course has turned out. The layering is really nicely consistent, and I think I’ve figured out what’s causing the black staining - I originally thought it was the brand new film-face form ply leaving some colour behind, but looking more closely at it I think it’s the result of the rubber ramming head leaving marks on the form ply which are being transferred to the earth. There’s less staining in the centre of the wall, probably because the bolts are preventing me from striking the forms as much with the ramming head. Not sure what I can do about this though…

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