Saturday, September 8, 2012


First thing on the agenda this morning was to address the exhaust leak before climbing back into the machine. The exhaust system currently on the engine is modified from the original design, and whoever did it made the mistake of hard-mounting the muffler and exhaust pipe to the frame of the machine. Although they fitted a “flexible” joint (i.e. not very) between it and the manifold, the constant movement of the engine has fractured that and hence the leak.

I managed to shorten the joint and stretch it out a little to remove the fracture, but it’s still an imperfect seal on both ends as I don’t have any exhaust sealant paste on hand, so it’s still puffing a little. Much, much better than it was though so I’m happy enough to get stuck back into it.

There’s some biiiig rock in the ground in these parts. Much of the Tallarook Ranges is Big Granite country with boulders bigger than cars, but the granite only comes so far up the hill and stops just below our property. Instead we’ve got bulk quantities of siltstone and hornfels (ironstone), which are themselves pretty useful building materials. We’ll be using stone in a few places both internally and externally; we’d be mad not to! :)

This is a sample of what came out of the ground yesterday…

These might make good foundation stones for a wall.. that’s about the only place we could use them since they’re too heavy to lift by hand :)

So with a few more hours on the machine, I’ve pretty much completed the levelling of the site ready for trenches. I had planned to not fill the ground area below the excavation towards the retaining wall, instead intending to keep the area clear as a space under the suspended slab for storage, but there was just waaay too much soil to put somewhere, so in the end I just pushed it down the hill and levelled it off and compressed it with the bucket and smudge bar.

After picking my line of level with a spirit level and string line, I managed to keep the excavation pretty level just by eye, but I think I’ll pick up a rotating laser level during the week so I can fine-tune the level and get it just right. Then I’ll be in a position to start on the trenches! :)

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