Friday, November 2, 2012

What do we have here...

So the first order of business today was to get a look at this slab we’ve poured, which has been curing nicely underneath the plastic for a couple of weeks.


All the edge rebates are nicely formed up and crisp, and the surface looks pretty level with no major low spots (save for the around the shower drain!) Happy with that!

I’ve decided the first job for the weekend will be framing - nothing like making visible progress to stir the motivation! With this in mind, I need to make the stairwell opening safe - I can’t leave it open while I’m working around it, otherwise I’ll find myself doing my best Wile E. Coyote impersonation, complete with YIKES! sign.

Enter the humble shipping pallet…

I’ve got a stack of these on the site, they’re the most useful thing! I take the boys out in the Hilux on a Sunday afternoon occasionally and drive around the industrial areas around Yarraville and Williamstown, looking for abandoned pallets. Even now the kids will spot them for me whenever we’re in the car :) So these ones I’ve pinned to the frame below through the opening, using scrap bits of timber so they can’t move. Now at least I feel like I can walk around safely :)

A couple of hours on the bench saw later, and I have all my studs, top & bottom plates and noggings ready to go for two frames - the first being directly behind the stairwell opening, and the second at right angles to it forming the outside wall of the bathroom.

A few minutes with the nail gun (have I mentioned how much I love this tool!?) and…

One frame!

… and a slight problem. The little frames downstairs I was able to lift and move largely by myself, but this one is 4.6m long and 2.7m high, and must weigh 60 or 70 kilos, too much for me to lift upright without assistance. Well, I don’t have an assistant on hand today, so a little ingenuity is in order.

My first idea was to use multiple “legs” attached to the frame which would swing to the vertical as I lifted the frame up, but I didn’t have the right lengths of scrap timber (and I don’t want to cut up my framing lengths) so I moved to plan B.

Things got a little hairy at this height, as the frame wanted to slide off the pallets. I kept it from falling over the edge with a few blocks nailed to the pallets, and then used a few swinging leg props to get up towards vertical. It sounds a lot easier in words than it really was…

Things remained hairy as I got the frame vertical, as I had to get it off the pallets and onto the slab without having it slip over the edge. It took plenty of slow, careful thinking and one absolute monster prop to stop the frame tipping over beyond vertical but in the end it’s in the right spot.

So that’s it for today - tomorrow’s focus will be to get the second frame up!

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