Saturday, February 9, 2013

Slightly smaller tracts of Hebel

With the long, 18m side of the garage just about completely clad in Hebel, today we turned our attention to the rear wall, about 8m long.

But before we could get near it with the Hebel, we needed to clear the space. Like the space alongside the long wall, I used this spot to dump the spoil from the garage slab footing excavations and until now I've not got around to doing anything about it. This is what we're faced with this morning:

It doesn't look like much in the photo, but there's rather a lot of soil piled up there and so we're into it with the bobcat. Here's Gareth doing his utmost to avoid rolling the machine down the hill...

... and here's the result of my over-exuberance and underestimation of the rear overhang of the bobcat, making a turn with a full bucket :(

These things are bloody hard work enough to put up once, without having to do it again! I rather like Gareth's assessment:
I'm effing glad that wasn't me driving!
Of slightly greater concern is the increasing quantity of hydraulic oil dribbling out of the bottom of the bobcat. When I had it apart to fix the chaincase idler gear I did notice there was rather a lot of sludge in the guts of the machine meaning there's a hose leaking in there somewhere.. but it's obviously worsened as I'm leaving a visible trail of oil behind me.

Please, please, please don't break down on me now...

In sympathy I decided to clear just enough space to manoeuvre the Hebel panels, and leave the rest of the pile until I can afford for the bobcat to break. If it goes now, our workload will treble having to carry each panel a good 40m from the stack to this wall.

With the space clear (enough) I set about cutting panels to length while Gareth finished off installing the battens. By early afternoon we had a large part of the wall installed:

... and a correspondingly large quantity of empty beer/cider bottles to match. I can sense a pattern forming here... ;)

However, we have the beginnings of a problem. To cut the Hebel panels I'm using a diamond-tipped blade in my trusty old Triton circular saw. This is about 12 years old by now and has already done its fair share of hard work on my saw table but cutting this Hebel is really making it sweat. All day I've been starting to sense that its no-load speed is slowing down slightly, and it's not developing as much torque as it has been. I can't say I'm surprised, I've asked a lot of it these past few weeks.

With a little mechanical sympathy we pressed on, and got as far as cutting the opening for the last window when I began to smell a very distinct hot electrical odour through my face mask. The saw is producing a very impressive light show around the brushes which I guess means it's had enough. Me too!

We very nearly got the rear wall finished, but fell two panels short and with no means to cut any more, this is how it'll stay until I can get replacement brushes for the saw.

All in all, not a bad result for two days hard labour :) The good news is...

Yaaay!!! No more Hebel to install!!!

I'm a bit over it at the moment.. :) Tomorrow we'll attack something more fun!

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