Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Never mind the Towering Inferno ...

... and never mind the legendary Tower of Power either. This is what I've been doing today.

Well, not all today. The first thing was to give the downstairs part of the lean-to a good clean-out so that I could fetch the scaffolding inside, and then I had to sweep up the floor of the first floor so that I could erect the scaffolding.

It was half-way through that part of the exercise that I realised that maybe it was not such a good idea to put the framework of the washroom in position yesterday. It's bad enough trying to negotiate the small hatch in the floor without having to negotiate a gratuitous upright as well. But I tell you what - you know these tournaments where the military have to dismantle a field gun, pass it over a wall and through a hoop and then re-assemble it? I'm entering for that next year. Putting this scaffolding up onto the first floor of the lean-to is good training for that.

And so the scaffolding was erected and that took quite a while to do - mainly because it's the first time I've put the scaffolding up on my own,and I'm not as young as I used to be. But there it is - all in place and 8 metres high. In fact it's so high that my ladder won't reach the top. I've had to put that on planks 1 metre off the ground and shin up there like a monkey.

What has impressed me is that the floor of the first floor, that I fitted last summer, is perfectly level. I provedthat by setting the adjustible feet of the scaffolding to the same height before I began the assembly,and when I checked the first row of scaffolding with a spirit level, it was absolutely level.

The floor is also extremely strong as well. Not only does it take the weight of the scaffolding, it can withstand the shock of a scaffolding plank (and these are heavy) being dropped onto it from 8 metres up. That is definitely impressive.

Mind you, never mind the answer blowing in the wind, my friend, the scaffolding at 8 metres high is swaying about too and not surprising - we've had gusts today of over 25mph.

You might be thinking to yourself that tomorrow I'll be attacking the wind turbine, but not a bit of it, and that's all Terry's fault. Normally I'd fasten the wind turbine pole with anchor bolts drilled into the wall but the problem with them is that they are never a very good fit in stone and work loose after a while - you need to be constantly tightening them up. But when we were doing the windows Terry showed me a kind of mastic that you squirt into holes and which sets like concrete. And that gave me an idea. Drill the holes about 1cm deeper than necessary, squirt a pile of stuff into the hole, ram the anchor into the hole, fit the mounting bracket and tighten up. The force and pressure will force the mastic everywhere into the hole, the crevices, the screw threads and so on, and then set like concrete and (hopefully) you won't ever be able to move it. I need to wait until Saturday and shopping so that I can get a tube or two of it. It's expensive but if it does the job it will be well worth it.

And so until the weekend I'll be pointing the wall, and in the comparative luxury of a scaffolding too. It makes a change from shinning up ladders with a bucket of stones, a bucket of water and paintbrush, a loose-handled brush, a hammer and chisel, some mortar and a trowel. 

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