Sunday, 14 February 2016

Two more piers

      Yesterday we both didn't have to work for the first time in months, so we convinced each other to go down to the clearing and do some building work. The set-up to start work takes a bloody long time in itself - taking down all the tools that will be needed, a big bottle of water, running electrical cable from the generator shed, and starting the generator. All in the blazing hot sun. Then the really hard work starts.
      Previously all of the piers had been lined up both ways along the house site to ensure it was straight, and the metal pier had been cut to the right height.

     Step 1: Drilling with a hammer-drill - through the holes in the metal base - into the concrete, to make sure the holes are going to be in exactly the right place.


     Step 2: Moved the base out of way to reveal the holes and get them ready to drill properly. Drilled the holes to full depth, stopping a couple of times to pull the very fine concrete dust out and then using the air-compressor to blow the dust out of the holes. This air-compressor was originally purchased years ago to be used for painting with an air-brush. It was experimented with a couple of times but never actually used for air-painting, but luckily it has now had a second life! Full depth is reached when the drill bit gets deep enough for the piece of tape around the drill bit to be level with the concrete.

      Step 3: The dynabolts are put into the holes, and then due to the tight fit, are banged in with a hammer partially down the hole.

     Step 4: The plastic under-plate is placed over the dynabolts.

     Step 5: The metal base is placed on the plastic under-plate (requiring a little coercion with the hammer), then the washers placed on the dynabolts.

     Step 6: The nuts are screwed onto the dynabolts, and then the dynabolts are hammered down until they reach full depth.

     Step 7: The nuts are tightened so that the dynabolts do their magic underground expanding thing, which is what makes them tightly attached to provide maximum strength so that our house won't blow away in a big wind.

     Step 8: The pier is placed over the metal base-plate, and Josh stands back and looks pretty pleased with his handiwork.

     In theory it all seems quite simple and quick, but it is exhaustingly hot out in the clearing (since we had to clear all the trees for bushfire safety there is NO shade), and everything that is in the sun is burningly hot to touch, so poor humans get wiped out pretty quick. Two piers were done yesterday, and Josh had decided that the hammer-drill that he is using is not really up to the job. It really damages his wrist forcing it to drill the holes into the concrete, so next we are looking at buying a better tool. There are still a lot of holes that need drilling!