Author Topic: A good day's work!  (Read 23285 times)

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Don't try budging in front of me Collette...I know hockey moves and am not afraid to smash you into the boards.   :lol:

Offline born2boogie

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Don't try budging in front of me Collette...I know hockey moves and am not afraid to smash you into the boards.   :lol:

I cant fight my way out of a wet paper bag.. so you win  :lol:

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Yeah! I knew someday being a hockey fan would pay off.

Offline Sverre

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Any plans to treat it, if at all?

We're still debating that. The natural patina of untreated wood would look totally wicked on a building like this, and both the spruce and pine (most of the sapwood has been hewn off from the posts) we're using should be able to last for generations without treatment provided that they are allowed to dry up once in a while. The damp coastal climate and the fact that our house and garage have been stained in a brownish hue speak in favour of staining it though...

If you've got a spare couch I can be on a plane at the end of the week...

Hehehe... I don't think it would be much fun for you to sit around twiddling your thumbs for a whole week while I'm at work though. And most likely, I'll finish the hewing part for now on Saturday. As mentioned earlier, there will be other projects in the future, so if you're serious about this, there might be opportunities for a visit then.

Offline Captain Tophat

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I love doing projects like this, so I would be up for it.

But realistically speaking, I'll have to stick to such things in this part of the world, for the time being.

There isn't much work more satisfying than something physical and constructive.

Offline Sverre

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Three logs in two days and all six posts are finally done!



And not a moment too soon if we want them dry enough to build with this summer...

Now I'm really looking forward to be able to relax a bit and spend some more time doing what I like best - fly fishing - before we start on the dry stone wall :D

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Offline Captain Tophat

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Offline vfly79

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Offline Sverre

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We had hoped to get started with the walling last weekend, but that ended in a rather heated debate over dry stone walling principles/techniques. My dad wanted to trace the stones to save time and space, which is a bit limited because of a change of plan since the building site was excavated, and also to get more wall meters out of the stone he has bought. Even though this would probably be more than good enough for our purpose, and create a wall which would stand strong for many generations, I just couldn't accept it, so I refused to help unless we build with the strength/the longest axis of the stones facing into the wall.

We're both equally stubborn, but during the week, we've reached a compromise where most of my complaints have been resolved. I still may have to accept a few traced stones, but at least it should be kept to a bare minimum.

Yesterday, I finally got started on the process of sorting the stones according to size and/or type, which is a real pain, but very important for the rest of the walling process. Today, everything was covered in snow, so now there will be another week's delay before we can begin on the wall...

In more positive news, I received three new Gränsfors axes today. The fourth is on backorder :grin: One Carpenter's Axe and both a small and large Straight Adze. I've never used an adze before, but it seems to have great potential for the type of work we've been doing, so that will be very interesting to try out.

Offline Sverre

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Yet another Saturday with abysmal weather, but at least we got started on the first wall today, and now that the foundation has been laid, progress on the next courses should be a lot quicker. Stone is a very difficult and unpredictable material to work with though, and the stone we have doesn't seem to be quite as easy to split as we had hoped...


Offline Velvet Revolver

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That's beautiful stone work!

Offline Sverre

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Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how the foundation turned out, and I think my dad is glad he let me call most of the shots too :) It's straight and level with solid contact between each stone. Two of the stones had to be traced, but they're wide enough that it shouldn't really matter... I think :P

Offline Sverre

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Progress on the wall is still slow, but at least we've managed to get a few more stones in place before I've had to leave for work these past couple of mornings.



Tomorrow, I'm free from work, so hopefully, I can report of better progress then...

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Offline Sverre

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The walling has turned out to be much more time-consuming than we originally thought it would be, and due to conflicting schedules and strict quality standards :lol: we still got a LONG way to go, but here's a little status update:





Unfortunately, my dad only had a couple of hours to dedicate to the project today, so we only managed to finish four (three actually, since one of them split into two during shaping/trimming) stones before he had to leave. They were fairly tricky ones which required lots of work to fit to the adjoining bedrock though, so I'd still call it a good day's work :)


Offline Velvet Revolver

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That is going to be so beautiful when it's done. 

Offline Velvet Revolver

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Offline Sverre

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Yes, but unfortunately not as much as I had hoped for. Stone has proved to be a very unforgiving building material to work with :? I'll see if I can post a few pictures of the current "progress" sometime later this week, but in the mean time, these pictures I was supposed to post back in June will have to do...

The first stones of the opposing wall's foundation:



An A-frame/a batter frame is essential, especially if you want both sides of the wall to look (somewhat) presentable:
 


A few more stones complete the foundation, and the top corner is also starting to take shape:



This is where we ran into a real snag which I'll tell you more about next time...
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 01:19:23 PM by Sverre »

Offline Velvet Revolver

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What you've done does look really nice

Offline Captain Tophat

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Offline Sverre

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Sorry for the delay, but here's finally the update I promised you...

By the middle of June our supply of stone was running a bit low, so it started to become increasingly difficult to find exactly the stone we needed at every step. Therefore a new truckload was ordered from the quarry. Despite very specific requirements regarding the type of stones we needed, it became immediately apparent that the new batch of stones were nowhere near the standard of the first truckload we received.

Instead of large slabs between 10 and 20 cm thick, we got mostly smaller and thicker stones with little or no usable sides to use in the face of the wall... :?





Well, at least the stones in the first batch had been relatively easy to split, so we settled on the thought that we should be able to create enough usable stones to complete the wall. Due to different schedules, other projects AND insane amounts of bloodthirsty gnats, it took a couple of weeks before the real disappointment hit us. It turns out that the stones are filled with tiny micro fractures going in every direction, so when you try to split them, they literally just fall to pieces. If you're really lucky, the side you need remains whole - at least until you try to dress it a bit - but usually, both sides are ruined.

As an example:





Splits into:





Frustrating to say the least... My theory is that the explosive charge must have been too strong when this batch of stone was quarried. Possibly in combination with a harder and more brittle type of rock. One thing is certain though, it ruined the four weeks of vacation I had dedicated to this project in July and August. We have been promised a chance to hand-pick a new small truckload as a compensation, but as long as we don't have any suitable place to store it, that won't help us in the short term.

Not everything has been bad though. A month ago we stumbled upon a great deal on a fireplace for the house :D A brand new Dovre 2020 CB, which had been collecting dust in the store's basement for several years after they stopped being a Dovre retailer:



And despite the problems with the new batch of stone - probably in large thanks to the remaining stones from the first batch - I'm actually quite pleased with the wall we've built so far:





It's just that there's so much left to do...

Offline Velvet Revolver

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The splits look bad in that second batch.  It's a shame that it delayed your building.  Good work on scoring the fireplace though.  The wall does look nice.  Hopefully the next batch of stone is better but winter is closing in fast...

Offline Sverre

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The dry stone wall is still FAR from finished, but we've made some progress in key areas since the snow melted earlier this spring, and now we're actually getting really close to a point where the house can be raised :o



We just need a few more stones in the upper right corner to bring it up one additional course/layer. That shouldn't be too difficult, but we're running out to suitable stones for the task, so on Friday we're taking a trip to the quarry to handpick half a truckload as compensation for the bad batch we received last summer. That should hopefully give us plenty of stone to complete the whole project.

Today's session resulted in the completion of the bottom vent for the fireplace - currently seen plugged by a piece of wood. It was only one (and a half) stone, but the height difference between the two sides made it exceedingly tricky. The result looks pretty decent though, if I must say so myself 8)

Sorry for the lousy picture by the way. Not exactly what I'd call ideal light for cell phone photography today...

Offline Velvet Revolver

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