shaun

Jul 202017
 

Today, we resumed our creation efforts of a Birds Mouth and End of Eve template. We had a think overnight and we have decided that we could use the battery circular saw machine after all. After careful considerations, we started building up the layers of the template and then lines of 63 CLS timber, three lines at the bottom and a gap for the 89mm CLS Rafter Flange and another three lines of 63mm CLS timber. All this was glued and screwed together because we couldn’t rely on the screws surviving when we cut a whole series of clearance slots at the different angles we will need for making the Birds Mouth. We have five angles in total as follows:
• 32degrees – rafters coming down onto Wall A and E plus M and I.
• 33 degrees – Rafters to Wall B and D plus L and J.
• 40degrees – Rafters to Wall P, N and H.
• 45degrees – Rafters to Wall O and K.
• 60degrees – Special Rafters for Porch on Wall C.
We printed off on A3 paper all the Birds Mouth shapes and stuck it down on our wooden template and drew lines across the surface and used our heavy duty mains powered circular saw which has a thick strong saw blade in it and sliced clearance channels along 8 separate slots. We then did the same at the other end of the template to provide a place where the Ends of the Eve is also done at the same time as both the Birds Mouth and where exactly to cut the end is very much related to what roof angle we are dealing with. The important factor is that the gutter’s must all line up to the same height, no matter what angle the roof is. So we had a collection of numbers to position where the jig needed to go for doing the end of the eves. Again, the heavy duty saw came into its own in making more slots so our battery saw can just slide along the guide and just cut the 89mm CLS timber where we needed and get the job done quickly.
Next, we took a square piece of plywood and cut out a right angle segment (plus an extra piece to accommodate for the battery saw base plate) and this will provide the actual and exact guide for running the battery saw long. This was similarly done for the other end to provide a guide for the different angles at the end of the timber which will in turn be connected to the Facia board.

Birds-Mouth-and-end-cutting-jig

Birds-Mouth-and-end-cutting-jig


We were successful at the end of the day, by creating a Birds Mouth notch and the correct angled cut on the end of the timber as seen below in the picture
Test-piece-cut

Test-piece-cut


It is quite complex but we made it or at least we hope, so as we haven’t used it in anger under full production runs so we will have to keep our fingers crossed!
Tomorrow, we continue with the next tools and jig template like the measuring template to help us get the length of each rafter accurate and be able to trim little amounts off the top end.

 Posted by at 5:55 pm
Jul 192017
 

This afternoon, we tackled the next tool and template we will need for the production of our roof rafters and this time, it was the Bird’s Mouth jig template. We thought we could use the jigsaw machine to give us the means of quickly cutting the two straight sides of the “notch” at the bottom of the 89mm CLS timber. But our tests revealed that the jigsaw does NOT like being guided by an external straight edge, it kept wanting to curve towards the guide edge and bending the blade! it seems that jigsaws works best free form, meaning that one has to follow the line by eye, rather than the whole machine being guided by something else. it was quiet annoying to realise this!
Next, we tried using a router with a long straight cutter bit but the piece of our timber we are trying to cut is 38mm thick and it proved too hard for the router machine to cope with it all! Phew! Finally, we looked at using a circular saw! But, even though it cuts a lovely straight line, the machine itself is not very symmetrical and would have meant a very complicated template with moving flaps to make it work properly!!
That brought us to the end of the day and we abandon that task as well!!
Tomorrow, we will tackle this problem again and probably end up with a simple jig to guide a hand saw and we will have to do the job of making over 200 Bird Mouth notches by muscle power alone! Phew!

 Posted by at 5:21 pm
Jul 192017
 

This morning, after the thunderstorm and lightning we had from 4am to 6am, and collecting 22mm of rain in that time too, we had to go out and see why the water wasn’t draining away from our floor slab, plus also why our rain shadow tent had a huge bulge in the tarpaulin roof!

Water-bulge-in-Tarpaulin

Water-bulge-in-Tarpaulin


First of all, the pump was running and seems to have been doing so since the early hours! The reason for the water not being suck up was .. lots and lots of wooden rubbish blocking the input vents at the bottom of the motor!! The whole thing was wrapped around with a plastic netting which is where the blockage was so we took off the netting and promptly all the remaining rubbish we couldn’t get out of the water got sucked up and blocked the inside of the pump instead! Argh!
We unscrewed the bottom plate and after a while of scratching our heads, realised that another piece also came off the bottom to reveal the impeller .. and the blockage of rubbish!! We cleaned it all out, flushed it backwards using the garden hose and put it back together but with an additional metal mesh to try and keep the finer plastic mesh away from the pump and its input vents. The motor went back in the sump hole and it merrily pumped away and within a couple of hours or even less than that, most of the water, which we estimate to be about 7000 litres, was flushed away down into our underground rain soak-away module!!
Updated-pump-filter

Updated-pump-filter


Next, dealing with the bulge in our tarpaulin tent roof, we tried lifting it and pushing it from below, but it was far too heavy. It is likely to have been about 400 litres or more which means it weighs 400kg! It was amazing that the tarpaulin was able to support that amount of water and weight! We solved the problem of shifting the water by the old fashioned trick of syphoning it off with a hose and sucking on the end to get it started (and suffering a mouth full of water!!). It gushed out quite quickly and soon the bulge was no more!
Syphon-hose-in-water-bulge

Syphon-hose-in-water-bulge


But, we discovered that more rain water managed to get inside between the layers of the tarpaulin and the whole thing was sagging in many spots and also some of the eyelets that had rope tying them down had ripped completely out too!
So we decided to abandon the whole tent idea and take the tarpaulin down. It was much simpler to wrap the LVL timber in another tarpaulin instead to protect it from the rain! Oh Well! That’s Life!

 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Jul 182017
 

We made our first tool today! It is a joint compressor for squeezing the webbing (the plywood layers) hard onto the flanges (89mm or 63mm CLS timber planks) and making sure the glue is spread as thinly as possible to gain the maximum strength in the joint.
It is made using steel angle iron pieces with side arms and little upright piece and then a long “handle” with a couple of holes to provide the pivot point. A wooden footplate and sturdy short pillar to hold the bolt that is holding the metal part of this tool at the correct height to squeeze the rafters, first with just one plywood layer and then again when the second layer goes on later.

Joint clamp - The machine

Joint clamp - The machine

Joint clamp - First Apply glue

Joint clamp - First Apply glue


Joint Clamp - close and apply pressure

Joint Clamp - close and apply pressure

Joint clamp - Open and move to next position

Joint clamp - Open and move to next position



This tool will slide under the edge of the template that will hold the component parts of the rafter and squash the joint and hold it tight while the nail gun comes along and puts in four or five nails to lock things together while the glue dries and make it good and permanent.
Tomorrow, we will work on the next tool and template, probably the Bird Mouth and “end of Eve’s” template!

 Posted by at 5:50 pm
Jul 172017
 

For the start of the week, we did a massive tidy up operation in our workshop today! It was very necessary as the finished rafters are very long and we needed the room to have a stack of ready-to-go materials, a working assembly area and finally, a stack of completed pieces. For example, the largest rafter is 5.5metres long and 400mm wide. And in total, we will be making just about 200 of them in all sizes!! So This meant having one major spring clean (in the middle of Summer!) of the whole workshop, moving out pieces of equipment and bits and pieces we did not need at this precise moment in time to our other storage rooms and then rearranging everything on the side workbench so we could clear away the middle part of the workshop, collapse down a line of storage tables and swept the place clean!

Floor-cleared-for-Rafter-making

Floor-cleared-for-Rafter-making


We are one very dusty individuals at the end of the day! But at least, we are now in the position to get a production line going once we have designed and set up the equipment, tools and templates which we will start doing tomorrow!!

 Posted by at 6:13 pm
Jul 152017
 

We did some miscellaneous tasks around the building site this afternoon, at the same time, talking about what we needed in terms of tools, jigs and templates to help us with the manufacturing of our roof rafters.
The tasks were as follows:
• Fixed and cleaned out the water pump non-return valve.
• Tidy up the workshop of all the polystyrene foam waste bits and the tools
• Sprayed weed killer around different areas of the building site
• Trimmed back the old hedge along the Loke
• Repaired the Sabre Saw where the blade wouldn’t hold in place anymore(a little spring clip has been knocked out of position).
• Emptied Rubbish

The tools and templates we talked about are as follows:
• A squashing tool to ensure a tight joints between the plywood webbing and the flange of all the rafters
• A measuring jig that hooks up on the steel I-Beams and the outer walls to allow us to check the distance down to the outside walls.
• A rafter template to hold the long lengths of the timber and plywood in place, ready for gluing and nailing.
• A birds mouth jig for making the notch in the flange
• A jig to create an nibbed scarf joint (long diagonal joint with stepped ends) to join up two CLS pieces together making the required stronger lengths.
• Planning the logistics of materials and workshop layout for supply of parts and placement of finished items.

On Monday, we can start in earnest with all those items of action points above!! Grin!

 Posted by at 5:21 pm
Jul 152017
 

This morning, we finished off the last final section of the Kerb framework of the Skylight. The long side facing the Loke is now done.

Kerb-finished

Kerb-finished


We now have a complete loop of a framework structure sitting on top of the steel I-Beams, ready for the roof rafters to bump up to and also ready for the Skylight glazing framework to be installed on top as well.

 Posted by at 1:18 pm
Jul 142017
 

This afternoon, we did a small job while we had other family commitments to attend to, and enhanced the depth of the existing sump drainage hole in the middle of our concrete floor slab for removing rainwater falling inside our building.
We used our SDS drill machine to drill down another inch at the bottom of the hole and then chisel the lumps away to make a reasonable smooth bottom. But while trying to remove the buried original plastic foot (this held up the bucket during the floor slab pourings), the rest of the concrete down below started to break away so we had to remove all the concrete all the way down to the DPM layer.
We then mixed some fresh concrete with a high cement ratio and made it very dry so we could mould it into a neat flat bottom with vertical sides to fill in all the sides and hollows and make it waterproof again.

Upgraded-pump-sump

Upgraded-pump-sump


Now the water pump with its built-in automatic liquid level sensor will operate at a lower level in the sump hole and drain more water away from our concrete slab. We Hope! Grin!

 Posted by at 5:57 pm
Jul 132017
 

Today, we carried on with the last stage of putting together the Kerb Framework around the Skylight. We Came along the long side of the Skylight (nearer side to the swimming lane) working from the Great Room end towards the Garage.

One-side-of-Kerb-finished

One-side-of-Kerb-finished


We just about managed to get that done before lunch, stopping just short of the Chimney Support Arm. After lunch, we resume our way around and finished the day about half way along the other long side, this time the side nearer the Loke!
Nearly-halfway-along-the-other-side

Nearly-halfway-along-the-other-side


All is going in ok, with the glue, screws and water protection skim on the top edges of the plywood and OSB boards. We have just about 8 metres to go and then we are finished completely. The next job is to start building the special diagonal rafters for the 12 corners and get them installed on their special wall legs and get everything positioned and fixed into place.

 Posted by at 6:17 pm
Jul 122017
 

We carried on with building up the Kerb Framework around the Skylight today, finishing off putting on the top planks of timber, the 89mm CLS pieces around on the narrower sections.
Then, after a nice interruption by some family visitors arriving coming to see our work etc, we then started putting in the final layers of the polystyrene foam boards and covering the whole lot up with the 18mm OSB boards to make a strong outer skin to the Kerb and provide a good solid structure to fix the roof rafters, the various roofing components like the copper flashing to etc.
We completed one section down at the Great Room end of the Skylight.

First-part-of-kerb-finished

First-part-of-kerb-finished


Tomorrow, we will carry on up the two long sides, inserting the 38mm thick foam boards and gluing and screwing down the 18mm OSB covers.

 Posted by at 5:28 pm