Nov 262018

We continued with the task of slicing up the wider rolls (four of them) into a little bit narrower width (380mm because we are using narrower slates than we envisaged months ago when we bought the rubber), using our dispenser with the razor blade as the cutting tool. But we discovered that the rubber material had too much flex in it to keep it straight and it wobbled side to side and made a ragged edge, especially after pulling out longer pieces. So we had a think .. and decided to replace the razor blade attachment with a battery powered scissors instead.

Rubber Strips for Hips and Ridges Done and Metal Mesh Dispenser Coming Together


It worked much better but it was still awkward in trying to handle the rubber material and we ended up getting a third pair of hands to help to help roll up the cut rubber – we needed 1 person to unroll (the rubber is firmly ‘stuck’ on the roll) and 2 to re-roll (1 for each strip).
We now have a trug full of 15 lengths of rubber strips, for the hips and ridges, alongside another 2 trugs of similar pieces but for the guttering.
Rubber Strips for Hips and Ridges Done and Metal Mesh Dispenser Coming Together


So that’s that job done so everything was dismantled and we started making the next dispenser, this time for the roll of the metal mesh. This metal mesh is for covering the gutters to keep out large items like leaves, moss and other rubbish blown on the wind.
The mesh is a grid with 5mm spacings and the roll (being 920mm wide) will be chopped up into 300mm lengths and we are planning to use a guillotine like mechanism to cut the mesh. We will find out later on whether it will work or not .. time will tell!

 Posted by at 6:02 pm
Nov 242018

Today, we made a dispenser to hold a roll of rubber membrane (20m long strips 500mm wide wrapped on a cardboard tube) so we could easily unroll each roll of rubber and cut them to the required lengths. We had a list of 16 numbers, optimised to minimise wastage off these 20m rolls.



We now have a pile of cut pieces ranging from 1.4m to 10.2m long, ready to be inserted into the guttering when we get to assemble each section around the house.
We then modified the dispenser by adding a cutting module, positioned at 380mm from one edge so we can produce a narrower strip of rubber for protecting the hip and ridge lines. The cutting module was made by sandwiching a classic razor blade in between two strip of battens and then screwed down to the upper layer of the cement board.
Dispenser and Cutter for Rolls of Rubber membrane


Even a razor blade struggled to cut the rubber membrane when we tried to slide it through the thin slot. But we realised that if one manually cut a short distance first, it started slicing fairly easily afterwards.
On Monday, we will slice the remaining four rolls and cut a further 15 lengths (10 hips, 5 ridges).

 Posted by at 5:51 pm
Nov 242018

We took the opportunity yesterday and this morning, to install two LED flood lights up inside our house. Each 300W unit was fixed right in the roof, just under our skylight on each narrow end section, pointing towards each other and downwards.

Flood Lights Installed Inside House


Flood Lights Installed Inside House


Flood Lights Installed Inside House


We put a waterproof switch beside the Side Door entrance and ran the 5amp mains cable up and along a rafter to the Skylight. The amount of illumination from the 60o Watts of LED lights is about 60,000 lumens or equivalent to 4000 Watts of old fashioned Tungsten flood lights!

 Posted by at 11:31 am
Nov 232018

Whilst planning the slating of the roof we found we needed to attach the guttering to each roof section before anything else because it is the lowest part of the roof and everything else ‘flows’ into it. But if we install the gutter we need somewhere for the water to go so we have to connect the previously installed downpipes to the underground pipe to the rain water filtration unit.

So yesterday and this morning, we went around putting in the connecting pipes.
There were eight of them to do around the house, five of them were in corners and the other three were in a middle of a wall section.

Eight Downpipes Installed


Eight Downpipes Installed


Eight Downpipes Installed


The only complicated bit of the task to do, was around on the “P” section and the future conservatory. We had originally laid a continuous pipeline running along the whole length of the Great Room, from front to back, but we decided that it would make more sense to remove the section that would go under the conservatory and have the two downpipes to be the starting point of the underground pipelines. So we dug out the existing pipe and replaced the “T” junctions with plain sweep bends instead.

Eight Downpipes Installed


Now we are ready! So as we complete each section of the roof the rain running off the roof will be collected and dealt with immediately.

 Posted by at 11:49 am
Nov 212018

Today, we took the opportunity of the fine sunny but cold weather to take our Lift Shaft outside and install it against the walkway platform running around the back of the building. It was positioned against the start of the “I” section of the roof, mounted on a 8feet by 4feet sheet plywood. We also anchored it up at the top of the nearest leg of the platform to ensure that it won’t get blown over in high winds or topple with heavy loads inside it.

Lift Shaft Installed and All Working


Lift Shaft Installed and All Working


Lift Shaft Installed and All Working


We had to slide the cargo cage up inside the Lift Shaft while it was lying on its back, entering from the bottom. Then push the whole thing upright by lifting at the other end (the top end) and slowly walk it gradually upright. It was also anchored at the bottom to the plywood base sheet too.
We then hooked up the hoist motor at the top of the shaft using a metal pole and unwound the cable down to the cage. The final job was to mount on a second ramp on the other side of the cage, the side facing the platform walkway so we can trundle our dolly trolleys off. We tested the capabilities of the whole system by first loading several heavy concrete blocks into the cargo cage (about 75kg of load) and ran it up and down several times.
Then we went to our slate storage area and loaded up one of our dolly trolleys full of slate tiles, we managed to put in two rows of 60 slates. We took that back again using our modified flat-bed trolley and loaded it into the cage. We weighed this and the cage on a bathroom scales and it came to just short of 150kg and the cage being about 40kg itself which leaves about 110kg for the box of slates. This latest load test was handled just fine!
Lift Shaft Installed and All Working


That is the basic lifting system all done, mechanically speaking at least, but we have ordered some electrical switches, push buttons, limit switches (to detect the position of the cargo cage) and relays plus a micro-controller (tiny computer) chip to join all these pieces with some logic to achieve a much better system of having the ability to push a button to send it up and automatically stopping at the top, and do the same with another button at the top to send it down again. It will have other safety features like the ramp must be folded up and secured before the lift can start moving.

 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Nov 202018

Today, we created the Lift Shaft to take our box on wire up and down. It measures 730mm by 760mm (internal measurement of 680mm square, the size of the cargo cage) and it is nearly 5metres (16feet) long, or rather tall when it is standing up.

Lift Shaft Built


Lift Shaft Built


We also created the support framework to hold the metal bar which in turn is holding in place the electric hoist.
And finally, a little sloping roof installed at the top end and we will wrap some heavy duty plastic to protect the motor, electrical wiring and control boxes from rain water.
Tomorrow, we will man-handle it outside and rotate it upright on to a flat base to anchor it, slide it against the platform walkway and make any final adjustments including putting on the second ramp at the top.

 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Nov 192018

Today, we started building various pieces of equipment to help us lift our Slate tiles up to our working platform. We need a lifting mechanism to raise our dolly trolley load of slates so we created a cage measuring 2feet square by 4feet tall, with castor wheels in each corner, both at the bottom and the top.

Building a Lift Mechanism to Raise our Slates


The cage will be connected from the middle point, via a steel wire, to our electric hoist and controlled by several push buttons and the cage will move up and down inside a framework to keep the cage straight and stop it twisting around or jamming up.
The other task was to adapt our medium sized flatbed trolley so it can transport three of our dolly boxes to and from the crates of slates, including a little ramp that will bridge the gap to the cage in our lift mechanism.
Building a Lift Mechanism to Raise our Slates


Tomorrow, we will build the lift shaft, all 16feet of it!!

 Posted by at 6:33 pm
Nov 172018

After having a major tidy-up in the workshop (to clear away the tools and mess from building our filtration module), we started on making various pieces of equipment to help us in getting the Slates up onto the roof.
Today, we created four dolly trolleys to help transport a heap of Slate tiles from our storage area alongside the Loke and get them to where we would be currently working on the roof. They are made out of 18mm OSB board, each dolly is 425mm wide by 400mm in the other dimension and 240mm high, big enough to allow us to pack about 150 slates, in two rows of 75, held vertically (They will weigh up to 150 Kg or 330 lbs i.e 23 stone!).

Dolly's Created to help transport our Slates


Dolly's Created to help transport our Slates


We put on nine little office chair type of castor wheels on each and we tested them by crouching down in the box and get pushed along the floor!
These will go onto a vertical lift mechanism to take each one up to the walk-way platform, we will design and make the lift next week.

 Posted by at 5:52 pm
Nov 162018

We finished off connecting the last large drain pipe to the Filtration Module, this being the final last resort overflow connection to the soak-away unit.

Finished The Filtration Module and Now Fully Buried!


Then the next job was to climb inside and apply extra sealant around the clean water section and its joints. It was a tight squeeze but we managed it! Finally, we vacuumed out the slightly dirty water in the bottom of the cabinet to reduce the amount of grit and dirt to avoid fouling up our water pump.
We spent the remaining of the day shovelling all the sandy soil back in and around the cabinet and piled the excess up around it so it can settle down over time.
The last task was to get the lids installed, using stainless steel threaded rods, glued and screwed in various places around the rim and clearance holes in the lid themselves.
Finished The Filtration Module and Now Fully Buried!


The filters and baffles were lowered down inside the module and everything is now ready for the next rain shower, at least off the garage roof, but we can now connect up each section of the guttering (as we complete the slate tiling) and any water will be drained and properly filtered to our water storage tank.

 Posted by at 5:34 pm
Nov 152018

Today, the job was to connect the three rainwater inlet pipelines (from our two roofs) and the output pipe to the Filtration module. But first, a leak test was performed. Sprinkling water (from our garden hose) on to the wall above the seals, we noticed that there were a couple of leaks along the bottom edge. After carefully scraping away the sand and gravel and cleaning the joint, more white sealant was applied and forced it into the joint. All the edges was done to ensure that we don’t have another leak.
Next was connecting the rainwater pipeline coming from the garage which needed a simple right angled turn and head straight into the cabinet. Next was the white pipe (this is the clean water after filtration and supplying our underground tank) but we discovered that we needed a 30° turn to make it head perpendicular into the cabinet and no one sold this angle for 40mm diameter pipes (they had 90° and 45° and straight) but nothing else. so we had to go out and buy a flexible small length of pipe. We glued together the required pieces to form the pipeline to the underground storage tank (under the garage).

Filtration Unit Connected to Pipelines


Finally, the last two rainwater pipelines (from the main house) were connected to the side of the cabinet.
Filtration Unit Connected to Pipelines


All these joints had to have a slip type of connector which allowed the whole straight connector to slide almost fully onto the pipe, move or rotate the assembled pipeline into place and push the slip connector over the both pieces.
The last job tomorrow is to do further water leakage tests and then connect the soak-away pipeline to the back of the cabinet to takeaway overflowing water (on those very rare occasions of a very heavy thunderstorm).

 Posted by at 6:33 pm