Plans and Onions.

SQD”” build project.

Pre-build week 4.

Title photograph : John Welsford designed ‘Pathfinder‘, boat and photographer not known.

Blog time : it’s late March 2021 , a few hours ago i was sat outside on the garden bench in the early morning sunshine, that’s always a surprise at this time of year, and trying to decide what to do first : plant some onion sets or start making some sawhorses for my build project….or maybe start the heavy work of smashing holes through concrete and ashphalt for the post holes…..what to do ?.     Well, the logical answer of course was to make more coffee and just sit and enjoy the spring garden which is at peak Daffodil time and i note the first of the Tulips about to flower as well….then….the postie van pulled into the drive just behind me and dropped a big (damaged) envelope in our porch so i thought i’d check that out first with my coffee.    Hey-ho and the build plans have arrived all the way from NZ – that must be why the postie van was a bit late today…..long drive and all that !.      

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In real time i just had a quick check of what did arrive because the envelope the plans came in had been damaged in the post somewhere but i think that with the 12 sheets that came today and the study plans sheets which i bought this winter i now have the full set of plans, instructions and materials lists.    It’s a warm and sunny morning though so my first priority was to open the workshop to air it and dry it out a bit more and then get on with the outside jobs in the garden , the soil in my deep beds  here is still cold so i did plant out 250 onion sets and then covered the bed with weed mat which helps warm the soil up and keeps the bloody local cats out.

My big pre-build project is to build a shelter outside the workshop to work under and which i hope will become a long term dry shelter for the boat once it’s finished, as iv’e said before it’s great to have a workshop at all but it’s cold and damp in there having been bodged together from odd materials , none of it is level or square and it has several different levels of floor….some of which is cobblestones which is just one of the reasons that it’s damp in there.  The build shelter is going to be more like a lean-to car-port than anything else and the job i started on today was simple and brutal ; just smashing holes through the concrete pad for 2 holes and more easily through ashphalt for 2….that’s just one side though.  Today i only got the hole for the datum post dug out, that’s the awkward one because it has to go right up against the back wall of the workshop and just to explain that the wall is the remaining part of the mine’s engine shed which used to be there about 60 years ago.  It’s the difficult one to place as there’s only just enough clearance for the big workshop door to swing open and lay almost flat against the wall….it’s also difficult to dig there because any hole here can come across some seriously big blocks of granite embedded in the hard base clay.   When we first came here and i seemed to be digging holes for structures or my veggie beds all the time i was always finding big granite waste just where i was digging ; for a couple of them i even had to set up a tripod and tackle to get them out and even now can barely move some of those blocks.

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My nice job of the day was to have a look through all of my plywood scraps and see if i had enough bigger pieces to make up a couple of sawhorses/plywood handling benches (above) and the result was yes i did and that it was an easy couple of hours making something functional and useful out of scrap.  That’s all of the benches nearly ready now, the new ones are each long enough to support a full sheet of plywood inside the workshop….or outside if i chose, the garden bench is the one i usually use for anything from making stuff outside or as my potting bench ; one of the main reasons that i keep most of my hand tools on a rolling tool rack is that i can trundle the whole kit and caboodle outside and work there with most things to hand.   Inside the workshop is mostly ready to go except that i think i’m going to maybe move the alien queen again and then finish the main bench with a new edge and fit the 2 vices back on.

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End of week progress.

There’s not much to show for a week’s work except for 8 post holes laboriously dug out of the mainly ashphalt and hard clay/shale substrate of the drive (2 of them were through concrete first which was nice), 2 saw benches and a workshop on the edge of functionality.  I ache like a be’ach everywhere because iv’e spent far too long kneeling on my operative knee while crouched over swinging a lump hammer all week….i did remember to drop some scrap lengths of fence post into each of the outer holes so i don’t walk straight into one !.  Next week i’m planning a physically easier week before i start mixing cement and putting up the datum posts, instead of physical labour which i don’t object to, it needs doing after all and it’s ‘only work’ ; instead though i’m going to open up all of the plans and the building sequence instructions and actually read them, just how un-bloke like is that !

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