Sorry to have been away so long -- we are still without water, and I worked all summer long on building the cistern. I never did get help with it and completing the armature, and plastering took tremendous amounts of time. The lack of water also made mixing and cleaning up hard, and unusually hot and dry conditions made applying the cement plaster and keeping it from slumping, or drying and cracking difficult. In all I mixed and applied over 100 small wheel barrow loads of render. About 6000 pounds applied.
Final capacity is about 3000 gallons, but of course we have nothing to fill it with (yet). It so happens it's raining today, but the prediction is for about 1/10th inch -- pretty typical this whole summer and fall. Our worries are that the water won't come back in our spring-well until the pipes (about 300 feet from the house and uphill) freeze -- which would be an additional problem.
Anyway, it is raining, which I'm grateful for, even if a small amount. The cistern is substantially finished, with the exception of forming the lip more aesthetically, and plantings, small stone wall and pool, and permanently plumbing to the spring. All that will be postponed until after the winter.
Missed you guys. I'll try to keep up better!
(sorry rob, the lathe project just sits)