MadModder

The Breakroom => The Water Cooler => Topic started by: vtsteam on June 11, 2015, 09:38:36 AM

Title: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 11, 2015, 09:38:36 AM
Following onto Andrew's thread about his pig house construction interfering with his shop time, my time now is mainly going into building a summer drought cistern. I'm continuing since, even though it's been raining lately, the streams still look low to me now, and it is very early in the year for that to happen.

Our water comes from a spring coming out of a small round hole in solid rock ledge. It's been tested and approved by the state testing laboratories and normally feeds a 200 gallon cistern under the house, which is constantly fed and then overflows through a pipe. A shallow well pump takes the water from the small cistern and pressurizes to domestic pressure on demand. There's a 20 gallon pressure tank in the system so the pump doesn't run continuously.

Everything works well, the water is delicious, and cold right out of the spring, and though we've considered putting in a well in the past, the cost of $10,000 or more, and the prospect of not so good water (some nearby wells have sight rotten egg flavors) has made us reluctant to part with our genuine "pure mountain spring" water. We actually get compliments on it from visitors.

The plan is to build a cistern of about 3000 gallons capacity to enable us to weather a drought in late summer. There's always plenty of water in winter.....late summer can pose a problem on exceptionally dry years -- as it does also for some wells in the area. The cistern will be emptied for winter.

The amount of water produced by the spring is huge over the course of a year since flow is slow but continuous, and filling a reserve cistern would be easy with the overflow pipe from the present house cistern.

So anyway, on with the plan. I want it to be shaped like an urn or jug to fit in with the garden, rather than just a utilitary looking tank, and construction will be ferrocement. As a reference I'm using Art Ludwig's book "Water Storage" as a guide The book shows small photos of the construction of one urn shaped tank, but it isn't very detailed, so I'm having to wing it and guess at quite a bit of it.

My tendency is to build a bit stronger where unknown, so perhaps this is a little overkill in construction so far. The base is 8' diameter (unspecified in the book example) using #4 rebar on 12" square spacing. I believe the photos show #3 rebar on wider spacing. Number 3 (3/8" vs 1/2")  is unavailable locally,

The photos also show two shallow trenches dug after the fact of placing rebar, to provide shallow grade beams on a 4" (I believe) concrete base. I will be going with a 6" thick concrete base with no grade beams. I don't like rebar so close to the outer faces in a wet area, and the construction already seems massively stiffened for the purpose.

Actual load is probably going to be in the neighborhood of 600 lbs/sf, and I'm on very good compacted iundisturbed subsoil -- I'm sure bearing is better than 2k lb/sf.

Here's where I am this morning, still adding rebar to the base:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Cistern1.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on June 11, 2015, 10:01:19 AM
Emptying in winter I assume Steve due to likelihood of freezing? How far below below surface would it need to be not to freeze?
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: DMIOM on June 11, 2015, 10:32:59 AM
Steve, I seem to recall from the trouble you had getting access initially, that some parts of the ground were damp. Just a small question - is there a danger of your ferrocement "hull", when fully ballasted-down, moving due to any local gradients?

Dave
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 11, 2015, 11:05:33 AM
I wasn't real comfortable with the exposed upright rebar like that so first thing this morning i made some blocks from scrap hardwood, drilled them and put them over the ends. There are commercial plastic versions available but I don't have any.

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/blocked.jpg)


Andrew, yes, I don't need extra capacity in winter, and keeping a full tank freeze free in -10F temps could be a challenge.

Dave, it's currently resting on hardpan, which is the impermeable layer that caused the shop leakage problem The shop is part underground, cut into a hill, above the hardpan and that's the problem. this new tank will not be buried at all,

I'll put a srone retaining wall around it, but with a walk space between. This is slightly graded to allow runoff. Unles the hardpan heaves I don't think the cistern will shift. It could happen however, and the design should be able to handle that, especially empty, without cracking (I hope). It should then settle back in spring, if it moved at all.

Interesting thing about Vermont farmhouses -- they were usually built on a dry laid rubble rock foundation and moved in winter If they did) as if on ball bearings, resettling in spring. Then in modern times people decided to mortar the foundations to lmake them "stronger" and look nice inside, dig out cellars, and or add poured cellar walls. Then had major problems with cracking sills, and foundations falling apart, uneven support stressing structures, water ingress, etc.

So your analogy to a boat hull is not a bad one here. If we keep it intact, assuming it moves, and design our piping to disconnect, and drain the ground around it, movement can probably be eliminated,and if not, tolerated rather than fought against in a losing battle. No guarantees, but that's the philosophy -- we'll see. I've never found that fighting against nature was an easy task, generally I try to let it win without a challenge, and try to fit in.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Brass_Machine on June 11, 2015, 03:50:15 PM
Even though this is a distraction, I still find the idea pretty interesting (same with Andrew's distractions). They both definitely fit in with the theme of madmodder for sure.

Concrete itself interests the hell out of me. I have been researching it's unusual uses.... Found it in everything from backyard tables, shop benches and even boat hulls! Some of the more interesting things have been full CNC mills made out of a concrete mixture.

I will be watching you build this with enthusiasm.

BTW... I have well water and it tastes like @ss even when I use water softeners with it. To have decent water I use a cooler with jugs of Poland Spring water...

Eric
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 11, 2015, 04:53:52 PM
Thanks Eric!  :beer:
I wonder if we should bottle it?  :lol:
Hmmm, that might not be such a bad idea.......

There was a concrete lathe in an old issue of ME that I once read. It was pretty cool -- I'll have to find that again..

Edit: found it........ME issue 2792 the headstock and tailstock were concrete

also there's this........seems reprinted from an old Popular Mechanics article. The bed is steel reinforced concrete:

http://www.vintageprojects.com/machine-shop/turret-lathe-plans.html
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 11, 2015, 05:35:46 PM
Well, now arranging for delivery of 3/4" stone and mason sand (sharp). I'm getting 5 tons each to have extra on hand for projects.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 16, 2015, 04:02:25 PM
Update we had a one day rain, so no sand and gravel delivery (truck must climb over grass slope), then a clear day,  and then two solid days of rain again and it's raining still. Construction halted. Classic!

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/wet.jpg)


Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on June 16, 2015, 04:15:08 PM
I reckon all this talk of water storage is a giant deception - that circular slab is the base for your new cupola isn't it  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 16, 2015, 09:20:47 PM
I shoulda just dug a pond instead!  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 18, 2015, 11:25:08 PM
Seems we have not had two days straight without rain until day before yesterday when we finally got some drying weather. So yesterday morning at 7:00 A.M. bright I was at the door of a nearby building supply and picked up 6 bags of Portland cement. By 9 A.M. I was back and had a few tractor loads of sand and gravel by the mixer, hose and extension cord in place, wheel barrow and shovels, and I started mixing.

The pad is 6 inches deeep and 105 inches in diameter and i had figured I'd need about 30 cubic feet to fill -- a little over a yard -- of concrete to fill. I was using a strong mix of 1:2:3 and I'd estimated f1ve 94 pound bags of Portland would do it. I bought 6 just in case.

The form was just stips of masonite (hardboard) staked around and backfilled to hold in place. I had hoped to be done by 2:00 P.M. to see a performance by my daughter at circus camp. Hah! Yeh, right.....

This photo was taken when I realized I'd never make it.

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Halfway.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 18, 2015, 11:35:35 PM
My wife brought me out a sandwich and water before she left for the performance. It was hot out, and muggy. The concrete was setting up as fast as I was putting it down.  I hardly stopped to eat. The mixer ran continuously all day -- quite a racket. When they both returned late in the afternoon, I was still at it. She asked if she could help. I said no, not really.... it's taking a lot longer thatn I planned

Gee you're halfway done she said! :dremel:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Halfway2.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 18, 2015, 11:53:41 PM
By dinner time, I wasn't finished mixing and pouring either. She asked if she could bring me dinner, or did I want to just wait and re-heat it. I have to finish this, I said, so I better wait....

Finally at about 7:30 I poured my last load -- I had to use up all 6 bags of cement, and bring up many bucket loads of sand and gravel. I had exactly enough with the 6th bag to fill the form. Not an ounce too much -- I was getting worried toward the end. But it was done. Cleaning tools and mixer took me to 8:00 P.M. A look in the mirror showed me looked like a mud man. Completely gray with two bloodshot eyes poking out. I was one hurtin' puppy.

Probably a couple ton of concrete mixed and hand placed byt the time I was done, every shovel full, because I couldn't wheel around the form. The barrow wheel would press the fill in and distort the masonite form. Luckily I figured that out in the first five minutes before any real damage ocurred. But man, that was hard work, walking a shovel around and mixing alone.

I was happy to take a shower, eat, and go to bed. I think a yard of concrete is probably overdoing it for me these days! Not much when delivered by a mixer truck, but since they can't reach us here, I always pour my own.

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/finished.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on July 19, 2015, 02:47:09 AM
Steve I feel your pain  :bugeye:

Several times in the last twelve months I've had jobs for concrete that are too small to get it shipped in mixed, and every time I vow 'never again' but don't learn !

The worst recent one was filling hollow brick pillars in those pig pens. It takes far more than you expect and in that case every bit had to be lifted to five foot high and poured carefully so not to mar the brickwork.

Back in my younger days I'd think nothing of hand mixing ( no mixer !) a cubic yard of concrete. No way can I do that now  :(

Old age is a hell of a price to pay for experience  :ddb:

Still your slab has come out nicely. Remind me is the concrete going to be water retaining or are you lining it all when you've built the sides?
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: PekkaNF on July 19, 2015, 03:04:51 AM
I feel your pain!

Once I had to fix bathroom/washroom/sauna/WC and it had damaged floor. I had to pour the floor on one go and I had all prepartoins done in before hand. I had a small concrete mixer and to make things easier I ordereder those readymade bags of concrete (just add watter). I knew I could not do it all, therefore I called two frieds and my father to help me out. It was just about possible. One was using the whell barrow to bring the dry concrete into the mixer, one handling the mixer and wheeling the mixed concrete in, me showeling it and father compacting and leveling it. Took all day.

Once I desided to pave patio with cocrete tiles. I was rainy summer. I had all prep done and I had planned using two or three days to pave it. Weatherman said that only dry day in weeks would be "tommorow". I woke up at dawn, wife left to work, returned, fed me and sun had gone down when I had finished carrying and laying five pallets of concree tiles. I took a shower and drove a shop to get a beer. One diaper vandal jumpped the line and was being obnoxos and I was that tired that I even hadn't any smart cracks to it. I was sure tha if anything touches me I'll shatter.

Hope you are fine today and you don't feel suddenly very olod on the morning. If I did that I would sound like a bowl of serial.

Pekka
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 19, 2015, 10:23:52 PM
Andrew, Pekka, I was definitely hurtin after that one, and into the next day, too. My mixer is getting on in age, too, and bogs down if you do a lot more than a cubic foot at a go, so that was part of the problem. So many loads!

Plus I was trying to be real good and keep the mix stiff -- without over watering it. But that makes it a lot harder to scoop out out the wheel barrow, and place, etc. Plus walking around the form with each shovel full. Definitely didn't make it easy.

One good thing though -- mixing with piles of sand and stone is a lot better than lifting and pouring in those bags of dry pre-mix. I'd probably needed 40 or 50 of them by the time I was done! Shoveling loose ingredients into the mixer is a lot easier, I think.

Andrew, I know exactly what you mean about filling columns. I once built a HAHSA outdoor furnace, and that thing had 8 foot concrete block walls with rebar in every other block space all the way up, and those were filled with concrete -- it takes a LOT of buckets to do that on 44 linear feet of 8 foot tall wall. Luckily that time I had a helper. But it took us a very long day to do it.

The new tank won't have a liner, the ferrocement walls hold the water in.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: SwarfnStuff on July 20, 2015, 03:55:10 AM
Hi Vtsteam, I can sympathize some with your pain. I recently replaced a toilet pan (bowl) and cistern for my daughter. Nowhere near the shovel mixing you had to do. It was just the constant up / down movement whilst removing the old broken pan. Then because the replacement was of different design it was up and down some more cutting the old fittings off the waste then fitting new to extend the reach. Finally ready to install everything and it went ok. Mind you it turned out to be a 7 hour job instead of three. The following morning I could hardly  move - found aches in muscles I didn't know existed. At almost 74 orbits round the sun there will be no more of that much exercise.
John B
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 22, 2015, 05:23:18 PM
Well fast forward two months and I hadn't done anything more on the cistern -- the reason? Plenty of rain all summer and no need.

But things have been getting drier this month, and I noticed the kiddie pool wasn't filling overnight from the overflow from th spring, so I figured I'd better get back on it.

I bent and welded rebar verticals to the stubs from the base reinforcement yesterday and today:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Uprights.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on August 22, 2015, 06:07:35 PM
That's looking very artistic Steve, shame to cover it in concrete  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 22, 2015, 11:40:24 PM
Thanks Andrew.  :beer: Well I hope it will look good after I finish the reinforcement and plaster it, but no telling -- i've never done this before! A little trepidation about the plastering, but onward and upward!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on August 23, 2015, 02:57:10 AM
Are you planning to build it like a ferro-cement boat hull, using mesh and rendering it, or are you using cut blocks?

At the moment it looks like the Gilded Cage that the singer would be in in a 1960's smokey club :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 23, 2015, 09:42:45 AM
It will get horizontal rings of rebar decreasing in spacing toward the bottom to take the hoop stresses and increasing head pressure, then one layer of expanded metal lath and one of chicken wire to shape and hold the cement plaster.

Three layers of sand/cement plaster to finish about 1-1/2". Two issues I see are dealing with the lath sheets conforming to curves in 3D, and the first coat plastering probably working alone. Friends have offered to help, and I may have a mixer helper (though maybe not) but if it's going to come out an unfair leaky mess, I want to be the one responsible for it!

If a 60's style singer shows up, I may leave it as-is for the duration of the act! We find few of them wandering through these woods however.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on August 23, 2015, 12:21:17 PM
Steve, I researched ferro-cement boats decades ago, well before the interweb. The received wisdom then was that you need someone on each side for the first coat as the 'outside man' tends to push the pug all the way through, so needs an 'inside man' with a float to push against.

.... maybe times have changed ... :clap:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Fergus OMore on August 23, 2015, 01:37:21 PM
Andrew, was this the way that the 'Fire barges' were built for the London Blitz?

I certainly recall a couple on the River Tyne.

I'm too busy to look at the 'box' but I caught a glimpse of someone pouring cement  overhead onto a skeleton frame covered with a tarpaulin. Maybe it was TF1 from France. I fell asleep!!!

Norman

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Spurry on August 23, 2015, 02:25:09 PM
Having seen the intriguing shape of the structure I was wondering how Steve was going to finish off the inside, or more importantly (perhaps  :scratch: ) how he was going to enter and exit the shape, so I remain an avid reader..
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on August 23, 2015, 02:37:23 PM
Not sure of that Norman, certainly the Massey Shaw (the biggest one) was convention build.

Steve, solution to the 'man inside problem' Inflate a large balloon in there before you start the rendering  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: tom osselton on August 23, 2015, 02:57:33 PM
Just give the gogo girl a trowel!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 23, 2015, 03:03:05 PM
They don't use expanded metal lath on ferrocement boats to my knowlege -- usually they use multiple layers of chicken wire and/or metal mesh over a complex wire armature. That's more permeable.

In this tank one layer of chicken wire goes outside and expanded metal lath goes on the inside and is fairly "opaque" to the plaster. Cups face up. Worms of plaster do squeeze through, but a rough surface is a benefit for keying a second coat. The inside is plastered first, then serves as a backing to the second coat outside. A third coat goes inside. That's for a tank. Boats are plastered at one go. Boats are relatively thin skinned for the volume, but exposed to high seas and gales, as well as mast and keel working stresses.  A tank is stationary and weight and thickness isn't a penalty.

One section has fewer horizontals to allow a temporary narrow acceess. It is closed and plastered up as late as possible. A permanent ladder is built into the tank for maintenance and safety.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 23, 2015, 03:20:38 PM
Naturally I barely got 2 horizontal rings bent and wired on temporarily today when it started to rain.  :bang:

I think it's starting to look more like it would have a darede\vil on a motorcycle than a 60's wood nymph inside.


(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/StartHoriz.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 23, 2015, 03:44:00 PM
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: DMIOM on August 23, 2015, 04:13:47 PM
Naturally I barely got 2 horizontal rings bent and wired on temporarily today when it started to rain.  :bang:

I think it's starting to look more like it would have a darede\vil on a motorcycle than a 60's wood nymph inside.

Talking of a woodland nymph cage - it made me think of the bumbee cages (http://www.willowmann.im/bumbee-cages.html) that we used to make as kids.

Dave
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on August 28, 2015, 11:42:43 PM
Been going slower because of those gotta fix this tool to fix that tool to do this so I can do that chains of behavior.

I was doing a few welds on the "waterball" as we've begun to call it using a new HF TIG machine plugged into a portable racket generator and let a little magic smoke out of the welder. Not enough to kill it, but a good scare. I started thinking about the Listeroid diesel generator right nearby, adjcent to the tiny shop which is adjacent to the waterball, and not having run it for awhile, decided to start it and check out the 240 volt output.

I had to kill some wasp nests to get into the shed. A mouse had built a nest out of fiberglass insulation over the gen head brushes -- luckily a new nest, and not all urine soaked from last winter. The brushes and slip ring were fine and I cleaned them with alcohol. The diesel started right up and I had voltage on the meter. Went to check out the cooling system for a minute (radiator in the tiny shop, and overflow container). When I came back. No voltage.

After awhile the culprit turned out to be a dead leg in a bridge rectifier, and I rectified that problem by knocking the old Chinese  one out of its integrated heat sink, and fitting a new prime part -- fit the sink perfectly. The old rectifier, had only been glued in at a couple spots, and no heat sink compound. The new one was bolted in and compounded. It's a 25 amp vs the old 10 amp.

Voltage came back, and i played around with the Listeroid, cleaned it up, did maintenance, and started thinking again about all the upgrades/improvements I'd wanted to make, and never did.

I had cut some trees last week for lumber, and then decided I'd better saw them up before the bark got really glued down solid. I de-bark by hand before sawing, and it's best to de-bark right away. But had to change the band blade on the sawmill, and found I had one stuck guide bearing. Fixed that, and it turned out the new band was longer than my old ones, don't know why, ordered the same length from the same place. Anyway, this pointed out a problem I'd had all along with the tracking adjuster/blade tensioner (which I'd built 12 years ago), so I decided to take that apart and make it right.

That worked fine even with the longer blade, but the square tube saw guide arms had become very tight in their sockets, and it took a hammer to shift them. So I decided to take those apart, and file them down so they slid nicey nicey, but couldn' t get the arms out because the ends were a little belled from the hammer, naturally. So I thought I'd bring up my tiniest generator a harbor freight 2 cycle 800 watt baby, easy to carry up the hill to the sawmill (which is outdoors near the woods and no electricty), and bring a small disk grinder to grind down the ends of the guide tubes so I could get them out of the sockets so I could file them so they would slide nicey nicey.

But the generator didn't want to start, so I gave it fresh gas and oil mix, and pulled and pulled, no go, until I found a gas shutoff, which is kind of hidden. But it was set to on, so I thought, damn, I should have shut that off and let it run out, I bet the carb is a mess. But no, when I got my glasses, I realized this shutoff is backwards compared to most. Usually when the handle is inline that means gas flows. But with this one it meant shut-off. So I had shut it properly after all. So then I turned it the right way, and whaddya know......It started right up.

So I ground the ends of the guide tubes, pulled off the guide bearing holders, etc. There are lock bolts so when you slide the guides over and out to suit a new blade, and the log width. One was missing, but the tube had been so tight it hadn't moved anyway. But I decided to replace the bolt. Well It stripped, apparently a bit of weld splatter had got in the threads from an earlier repair, so then I hunted up a tap and cleared the thread. After filing the tubes, the guides slid smoothly, the new bolt locked properly, and I reassembled the saw guides and put the blade on. I cut up a log, and then it was supper time.

Oh I forgot, I also rebuilt the engine on a weird little log winch I own, built of sheet metal and oak and an ancient emergency brake -- I think it was originally used to haul ice fishing shanties off the river. It's sled shaped. Anyway the Briggs engine magneto had died and the gas tank had rusted. It's one of those old ones integral with the carb -- from the 60's. I found a replacement more or less similar on another junker engine I have, switched both carb and tank, and had to jury rig a governor -- they were quite different. It worked. I replaced the old magneto and points with a new one and electronic ignition, and she fired up pretty as you please. Hauled the logs with it  a hundred feet through thick woods to the tractor that got them to the mill.

Anyway here's the waterball progress. I got the horizontals on and started looking at how to place the expanded metal lath. Diagonal planking is how we do cold molding on boats to minimize fitting the edges -- usually you can get way with straight edges then on a 3D curve. Looks like it will work here, too:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/horizontalsIn.jpg)

ps. that ghost in the upper right corner is just netting over a blueberry bush. The chipmunk likes it because he can munch the berries underneath without fear of hawks! :bang:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: SwarfnStuff on August 29, 2015, 02:08:34 AM
Ha, well at least you cannot say you get bored with nothing to do.  :lol:
         Here in OZ i spent the better part of the day setting up some self watering tubs for growing a few veggies. We live in a unit so tubs work great. Finally got fed up with the weather and having to pull my rain hood over in an attempt to keep my noggin dry, then the sun would sneak out and me ed cooked so off with the hood only to repeat the exercise in five minutes. Ah well got it mostly sorted.
     Gotta fix the water level float next then maybe I can get back to the play-pen and make swarf.  :mmr:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on August 29, 2015, 03:34:41 AM
Steve it all sounds horribly familiar!

Some days you wonder just how much forward progress is possible when you're working single handed.

Still you got there in the end and I look forward to further reports
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 26, 2016, 01:35:40 PM
Well Andrew, it's been quite a wait between reports! Last year during construction it rained enough over the summer that the cistern kinda lost interest for me. Of course this year we're in a bad drought right now, with no end in sight until fall, so I'm wishing I had finished it, and it had 3000 gallons in it now! :loco:

Our spring fed household supply has ended, and we're using bottled water. The drought is so bad right now that Broad Brook which flows though our property has practically stopped, and I expect it will cease to flow, possibly by tomorrow. There will be a lot of dead fish in that case, and I won't be able to water the veggie garden any more either.

Oh well. Anyway, I've been working on the waterball (as we call it) non stop for a few weeks. It's taken thousands of metal ties to secure the lath and chicken wire, and form it to the rebar. The heat has been bad with the clear blue skies and drying winds, and working upwards alot, and the glare on the wire, it's really tough on my eyes. This has NOT been my favorite project -- meat hooks everywhere, It's like working on 250 square feet of barbed wire cloth. Can't wait to get it over with.

I'm finished with most of the wire tying now, and looking forward to plastering with cement plaster as a change. Have a bunch of helper friends lined up for the big event. I guess I'll have to haul water in if it doesn't rain and fill the creek up a little.

There's a temporary hatch in the side to pass the plaster inside. A permanent hatch on top, and a built in ladder. I may do some pre-cementing of the lip near the upper hatch so it's strong enough for climbing in and out on the big plastering day -- and to cover some of the meat hooks there.

Here's the armature as it stands now:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Armature.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 26, 2016, 01:43:43 PM
Top:

(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/ArmatureTop.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on July 26, 2016, 02:03:55 PM
Looks great!

You need one of those cement slurry pumps that they spray cement onto tunnel walls to stabilise them.(Spraycrete). Are you incorporating polyester fibres to limit initial setting cracks?

http://www.reader.co.uk/en-GB/documents/2863/spraycrete-range-data-sheet-en.pdf
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: naffsharpe (Nathan) on July 26, 2016, 06:25:12 PM
Hi Steve, good to see you moving ahead on this ! I have missed your postings period ! 
Nathan.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: naffsharpe (Nathan) on July 26, 2016, 06:49:35 PM
Norman , we still have at least two of the concrete barges used as mooring/service areas for WW2 seaplanes in the Menai Straits. One of them is currently in Port Penrhyn (Bangor) and still afloat !
Nathan
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 26, 2016, 08:03:12 PM
Thanks Andrew! I'm afraid this is going to be low tech all the way. Hand mixed plaster, hand applied, and just Portland and sand mixed. Not quite as basic as this, but similar:



Hi Nathan!  :wave: Sorry I haven't had much to post here this last year, as I've done little mechanical work worth mentioning. I'm getting the itch again, but this darn project is holding me back from doing anything else.
Title: O/T Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: DMIOM on July 27, 2016, 04:13:47 AM
Norman , we still have at least two of the concrete barges used as mooring/service areas for WW2 seaplanes in the Menai Straits. One of them is currently in Port Penrhyn (Bangor) and still afloat !
Nathan

Nathan - good to hear they're still afloat. As a junior officer, I got some of my first ship handling practice 'berthing' an inshore minesweeper on that trot of barges - probably a lot easier for my then CO in wooden-hulled sweepers; than allowing an officer under training to berth against a real dock or lock when I was in GRP-hulled vessels. Also memories of, prior to my first transit of the Straits as Navigator, a colleague "who knew" taking me through the Swellies in the Gemini, admittedly at the wrong state of tide, and "streamlining" the prop (on the Platters if I recall correctly)

Dave
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Fergus OMore on July 27, 2016, 05:17:09 AM
Norman , we still have at least two of the concrete barges used as mooring/service areas for WW2 seaplanes in the Menai Straits. One of them is currently in Port Penrhyn (Bangor) and still afloat !
Nathan

Oddly, and I mean oddly, my father taught pontoon bridge building across Menai Straights.
The story is thus. He was an under age volunteer in WW1 and wanted to join the then Royal Naval Air Service- but was refused.
So he was a blacksmith/farrier and posted to train as a Royal Engineer - on Anglesey- probably Beaumaris.
There was horse transport- shades of WarHorse, and a good nag was placed with one less willing. One day, neither were willing and young Dad was told to get the so and so's moving. Dad obliged by putting straw under the horses- and lit it.
Rapid exodus! Finally, those in charge stopped raging and the humour returned.
Bright young man was kept on training other recruits that would end up- and I mean end up in France. We all know what happens to sappers.

For 4 years, Dad enjoyed the added rations of skate from the muddy shores and rabbits cooked in tin bath tins- or so he said.

I suppose that one needs a warped sense of humour. odder still, there is comedian called Atkinson. I'm assured that the same village in County Durham is the key.

Er, cheers?

Norman Atkinson


Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 30, 2016, 10:29:13 PM
I was planning on doing the rim, and a small area around the top hatch before calling on volunteers for plastering, to get some practice with this armature and cement plaster mixes. Thought I'd mix up a five gallon batch in a plastic bucket. This would give me a chance to mix with my 30 year old Sears Craftsman  1/2" "industrial" electric drill. It's a heavy monster -- all metal body (no plastic), 450 RPM, and it will rip itself out of your hands easily (and probably break an arm) if it gets stuck. I hardly ever use it, in this day of rechargeable plastic bodied drills. But mixing concrete in a bucket seemed like a job for it.

But when I went to tighten the chuck, the Jacobs spun freely. I couldn't even turn the chuck key without the whole thing  turning What the....?

Long and short of it was, the main drill arbor was snapped clean through -- just back of the bearing behind the chuck. This has needle bearings throughout, by the way, I noticed. What do I do now. How did it break? I don't remember an accident last time I used it. Didn't remember lending it out. A mystery.

Anyway, it was a 30 year old boat anchor, now. Unless I wanted to try to make a new spindle for it.

After lunch I was checking the weather on the computer, and decided what the heck, go to Sears website (they still have one?), and type in the model number. Bam, I' seeing an exploded parts diagram of my drill, and a list of part numbers, with photos of almost every part in the drill. And prices. There's the spindle, too. Thirty bucks, and in stock! So I sent for it. Amazing!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Will_D on September 03, 2016, 07:53:42 PM
So he was a blacksmith/farrier and posted to train as a Royal Engineer - on Anglesey- probably Beaumaris.
There was horse transport- shades of WarHorse, and a good nag was placed with one less willing. One day, neither were willing and young Dad was told to get the so and so's moving. Dad obliged by putting straw under the horses- and lit it.
Rapid exodus!

My Grandad was also a trained farrier, got into WW 1 as a corporal in the Royal Engineers and survived.

After the war and the depression he got a job with the LMS railway in Abergavenny )odd in that it was in the middle of GWR operations!!)

He was a foreman smith and ended up responsible for building road bridges and the platform extension at the main station!!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on November 05, 2016, 06:51:21 PM
how's the build progressing given the possible need to live off the land for the duration of the US election fall out??
What witt all the concrete being needed for wall building or concrete overcoats for the main participants ? :loco:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on November 06, 2016, 03:03:54 AM
Steve hasn't dropped by since early August.. I hope he's ok.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: mcostello on November 06, 2016, 02:58:48 PM
Howzitwork You have that right, there is a shortage of pitchforks, the land is being contaminated with to much unnatural fertilizer.  We cannot shovel it fast enough and cannot seem to give it away.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: tom osselton on November 06, 2016, 05:07:12 PM
Sounds like a concert brewing " welcome to shitefest " but on the bright side Trump can always write off the cement for crazy eyes cell!
But if you want to trade Trump for Trudeau that would work for us.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: ieezitin on November 06, 2016, 09:02:28 PM
In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.


Anthony.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: DavidA on November 07, 2016, 02:41:38 PM
Maybe you guys could keep the political stuff away from this site ?

I've just been looking at two sites I used to enjoy and they have both been ruined by political infighting.

A couple of days and the decision will be made.

Dave.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: RobWilson on November 07, 2016, 03:42:45 PM
It would be nice to see Steve back posting ,I know he has allot to do with his community , on a few committee's  that used to take up allot of his free time . 

I wonder how his lathe project is going .


Rob
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Pete W. on November 08, 2016, 10:13:26 AM
It would be nice to see Steve back posting ,I know he has allot to do with his community , on a few committee's  that used to take up allot of his free time . 

I wonder how his lathe project is going .


Rob


I agree completely. 
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on November 09, 2016, 02:07:57 PM
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)


(http://vtsteam.com/Cistern/Plastered.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Pete W. on November 09, 2016, 02:34:33 PM
Hi there, Steve,

It's good to hear from you.

I commiserate with you about your drought (no such problems here in the UK at present!).

But looking past your cistern, you seem to have some good-looking Autumn colours. 
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on November 09, 2016, 02:36:20 PM
Steve, very good to hear that you are back with us.  :thumbup:

Sorry to hear of your drought, and I'm sure that it doesn't help to hear that its been tipping it down here
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: RobWilson on November 09, 2016, 03:37:34 PM



(sorry rob, the lathe project just sits)






Good to see you have dropped in mate    :) ,thought you may have got lost in the woods ,anyway get your finger out that lathe is not going to finish its self  :poke:

Rob   :wave:


Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: Stilldrillin on November 09, 2016, 03:45:51 PM
It's nice to see you're still around, Steve. And, things are ok......  :thumbup:

David.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on November 13, 2016, 03:51:31 PM
Steve

great to see you back. Did you model it on a Harry Potter cauldron, or is that just my mind??? :med:

 
Seriously though that's a hell of a lot of concrete and even more back breaking plastering no doubt. Sorry to hear you're suffering a drought. We could lend you a lot currently but at least it kept bonfire night celebrations from running out of control. :dremel:

"small stone wall and pool" sounds aesthetically very nice but practically a lot more work. Couldn't "strategic tree planting" suffice? Possibly walnut trees so you can enjoy the "fruits of your labours" or Hazel nuts grow quick and taste good?

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on April 30, 2017, 09:39:33 AM
Ahhh, water!

At about 1500 gallons a day flowing thorugh. I filled the "waterball," as we call it for the first time a week a go. Still need to do more -- the wheelbarrow isn't an ideal fountain catch basin, and the pvc pipe outlet isn't the most aesthetic fountainhead, but at least there's the security of knowing we have a 3000 gallon reserve now.

Naturally, it's turned in to a very wet spring! Can't even turn over the garden yet, because it looks like a swamp. When it rains it pours as they say!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on April 30, 2017, 09:42:43 AM
Steve,

Excellent to have you back on the forum  :thumbup:

And of course excellent that your draught is now over - hopefully forever with your 'water ball'  :beer:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on April 30, 2017, 05:05:58 PM
Steve

good to have contact back. Possibly a small statue plumbed to look like a modder relieving him / her self might put the neighbours off from borrowing water??? :bugeye:

read Andrews thread for the perils of too much water at once :ddb:

Regards Ian

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on April 30, 2017, 05:33:50 PM
Ian it would put us off as well! Might just be an arch.

Hi Andrew!
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on April 30, 2017, 05:46:07 PM
Just re-reading the title to this thread, very apt!

Not only did it take up almost the entire summer, but my workshop is practically destroyed from emergency mode waterball construction, and then winter lockup. Masonry tools, and supplies covering the floor and workbench of the tiny shop -- I can barely get in the door. Moisture seepage from the wet early spring weather and snow melt. I know there is my old lathe project buried under there somewhere, rusted from cement dust.  Not to mention mouse crap -- they got into my tool cabinet, too. I'm afraid to look. :palm: :palm: :palm:

But we'll attack all in the coming weeks and try to get back to where normal life left off. I should probably consider the lathe a restoration project, instead of new construction at this point!  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: PekkaNF on May 01, 2017, 01:52:32 AM
Happy to have you back. How is everybody?


.... I know there is my old lathe project buried under there somewhere, rusted from cement dust.  Not to mention mouse crap -- they got into my tool cabinet, too. I'm afraid to look. :palm: :palm: :palm:

But we'll attack all in the coming weeks and try to get back to where normal life left off. I should probably consider the lathe a restoration project, instead of new construction at this point!  :lol:

Restoration? Sounds more like rescue operation. But first ting firs, this is (mostly) hobby and there are priorities.

My figh against moderate flood (the water is 5 m away rom our house and it has 5" upphill before it could cause real trouble) and alternating snow fall and ants that try to inavade inside sounds pretty tame in comparison.

Keep the spirit up and enjoy any improvemet you do.

Pekka
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on May 01, 2017, 07:44:33 PM
Thanks Pekka! It will probably be a week before I start clearing up the workshops. Right now I'm helping my in-laws move into a house about 15 miles away -- they moved here from Boston to be closer to us. That will probably use up a lot of this week. They had been in their old house for 49 years.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on May 29, 2017, 06:15:29 PM
Definitely worth putting up a few cloves of garlic around the door. Deters even the most persistant mother in law (usually) AND 15 MILES that's preety close :bugeye: :bugeye: :bugeye:
You should take all necessary precautions immediately.  :whip:

Also well worth spying out the local area near the house for broom stick landing areas, then more cloves in the nearest trees.

Course the father in law will need support and might even help in the workshop, which should be encouraged as your " spending time with YOUR father dear, encouraging him to relax". Even better if he comes with you to buy essential supplies, you will not believe what you can get away with using that approach!!! :thumbup: :thumbup:

On a serious note hope all goes well.

Ian
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on May 31, 2017, 04:47:12 PM
Well, I found a woodchuck had burrowed into my big storage area (supposed to be a shop) and wrecked lots of things by covering them with dirt. Undermined the concrete pad covering half of it. the tiny shop is doing better now, however, I can get into it and it is approaching some form of organization.

Just the reverse on the in-laws, Ian. Mother in law is a sweetheart. Father in law's reaction to machining projects in the past has been, "what do you want to do that for?" In unloading the moving van into his new house he criticized the fact that I was moving some heavy trunks with a dolly. He felt I should just carry them through the basement. If I try talking to him about something I'm interested in (instead of listening to him talk about the price of his phone service for 20 minutes) he will often just turn and walk away in the middle of a sentence. I haven't heard a word of praise from the man in the 22 years since I met him.  I've learned to just shrug it off. Funny, I feel sorry for the guy.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on June 01, 2017, 04:38:43 PM
What's a woodchuck?? My wood chuck holds platters and goblets on the lathe??

Why not,let father in law demonstrate how easy it is to carry the stuff and you watch instead?

Never mind, you,can get on with your stuff now!

Good luck.

Ian
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on June 01, 2017, 05:01:40 PM
Oddly I had to google 'woodchuck' yesterday - grandson staying for half term, and getting him to recite:

" How much wood could a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood "

Turns out it's like a Groundhog - another American animal that I'm unfamiliar with  :bang:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 04, 2017, 12:04:13 PM
Woodchucks and groundhogs are the same animal, just regional names. The funniest name for them is whistle pigs! They whistle a very loud warning chirp if they see a person -- usually long before you see them. They're cute if they are not undermining your foundation, or destroying your garden overnight, or your cows aren't breaking their legs in the burrows. But mice and rabbits are cute, too. Woodchuck populations can explode if there aren't enough predators around to control them, and then they become a problem. They are supposed to be good to eat.

There's a recipe in The New York Times' website that is prefaced:

"The gardener who created this dish notes that the herbs and vegetables in this recipe are available fresh from the garden because they have not been eaten by the dish’s main ingredient."

Another recipe online begins:

"Have someone else clean your freshly killed groundhog."

Which I think sounds like good advice for the potential whistle pig epicure.

Vermonter's who live back in the woods are also affectionately called woodchucks.

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 04, 2017, 12:18:13 PM
Coincidentally, speaking of the wild, there were bear prints in the garden this morning. I haven't planted anything yet because we've had so much rain, I can't even till it. But the mud preserved the footprints. I just poured some plaster of Paris in them while my daughter is away, so when she gets back home in a few minutes she can pull the casts out and see what they look like.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on June 04, 2017, 04:01:08 PM
Yikes - bears  :bugeye:

Dangerous country you live in - worst we have are grass snakes  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on June 05, 2017, 02:03:34 PM
We've got lots of politicians roaming wild currently. Bears are positively polite by comparison Andrew ! :poke: :poke:

Can anyone tell me when the season starts?  :headbang: :headbang:

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: awemawson on June 05, 2017, 04:45:13 PM
Well I would liken many a politician to a snake be it grass or viper  :lol:
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on June 05, 2017, 05:38:09 PM
The casting. There's been a big increase in the black bear population in New England over the last decade. Something like 6000+ in my small state, and Maine has 30,000, I believe. Even tiny Rhode Island has seen them return from extinction there.

Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: vtsteam on July 11, 2017, 06:14:17 PM
Photos links broken by PhotoBucket now redirected.
Title: Re: Another Workshop Time Waster
Post by: howsitwork? on July 23, 2017, 03:28:35 AM
Hi Steve

Hope the bears just pose for photos for you. We spent a week I. Alaska last august and eventually saw two black bears on the Canadian border eating roots and having a play fight before wondering off. Beautiful to watch but very powerful. Glad we were inside a tour bus at the time. One lady wanted to get out for a better photo🤔🤔

She was persuaded this was not a good idea just before they decided to exchange a few playful blows....

Beautiful country and great people ( on both sides of the border ).

By now no doubt your enjoying the bountiful water supplies.

Ian