Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flora and Fauna

I thought that endless pictures of a wall that's taking a long time to come together might be a bit tedious so here's some exciting photos of plants around the garden.




That's nearly 12"s done - only another 2 1/2 foot to go. It's been just over a month since we started. At this rate it will take until Xmas unless I start really putting the hours in. I have a party planned in my head for end of September - will this be possible?

We've been filling the back side in with gravel and soil and are only 4 or 5 inches from the eventual level of the inside floor. Crocs aren't really suitable safety shoes when you are dropping big bits of stone here and there but it was so hot and sweaty today that I couldn't face workboots.

This is technically known as freckle-muck

C'mon grow Tumblin' Toms!!

The second pair of dots above the string will be ground level - come on!!



This is what the Turin Shroud would have looked like if our Lord had been allowed to keep on his denim shorts when he was getting crucified

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where's me batter bits?

I should've really done this at the beginning but today i'm going to make the 'Batter Frames' which are used to get the correct cross section of the wall. Luckily my brother has a mania for hoarding bits of wood so it was easy to find a few nice bits to use (thanks IKEA)

You need to make the sides of the wall slope inwards towards the top so when the stones settle in to place they will move inwards (good) instead of outwards (bad). The ancient formula is that the base is half of the height and the top is half of the base. I'm cheating ever so slightly, height = 42", base = 18", top = 12". Pray Let the walling gods favour my maverick miniaturisation.

One end in and it's looking good! I hammered steel pins into the ground to hold it in place. When I was attaching the pins to the frame with tape I felt a bit like I was betraying the traditions and should've been using twine or something.

The other end was a bit trickier as there is a 3 foot drop into next door's garden. Luckily there was some hefty fenceposts found behind the shed so I hammered them in and screwed the frame on.

All strung up and ready to go. The string at the top shows the eventual height of the wall - there's a long way to go! Got a birthday party tonight and then village carboot sale in the morning but after that i'm going to spend the whole day at it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First course coming up!

Another nice hot and blustery day for a spot o' walling. We're putting the first course in today on top of the foundations. We'd spent so much time getting the foundations perfectly flat that this was so easy. We decided that if we want to have a chance at finishing this any time this decade though, we're going to have to move a bit faster and not spend 1/2 an hour per stone

Rounding the corner, some of those stones are *slightly different heights!!!* but i'm trying not to let it bother me. We're trying to get this wall done fast now

That's the first course all the way round to the first step.

The weather was so good that after Nick went home I decided to continue and start another course from the back. The level of the stones looks a bit wonky from here but they are alright more or less

It's starting to look like a real wall!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finished the Foundations

Making the stepped foundations up the bank - the string lines show where the new inner surface will lie

One stone away from finishing the foundations

DONE IT! It seems to have taken a long while to get to this point but I've convinced myself that this was the hardest part

Starting the first course. The end stone cracked when I was knocking the edge off it to neaten it up. It was going to be undeground anyway so it didn't even matter. Hopefully it'll be okay.

I think we're going to call it a day