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Sunday, 29 July 2012

T'ut's comin' on

The east gable end roof truss is in position at last.   I am planning for the other trusses to be craned in in a couple of days time if all goes well.   For some reason my computer stretches images sideways so the roof looks flatter than its actual 30 degree slope.   This is all a new experience for me so I am spending about half the time thinking and half the time doing.   Probably about the right ratio.

The building is literally taking shape and its lines and proportions are really rather pleasing.   It is still a bit hard to appreciate how the fiinished article will look bacause of the confusion of scaffolding and temporary wooden braces and supports.   It will look OK in the end.   Trust me.
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Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer House preparations

We have until 8th August to prepare for the arrival of the summer house.   The wooden pegs set out on the top of the embankment show the footprint of the 3.6m square structure.   We must leave a metre gap between it and the boundary wall and fences.   This is OK at the rear of the summer house - by the fence - but to the left by the dry stone wall things are tight.   If we leave a metre gap the opposite wall of the summer house would overhang the top of the embankment.   A phone call to Building Inspector Mike Nuttall resolved the problem.   The metre gap is intended to be a fire break where wooden buildings are close to boundaries.   We can measure our metre from the centre line of the dry stone wall and still satisfy that need.   This enables us to set the building squarely onto the level top of the embankment.   We shall need to create a pathway alongside the building but this can be achieved either by digging into the top of the embankment, or by a cantilevered walkway out from the summer house floor joists.   We need to see how best to tackle this after August 8th

Meanwhile the grass seed sown on the embankment has really flourished during this the wettest summer on record:

The stunning view of Pen y Ghent from what will be the summer house.
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Shedding light on the shed

The big shed is progressing well.   Another Settle rumour has emerged - that it is a film set for a western - 'Hang 'em High'.

These are the five roof trusses now ready to be craned into place.   The wooden blocks are the supports for the purlins.   The truss nearest the camera is being used as the pattern for the gable end trusses, which will be  in position in a couple of days time.

The size of the shed can be judged by comparison with the cars and with the stairs leading to the main door of the tower.

This amazing piece of kit has enabled me to cut very accurate joints.   It is a Sears radial arm saw of industrial strength.   We bought it with The Folly but it had no manual with it.   I Googled it and got a flashing screen warning.   If you have one of these DO NOT Use It!!!! and notify us.   People had lost fingers, hands and arms using this item.   I filled in the form on the screen and, no questions asked, a huge crate of spare parts arrived from the USA by air freight, free of charge - even though I was not the first owner by a long way.   Anyway, it is safe to use and is hugely useful.

Another useful bit of kit is this pillar drill.   Handy when pre-drilling two vertical holes in 98 blocks of wood for the purlins.
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Painting in the Manor Manner

Manor Paint of Shipley have been incredibly supportive of our project - and still are.   This is John Scanlan, senior man from Manor who has personally made a VIP delivery - Very Important Paint, that is.   Among the tins of specially mixed paint are further supplies of St Pancras Blue and 15 litres of Suffolk Barn black for the outbuilding along with decking sealant, stone sealant and anti-slip paint for the bridge.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Visit from Salvo

Had a visit yesterday from railway guru Dr Paul Salveson.   Besides making all the right noises about the water tower, Salvo wrote the following in the Visitors Book:

Rule 55   Detained at home signal.   Highly impressed.

Old habits die hard eh?!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The shed grows

The main outbuilding's wall frames are almost built and its size begins to become apparent.   The picture is a bit confusing as some of the permanent uprights have temporary supports holding them in place.   The three uprights to the right are massive oak beams, set in concrete for us by builders Kilburn and Johnson.   Richard, Carl and their team are being very helpful indeed with items like these as they crop up.   They also brought their fancy laser machine to ensure that the building will be dead level.

Rumours are flying round Settle about the purpose of the building.   A glance at the planning notice on any nearby lamp post would explain.   Among the rumours we have heard are that it is to be an engine shed, a vistors centre or a mosque.   One thing is for sure it will be a fine structure that will blend very nicely with the tower. 
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Settle or Seattle?

For the last three days we have had the delight of a visit from American son-in-law Alan and step grandchildren Anna and Margot.   In honour of their visit the stars and stripes flew over the water tower, to their delight and to the slight bewilderment of Settle.   Alan has been receiving medical treatment in the USA and we were thrilled beyond measure to see him looking so well and enjoying life.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Taking on water at Settle

The crew of this locomotive have found something of interest whilst they await the 'right away' on the down line at Settle - probably in the early 1960s.   The water crane, supplied from the water tower, dominates the foreground.   Less obvious is the brazier with its long chimney, to the left of the water crane.   This was to prevent the water from freezing in winter.Posted by PicasaNote also the lack of line-side trees enabling a good view of the hills.   Trees and other vegetation were in those days kept in check to prevent line-side fires caused by flying cinders from steam locomotives.

This locomotive is Britannia Pacific 70002 Geoffrey Chaucer, built in March 1951 and withdrawn from service in January 1967.   A Carlisle engine, this magnificent express engine has been reduced to hauling a 'slow' - stopping at all stations - train to Carlisle by the time this picture was taken.

   Photo - Derek Soames collection

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Shed Takes Shape

This collage shows the progress on 'The Shed'.   We now have the framework of two of the four walls - and mighty impressive it is too.   Today we had a visit from Peter and Caroline Dale-Leech who run the Red House Stables and Working Carriage Museum in Darley Dale, Derbyshire.Posted by Picasa Peter is a joiner and carriage maker so he rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in to some tricky joints (lower middle picture)!   Caroline was to have been a judge at the Great Yorkshire Show - cancelled this year because of the rain.

The massive structure that looks a bit like a CND badge (remember them?) is not the shape of the roof - it is the bracing for the west gable end wall.   The notch at the top of the upright post indicates the height of the ridge beam.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Stiffening the joints

Timber Connector 50mm x M12 Pack of 50In an earlier posting I made reference to timber fixers.   Here is one.   Sandwiched between timbers to be joined and bolted together these gadgets, about 50mm (2inches) in diameter, grip each timber, dig in and the result is an incredibly tight joint.

The garage under construction

Here is a small stack of timber that has had its rotten ends sawn off:  

It is pitch pine - almost unobtainable nowadays.

And here is the back wall taking shape.   The timbers are massive, and once the rotten ends have been removed, they are good as new.  

Below is the first completed roof truss, or A frame, out of five.

Here is the second truss during renovation.   The new wood will become the main tie beam and the original, partly rotten tie beam to the right of the picture will be sawn off, making a slightly smaller but much more rigid truss.   Sandwiched between the new wood and the old are galvanised joint fixers.   When compressed as the bolts are tightened they make an incredibly rigid joint.
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Bingley and Gerrards Cross Rotary Clubs combined floor flattening team

This rather odd picture shows members of Bingley and Gerrards Cross (twinned) Rotary Clubs, lined up against the east wall of the lounge.   I had asked them to stand there in an effort to flatten the lifting floor, then to shuffle westwards in unison.   The technique did not work and I could not hold the camera still enough to get a picture of the shuffle! 
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Some super snaps

for some splendid photographs taken on 6th June by Jim Ellison.   That is of course a month ago but they do represent a snapshot in time of the project as a whole.   Jim, as a visitor, took some views that would not have occurred to me.