This weekend we finished the detail work on the East wall. We had to create a rim around the upper portions of the arch for the future windows to attach to. We did this by cutting sections of Faswall panels, which are actually made for raised garden beds. There is a 2 1/2 inch gap on the inside that will get filled with concrete. We will be buying what is essentially a hand-held shotcrete blower. With this, we will be able to spray the concrete into the gap. We will also use it to apply the interior mortar finish.
For those of you interested in what our lightweight concrete looks like. I ground smooth a section of window sill. In this picture, you can see the wood embedded concrete of the Faswall blocks and the filler concrete with polystyrene pellets.
Check out our Cemento-Vision post to find out more about it.
Two things got accomplished this weekend. First, I finally replaced all the broken parts (bearings, driveshaft and chains) on Dozy, our little bulldozer. He’s been sitting up on a trailer since October and is anxious to get back to work. There are still some parts that I need to reassemble but Dozy will be back “on track” very soon.
Secondly, we made great strides on the East wall. Jeff and I were back at it mixing concrete and filling blocks.
Last week we stopped just short of the header beam above the door and windows.
For strength, this needed to be one continuous “pour”. We then worked our way up the center wall section. This was a bit tedious as it involved hefting a bucket of concrete up onto scaffolding, climbing up, pouring it in then going back down for more. The real challenge was getting the concrete in after stacking two more rows of blocks above the ones you see in the picture to the left. Also, we needed to tie the wall into the ceiling with rebar. After drilling holes in the ceiling, we inserted rebar down the center of the blocks. After laying the next two rows of block, we reached down and pulled up the rebar to insert in the holes.
We also inserted an electric box for an outdoor light fixture. One of the cool features of using the Faswall blocks it that you can use woodworking tools. It took a simple hole saw to make the opening for the fixture.
There was just enough room to use a yogurt container to fill the last of the voids.
The final gap will be a bit of fiddly work to close in but that will have to wait until next week.
All in all, it was a productive weekend.