Tag Archives: manual labour

Everything I need to know about cement I learnt from the Cordial Factory

In an attempt to save some money the team decided to remove the cement floor themselves. It is an excellent example of the false economy one can experience when renovating. This task has included the hire and use of an electric jackhammer  (great tool but no match for the thickest of the cement), 3 hours work by a professional cement saw operator ($400 blade worn through), four trailer loads of cement to ASQ for recycling (and counting), the removal and stacking of 100+ bricks and several appointments to the chiropractor. The finish is in sight, well at least for this particular chapter of the build – or should that be preparation for the build.

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‘The farmer, a fox, a chicken and a bag of corn’

Back in May a friend from Melbourne commented about the prospective view out the back of the factory when the renovation is complete.  “You’ll have a good view of the tank!”  It was a valid point.

So, the crew began work on reconfiguring the backyard. Our goal was to create a more aesthetically pleasing outlook from the back of the factory.  Our visualizing skills, not to mention some of the crew’s spatial skills were pushed to the limit.  In approaching this challenge the following brain teaser came to mind:

A farmer is trying to cross a river with a bag of corn, a chicken and a fox. The farmer’s raft is only big enough to take himself and one other item per trip. The chicken cannot be left alone with the corn or it will eat it. Likewise the fox cannot be left alone to eat the chicken. How does the farmer get all three items across the river?

We moved the garden shed, which enabled us to shift the tank, but that meant we had to dismantle the compost bins.  While we were at it we built a new chook run (hopefully that will deter any foxes) and 3 compost bays.

Click on the first image to scroll through the collection.

Progress on the south wall

After a couple of weeks break from the hammer and bolster we were back into the swing of things this afternoon.  The piano was safely moved to the north side of the space allowing access to another ‘Class A’ rising damp spot.

'Oliver's Wall'

All walls of the main space have now had some render removed.  It does give us some encouragement.  The new apprentice worked well, although he is right-handed.  Oh well, we can overlook that.

Two hours work - good progress!

Seasonal labourer boosts productivity

The addition of another labourer has helped with the progress of the north interior wall.  All exterior work has been postponed due to inclement weather.  (Today’s forecast – showers throughout the day, snow down to 600m.)  Work was achieved in short intense sessions.  Trying to manage the workforce to maximise productivity.  This is challenging and Grandpa Baker’s truism has come to mind several times today: “One boy’s a boy, two boys – 1/2 a boy, three boys – NO boy at all!”

Max at the beginning of the day

Caution: Heavy machinery at work

The senior apprentice worked hard this afternoon in sunny (but still chilly) conditions to clear the rubble for the next stage of work.