Wednesday, 30 September 2015

weld weary

With the engineers issue sorted and the steel cut it was time for me to weld all of the floor and roof steel plates into place.

I tackled the inside first:

There were about 40 of these @ 75x75x6mm. First I needed to run along with the angle grinder and grind off rust and paint. Then I moved onto the roof which needed around 54 pieces of 100x75x6mm plates. Once welded and wire brushed they were all given a coat of coldgal paint (galvanising spray paint.)

Also on the inside I was able to attach the right angle brackets I had made to the steel joist using high tensile bolts. I will probably run a weld around the bracket for extra strength before it is hoisted up and welded into place:

I will wait until Paul is visiting next to put it up - it's just a little unwieldy weighing in at about 72kg. It was difficult enough carrying it from one end of the containers to the other on my own. I don't fancy trying to hoist it up above my head.

Despite having finished all of the tussock spraying I am back out again with the weed spray as it is prime thistle season and the dreaded saffron thistle is rearing it's pretty but obnoxious head!!

Have to be a little more careful now - ran into this little fella (red bellied black snake) the other day while out spraying - he was no trouble as he was quietly warming himself in the early Spring sunshine:

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

tussock tussle

With the latest holdup from the engineers sorted I am now waiting for the metal merchants to cut 6mm flat bar into about 80 or so pieces which I can use to weld between the containers on the floor and roof. With a guillotine it should only take them an hour or less. Considerably longer if I tried myself with a cutting blade on my grinder.

So I used the time to start spot spraying my Serrated Tussock grass per the instructions from the council. It was the only mandatory requirement from the weeds and pests inspector.

Tussock is all the light straw coloured clumps in the following photos:

I estimated that about 60% of my 25 acres (10.1Ha) needed spot spraying because of things like the rocks, dam, trees, road, tanks, plantings etc getting in the way. I had a boom sprayer quote for the rest.

So spending several hours each day with my sprayer after a couple of weeks I had covered all the territory I needed to do by hand.

But one of the things that the boom sprayer does is obliterate all greenery on the areas he sprays - everything dies and you're left with bare earth. And the problem with that is one of the first things to come back in the bare soil is thistle. Which then necessitates further spraying.

So I then decided I was going to spot spray the rest of the property.

Which I did.

Tussock after poisoning:

While out there I also covered my strawberry plants with mulch and used some spare chicken wire from a dismantled paddock fence to cover them up:

Current status: itching to get back to the build!!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

wombat worry

In case some of you out there in cyberland were concerned about the plight of the Tondelver House wombat(s), I can relieve your anxiety by letting you know at least 3 of the four wombat burrows have been reoccupied.

Also my 'wombat-porn' spy camera caught this laddie/lassie the other night wandering up around the garden:

And he/she looks to be mange free which is a relief.

The camera has also picked up (apart from lots of roos) what seems to be a fox which has appeared on several nights:

And a show off duck giving me his 'best side':

A lovely neighbour has given me access to horse manure which has gone around the rhubarbs. She also very kindly gave me about 14 strawberry plants which have just gone in and need some mulch around them. I will be doing some more soil conditioning over the next few weeks.

Paul doing some 'muckraking':

And strawberries prior to mulching:

Progress on the build was held up for a couple of weeks by engineering issues again - they have been resolved (for the time being!) so I can get back to some interior welding.

One of the three beams has been welded in position, with the other two (a 'T' bar configuration) awaiting the manufacture of two right angle steel brackets to join them together)

Beam up Scotty: