Monday, December 13, 2010

Drive update

The bobcat came today to clear the spoil from my trenching. It's taken a few day to dry out enough but we can now get the car in and out without to much trouble. I have also started casting the gutter blocks that will make up the drain and garden edging. I had intended to box and free form the concrete but after an initial trial gave that up as a bad idea. I just couldn't get the shape I wanted with that method. 

After a bit of head scratching I decided to make up a steel form that I could use to mold the right shape. A quick trip to the local engineering shop and a half hour on their sheet folder and I had my form. The form is made of 16 gauge black steel sheet and will give me a gutter block 1200mm long. Laid end to end and bedded on hard-fill these will form the drive edge.

Each block is a full barrow of concrete and they weigh a bit so I will have to make up some sort of lifter to get them in place. Since I only have one form I can only make one a day so I've got plenty of time to work that one out. I need about sixty to complete the drive so that should keep me out of trouble for a while.

The form is coated with used cooking oil as a release agent and the ends are clamped in place to contain the concrete. With the end caps removed I can spring the mold a bit to release the finished block.
Form ready for filling
Fill with concrete and vibrate
The next day the concrete is strong enough to be turned out of the mould and the whole process starts again.
The first couple are a bit rough but we will have it under control soon enough.



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