Wednesday 23 January 2013

Hemping in 40 degrees

With a mid February deadline to finish the walls so we can lend the mixer, we arranged a four day weekend to work on the house. The very generous Tony was also coming down to help us. So, on Friday the three of us worked through incredible 40 degree heat, finishing the section between the sliding doors and upper windows on the back section of the house. In the heat the mix dried out more quickly and we made the mixes with one and a half buckets of water rather than the usual one and a third buckets, to take account of the hot weather. Even without windows or ceiling insulation it was noticeably cooler inside the house and working up high meant that we caught whatever breeze there was. After working in such adverse conditions we knocked off at 4pm and had a long and well deserved swim at the beach.

Section between sliding doors and upper windows
Back pavilion hemped behind awning
 After the extreme heat of Friday, Tony and I worked on putting up the awning on the main pavilion on Saturday while Ben worked on the sections between the upper windows. There were some difficult sections above the hallway where the the large number of studs made it awkward to be able to access both side of the wall from the inside. This was partially resolved by standing on the hallway roof and filling the difficult to access parts of the form work from the outside.

With previous experience the awning went up easily. We matched up the top of the awning with where it joins the roof above the front door, then put in place the rafters on either side of the valley and used temporary timber extensions and careful measurement to locate the positioning of the valley. We used the cool of Sunday morning and the assistance of our friend Beth and her two bows, Ira and Alec, to put up the long fascia on the awning. Ira helped out putting up the valley rafter which had to be located in mid air while Alec, Beth and Ben worked on the eastern wall of the main room. It seemed a bit unfair introducing people to hemp building, on scaffolding while working up to a sloped ceiling, but this was what we needed to do and from now on all the work is on ladders or scaffolding.

Awning on main pavilion

Front view of awning, valley in left corner

On the last day of our four day weekend Ben and I put in a mammoth effort working up to the ceiling above the upper windows in an effort to finish the back pavilion. Working on the high end of roof under the ceiling was surprisingly easier than the low end. The scaffolding made the work easier and we had more head room. Extra support in the form of angled pieces of timber were put next to the lintel to provide support for the hemp were it was not able to key in from one side to the other. As the outer edge of the wall is higher than the ceiling level inside we had to mound up the hemp against the outside wall to ensure that it was sufficiently supported. The top corner sections also proved difficult as due to the set up of the rafters a section could not be accessed from either inside or outside and had to be stuffed and tamped from the side before the adjoining form work was put up.

Back pavilion formed up to the eaves lining
Working above the upper windows
We finished the back pavilion bar a tiny corner, as it was late in the day and we did not want to have to make a new mix when we only needed about 1/4 of the mix. Plus the form work had not been moved up the last little bit.

Western bedroom finished, just waiting for form work to be removed
Section over the hallway finished
Eastern bedroom finished, except the corner

No comments:

Post a Comment