I take the Monday as vacation to have the 4 day weekend in Bancroft.
This is the big moment: Compacting the first tire for the walls!
There is a second reason to celebrate: I have my first volunteer to come and help me: Mike from the Fleming College ‘sustainable engineering and construction’ program. He intends to build an earthship as well in the near future. He was given the link to my web site by word of mouth and contacted me during the week.
I arrive in Bancroft on Friday night and start compacting my first tire early Saturday morning. By the time Mike arrives, I have compacted my first 3 or 4 tires, enough to have a better feel for it and just enough experience to show off in front of Mike! The day is very hot without much wind to cool us down, but after a lunch break we work till about 3:30pm and we end up completing around 16 tires together. Not bad for a start! In the middle of that, we have ourselves a nice barbecue at lunch time and a lot of discussion about the project and Mike’s project as well.
In the evening, I invite myself at my friends Sue & Jerry and we have a lovely dinner followed by one of our best jam session. We make quite a trio with Sue on the piano, Jerry on the one string base a.k.a "the gut bucket" and me on the guitar. So all together a great day and a huge boost for the spirit!
On Sunday, I start pounding tires at 6:30am to beat the heat. I stop for lunch and then go paddling and take a quick dive in Lake L’Amable, then it is back to pounding tires.
I also call my son in Ottawa, make a quick decision to give priority to my family, cut short my 4 days stay in Bancroft and pay them a visit the next day.
So on Monday, I do another few more tires in the morning, close the shop around mid-afternoon and hit the road for Ottawa. That was a great decision. What a joy to spend some time with all of them and of course with my incredibly adorable grand-daughter. See the picture of Clara in the photo gallery.
Score for the weekend: 35 tires in 3.5 man-day.
1st week of July
You may think that my weekends are busy, but the weeks are quite hectic as well, between work, trying to prepare for the weekends by doing planning, research, drawings, purchases and communications. Add to that trying to have a life with all that this includes (diners, friends, family, and other things of the heart …) and 24hrs is barely enough each day to find time to rest.
But, I must say, with all the good stuff that is happening in Bancroft and in my life, I am not complaining, it’s a great life!
Some of the good things achieved for the project:
- Placed the order for the water pressure tank, with tubing, wiring, pressure switch and filter
- Completed a diagram of the plumbing system and components inventory
- Purchased all the fittings, valves and copper pipe that I think I will need for the installation.
- Created a diagram representing the house where I can easily color the tires that have been compacted. This will help to visualize where we stand in the wall building. Also created a statistics table to keep track of the scores. This will measure our progress and the productivity for each weekend. I will post it and update on the home page every week.
Weekend July 5-6th
We arrive (with Joanne) on Friday 9:30 pm on a beautiful cool evening.
Good news, I find my plumbing order waiting for me at the trailer (Water-pressure tank, cable, tubing etc…)
On Saturday morning, I start early again and Mike joins me again later in the morning. Weather is much cooler and that allows us to complete some 20 tires that day. We have another nice barbecue for lunch and we quit around 3 pm.
Joanne tries herself at the sledge hammer and at the wheel-barrow. Sorry guys, I missed the photo opportunity on this one, but I promise you one of Joanne working on the wall this summer!
Some minor challenges:
- Our tires have different diameters, so they do not 100% match the drawings. We will have to compensate with concrete blocks to fill the gaps. This was to be expected and is not an issue.
- Black water drain pipe: I remembered to leave a space in the internal tire wall for that grey water drain pipe but the next morning, lying in bed listening to the birds, it downs on me that I forgot to bury that same drain pipe under the back wall north east corner before we put the last tires of the day. However, since we just happened that one of the last tires we put down was not in a perfectly horizontal position, I decide that I will undo that one bury the pipe under it and redo it nice and straight this time. So, just a minor correction and a lesson learned for the future.
That has not been a “do it right the first time” experience, but considering that I do not have a great experience in plumbing, that allowed me to familiarise myself with the materials and sizes ensure that I have the right stuff and right design before I start the job.
I think that this kind of process whereby I gain knowledge and experience via simulations and tests will be widely used on this project.
We finish the Sunday by going for a paddle before we head back to Toronto. The weather is beautiful but with a strong wind gusting at 40km/h at times this makes a good work out and a fun practice in choppy waters.
Score for the weekend: 19 tires in around 1.7 man-day for a total of 54 tires.
Great news: I receive a call to arrange for me to do a presentation of my project to the Fleming College students at their building site in Bancroft next Friday. That will give me a chance to meet them, expand my sustainable-design-experts network and hopefully get more volunteers.