Back to the block after snatching 6 hours’ sleep. Immediately got roped into cutting more lengths of ply, after inconveniently pointing out that a few bits of formwork were a touch low – which I noticed….oh, about 8:30 last night.
Meanwhile the pumper arrived, squeezed itself between my verge trees and set up:
shortly followed by the first of the concrete trucks. I put together the last of the inside formwork (this is fine, right?) which I couldn’t do late last night because of noise restrictions. They filled the foundation trenches with the first few trucks while I flung myself into placing L-bolts.
I’d meant to do these by placing templates attached to the formwork, with holes drilled to fit the joined pairs of L-bolts and let them hang in place. A couple of problems with this, in practice – the sheer amount of rebar in the edges made it hard to get them in the right spots, and that got even harder when the upstands started filling with concrete! I’d kinda expected them to fill the whole thing from the bottom up (because physics logic, and expecting concrete to be liquid rather than the weird sludge it is), but they actually worked from one end to the other, filling the upstands as they went. So a few bolts got placed blind, working them into the concrete.
Once the pour itself was done, the crew spent an incredibly long time smoothing, helicoptering, smoothing again, floating, smoothing some more, back on the helicopter….etc. I gathered that it was taking an inordinately long time to set, thanks to the cooler day and some shade from the coral tree.
And all the while a stream of trucks was delivering more of the dark grey sludgey stuff. And I need to talk about the colour for a bit – I knew I wanted something darker than normal, so between me, Maurice and “his guy at BGC” we settled on this dark charcoaley grey (technically “6% black”) which looked good in the photos….and the photos did not do it justice. The colour of this slab is making me very happy – and even the concreter was impressed, since he hadn’t seen it in use.
This is the best photos I’ve got to show the colour:
And I’ll leave a series of photos from the day in a gallery below.
I also need to make mention of Maurice, the concreter from Empire Concrete – he has been absolutely fantastic, isn’t afraid of anything weird or different, is happy to deal with owner-builders and is a genuinely nice bloke to boot.