Another 7am start on a lovely cool morning for more concrete. Felt much better about this one – what with being largely organised, not running around like an idiot at the last minute, and simply having done it before.

*yawn* Early starts…

Had few hours of setup with Maurice and his crew, finishing off the formwork and steel – some quite tight timelines on this pour, what with Maurice trying to retrieve his schedule from the dumpster fire of the recent wet weeks. Prep went something like this:

  • Wednesday morning cleaning up the diggings and getting the boards scattered around the perimeter.
  • Wednesday arvo Maurice and his crew swung by to put the boards in with their customary two million star pickets, and most of the plastic.
  • Thursday morning the steel guys installed the big cages in the outer trenches and I followed them around chairing it up and generally being annoying.
  • Thursday afternoon I put the mesh into the wet area and chaired that so the termite guy could come through and do the penetrations, put (most of) the l-bolt pairs and quads in (mostly the correct) places, then lifted the c-channels into position and welded them – huge advantage having done all this before and worked out a good system for it.

    Made a few changes to my setup as well – biggest one was lifting the bracing pieces between the outer boards and the c-channels up using a spacer block, which you can see in the foreground of the pic above. This allowed the concrete guys to get their trowels under the braces and not have to remove the spacers before the concrete dried (and therefore stopped the channels from shifting).

    Even got off-site before dark, which was a bit radical.
Setup complete, pumper ready for action

The ‘small’ pump truck (in comparison to the monster that did the house) came in and wedged itself into the driveway right up next to the formwork, which allowed each concrete truck to get far enough off the road to not cause traffic dramas (days like this, living next to a blind crest is a pain in the backside….)

Foundation trenches and most of the upstands poured, working on the slab…

Concrete is such a strange material – it still weirds me out that you can pump it through a giant pipe, but you can pour the upstands like this, building it up 200mm above the plastic inside a suspended form and it doesn’t flow back out.

Outer form, c-channel and bracing with its spacer blocks to lift it above the surface of the upstand.

Pour itself went pretty well, albeit with the usual random waits for the next concrete truck and discussions about how much more or less concrete we needed at the end.

The last little bit…

Aaaaand then we waited for it to set. And waited. And waited some more. Then the sun went behind the clouds and we checked the radar looking for rain (which thankfully stayed near the coast). Then the sun came back out, but went behind the trees. And we yanked the internal star pickets out and waited for it to set. Maurice rang the supplier to make sure they hadn’t put any bonus retardants in it – “No, but the previous job did and maybe there was some still in the lines?” Maurice swears a bit and we wait some more, and took a bit of formwork down to allow some excess water to drain off.

Is it b****y dry yet? Oh yeah, that little sunny corner up the back is…

The sun went low enough to come under the verge trees, the crew sent me out for more smokes, a bit of a breeze came through and we kept waiting and watching the planes coming in to land.

Finally about 5:20pm it set enough for Maurice to finish running the helicopter over the surface, loaded it back on the truck and everyone headed home.

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