Makin’ stuff and stuffing around

I’ve just about chewed through 5 kg of welding rods in finishing off various bits and pieces of the mould system and ancillary inventions. My dad is coming over next week to give me a hand with trimming up all the formply so I can bolt together the shutters and various custom corners to finish the mould system. Once these are done the very final bit of welding needs to be done to the dividers and that is adding the top locator bolts.

I must say I am very happy with how the system has come together, when you check out the very first idea I had for the dividers
Mold Divider Details
then compare that to the end result
Near perfect alignment
you can see how much lighter they will be for a start with about a third of the steel needed. The lighter design did need a lot more thought put into it to ensure some accuracy across all the pieces. The final design will have a thin sheet of oiled MDF placed either side and that will allow easy removal of the divider from the set blocks with the MDF then being gently peeled off the set face of the block, re oiled and then set again for the next run of blocks.

I put together a 2 stage soil sifter as well. We can sift down to 20mm aggregate by adding a removable mesh cage. This will be good for the walls and should give a nice smooth and uniform finish. The larger mesh filters down to 50mm, and that larger aggregate will be used in the retaining walls around the place.

Soil sifterSoil sifterSoil sifter

The stuffing around bit is in the soil tests we are conducting to work out the additives we need for the soil. So far I’ve done a couple of “shake tests” to seperate the soil particles into solids, sand, silt and clay and it looks like the soil is around 15% clay. I’ll run 2 earthen concrete shrinkage tests over the next week with soil as is and the soil cut back with 10% sharp sand by volume, both with 10% white cement as stabiliser.

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