Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 13 April 2014 01:00

Of SPADs and weddings

13th April 2014

(SPAD – of course UK readers will know, but for the benefit of my overseas readers (Hullo Sweden!) means Signal Passed at Danger; a cardinal sin.)

Readers who go through this prose with the proverbial comb will have noticed that there was no tally last week on the number of columns grouted, and that was because, with contractors busy digging and rolling, and the weather, we had not had opportunity to get any more done.

Published in 2014 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 06 April 2014 01:00

Of galas and kinked pipes

6th April 2014

Aaah, where to begin. So many disparate threads this week. Welcome to the first blog of April. Again, my apologies to those of you who had difficulty last week. Some little s*d managed to get into the site and added a “script” that put the server into a tizz. Other ISPs latched on and blocked access and it took a number of hours for the good news to filter through after it was fixed. Indeed, one reader phoned me Monday afternoon to say he could get it on his phone, but his office computer still insisted the site was down. Ah well, all passwords have been changed, all computers scanned for malware and I will remain vigilant.

Published in 2014 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00

Of chickens and speedos

30th March 2014

Firstly, my apologies if you have had difficulties getting on to Weekend Rails this week. As I write this, people are telling me that they are getting server error messages. Now I “check” WR (and Andrew Briddon Locos) every day, a legacy of the trouble that has been caused by past hacking attempts (as a matter of interest, there have been over 500 spurious attempts to “log-in” to my side of WR this month) but I do so by means of the monitoring package which has been unaffected, so remained unaware. Hopefully it will not take long to fix.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 23 March 2014 00:00

Of duck tape and Baby Powder

23rd March 2014

This week seems to have been directed very much at “the shed”. On the one hand I have not quite kept up with an average of grouting one column per day – the weather has not been kind and some of our foundations, being 300mm below surrounding ground level, do not drain readily after rain. But anyway, on Tuesday I headed over to the planned cladding supplier to go through the specification and requirements for the roof.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 16 March 2014 00:00

Of grout and grinders

16th March 2014

Those of you who are regular readers will have twigged that my titles usually correlate in some manner with the text. Indeed, usually when I sit down to write this, the first bit I commit is “Of ?” and I return when I have got to the end and work out what common theme(s) have escaped from my musings to become proper prose. So, you might have wondered, why did the word “jacks” come in to the title last week when there was nothing much about jacks in the text. Ah. Well, there was, and then Andrew observed that I committed something of a faut paux, and it was much easier just to delete the entire bit and so I did, but clean forgot the tweak the title.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 09 March 2014 00:00

Of windows, grinders and jacks

9th March 2014

So, what of the shed floor? Well, the e-mail arrived on Monday complete with a re-statement of the reasons why, but not really answering the questions I'd raised – a sort of “We are the experts, don't question our motives”. But their response might have been more effective if they'd remembered to attach the drawing itself. I got that on Tuesday, and despite having sent them a CAD drawing showing (a) the stools that we'd made after they'd insisted on lowering the foundations to 300mm below ground level and (b) exactly where the internal concrete panels had been located, they insisted that these points had no relevance to their drawings. Insofar as the purpose of the floor slab is to weigh down the foundations and ensure that our overhead crane, tearing up and down the building all day and twice as fast on Sundays, doesn't cause the whole caboodle to shake or waltz down to the river that may be true, but it is a bit galling to have them insist that their sectional drawings are “correct” when they cannot be true to what has actually been built.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00

Of raffles and revisions

2nd March 2014

At 08.30 Monday morning an e-mail polarised in my Inbox containing Revision C of the plans for the shed floor. My revised spec to the Structural engineers, which had included a large amount of “as built” information on CAD, had limited that area where the Mattersons are to be used effectively down to one quarter of the building. Thus while this retained the “nuclear shelter” concrete thickness, the remainder of the floor could be reduced to “normal” standards.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 23 February 2014 00:00

Of banners and beams

23rd February 2014

Work resumed at Darley Dale on Monday with the gable ends, side purlins and various concrete panels still to complete. A framework for the personnel door at the side was duly incorporated, but a framework for the other door, which goes at the far end between the planned roller shutters, is not yet ready leaving that end of the building strangely skeletal.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 16 February 2014 00:00

Of lists of things to do

16th February 2014

Right, make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a beer, because this might take some time. And for once, when sometimes I feel guilty that there is only one, or even none, in the way of photographs, this week there is lots to report and lots of pictures to show it with.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 09 February 2014 00:00

Of firsts and seconds

9th February 2014

I headed back down to Rowsley on Monday afternoon and even as I got there, Chris the haulier was there with several lengths of nice long I beam which will make the final stanchions for the shed ends. We unloaded the pieces alongside the shed and off he went. When Andrew got home from work, he headed on down and we dragged the welder half out of the large workshop doors by which means the cables just reached the beams, and he could weld on the base plates. This was an entertaining practice, trying to line the plates up and get them somewhere about square (we fall back on the plus or minus 10mm tolerance of structural steel!) and in the near dark.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
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