Friday, August 29, 2014

Barn: ready for the foam and heating pipes...

Barn: ready for the foam and heating pipes...  Lots of progress on the barn yesterday, as you can see in the photos below.  The last photo shows the completed barn floor “underpinnings”: a layer of fine gravel that's been carefully leveled and compacted.  The under-slab plumbing is in (drains for the toilet, sink, and floor).  Next up, perhaps today: installation of the insulating foam that will end up under the concrete floor, and then clipping the heating tubing to the foam.  There will be three serpentine loops of heating tubing, one under each of the three main areas in the barn (garage, workshop, dog agility arena).  Each of these will have a separate thermostat when we're all done – a “three zone” heating system.

The “thumper” used to compact the gravel moves forward of its own accord, thanks to an asymmetric vibration pattern.  This allows fully autonomous operation with a very simple trick: tie one end of a rope to the thumper, then tie the other end to a stake.  The thumper will travel round and round the stake, slowly winding up the rope and spiraling in toward the stake, just a couple inches closer on each revolution.  This results in thoroughly thumped circular areas with almost no effort.  Nice trick!

The plumber very carefully pressure-tested the parts of the septic line that will end up under the slab.  You don't want those to fail, because fixing them would require jack-hammering the slab...

Morning: 8 pier pads and some gravel
Tube forms for pier foundations
Spreading the fine gravel
Pressure-testing the drains
Tedious work: compacting gravel
The last load of fine gravel arrives
Automatic compacting!
End of the day: ready for foam
Final drain installation

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