Thursday, August 26, 2010

Second story ramming

It took two days to finish the formwork on the second story. Working twenty feet in the air is slower than on the ground. It takes time to climb the ladder plus hauling materials up with a rope, but we were still pretty much on schedule.

We began the ramming this morning around 8:30. For this set-up, we're using a telebelt conveyor ($150/hr from Jos. J Albanese). Because the belt is expensive, you want a big enough crew to keep up with it. Today we had eleven people: Edward and a helper on the mix rig, Khyber on the delivery hose, six guys on rammers, and two on reinforcing steel and back-up. Terra assisted Khyber for half the day controlling lift depth, and Patrick the carpenter jumped in from time to time to help with window heads.

I was keeping track of how many minutes it took to go the eighty feet around the building: about 20. We decided to stick with the six inch course depth, rammed tight to about four inches. With three courses making one foot of wall, and each course taking twenty minutes, we could predict finishing the nine foot tall walls in ten or eleven hours taking into consideration the extra time needed to drop in horizontal reinforcing every 18" plus time to set the lids on the window boxes. As it turned out, we made it about six feet up in the forms when we decided to call it a day, seven hours after the conveyor started. We'll finish tomorrow around noon, then prep for the bond beam. It will be interesting to compare costs for the three volumes, each one with a slightly different crew and conveyor configuration.

The photos in this post are fun. You can clearly see the second story forms sitting on top of the first floor walls, plus a good look at the telebelt set-up with the mix rig in the background. The last photo shows the delivery end of the conveyor viewed across the top of the kitchen walls.

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