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JamesF

JamesF's observatory build

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For this area, Surrey, the forecast isn't good, with some high winds, so I hope all builders have rooves etc. tied down, to prevent any lifting\damage, especially those with missing walls, where the wind could get underneath....

 

And don't get me started on 70's bands when I used to promote\roadie\security etc. for said, including Slade, Bay City, Bolan et al....

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I had no plans to do any work on the observatory this weekend, especially after it rained pretty much all day yesterday.  One of my intended jobs was halted almost before I got started however, when I discovered a siezed bearing on the bandsaw blade guide which effectively put it out of action until some spares arrive this week.  Replacing the roof on two of the chicken houses went much more quickly than expected this morning too, so I was left with a couple of hours of daylight.  I used the time to put a plywood skin on one side of the rolling roof and over it with membrane.  I'll fix cladding to this once I get it.  Other than the doorway I think it means that side of the building should be pretty much weatherproof now.

I also noticed a few small holes have appeared in the membrane that I've already put up.  I'm wondering if it might be squirrels trying to climb it.  I think I should get on with the cladding as soon as I can to prevent it getting any worse.

James

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Good to hear you found time that you weren't expecting. Bonus!

Those squirrels sound pesky. A good incentive to try and get the cladding up. Looking forward to seeing the next stage James. 

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1 hour ago, Astrokev said:

Good to hear you found time that you weren't expecting. Bonus!

Those squirrels sound pesky. A good incentive to try and get the cladding up. Looking forward to seeing the next stage James. 

They are indeed pesky.  The little swines nick loads of our raspberries in the early autumn.  And at least one of them has learnt to hang upside down by its back legs from a tree branch so it can raid one of the bird feeders with its front feet.  I must try to get a photo of that some time.

James

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1 minute ago, JamesF said:

They are indeed pesky.  The little swines nick loads of our raspberries in the early autumn.  And at least one of them has learnt to hang upside down by its back legs from a tree branch so it can raid one of the bird feeders with its front feet.  I must try to get a photo of that some time.

James

That'll be the ninja-squirrel sub-species I think you'll find ?.

Seriously, they're resourceful little critters. I recall TV progs where they studied their inventive and learned behaviour. You have to admire them.

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The bad thing about grey squirrels? I'm 56 and I've never eaten a wild hazlenut, despite many, many visits to hazel woods. They eat them before they are ripe. I was in woods near Monsal Dale a few weeks ago, full of hazel, but not a single nut.

According to legend there's an island in the Avon at Stratford where they can't get and it has a huge hazel with loads of nuts on it. A friend and colleague got there by boat to carry out some conservation work but didn't bring me any of the bounty ?

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Just ordered the cladding, which should be delivered tomorrow or Friday.  I've gone for treated featheredge boards after dithering a bit.  A slightly more "rough" finish will fit with the rural setting better than planed machined timber I think, and featheredge will match the beer shack next door which wouldn't have been the case with waney edge boards, though I was tempted by the latter as they do make quite a hard-wearing finish.

Now to find some stainless nails for fixing them...

James

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They seem as good as anywhere, and can do next day delivery which means I should have them for the weekend as well :)

James

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1 minute ago, Astrokev said:

Great to hear. Busy weekend ahead then ?

I don't think I have any other sort :D

I was actually supposed to be spending this weekend at a swimming meet, but my daughter has a nasty cold virus (which she has very generously shared with me, to be fair) and is in no fit state to perform well, so we're going to pass on that.  It does give me a free weekend that I wasn't expecting, but I'm never short of things to do :)

It might be a case of one day on other domestic stuff and one day on the observatory depending on how the weather holds up.

James

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Fingers crossed for good weather down your neck of the woods. There's still stuff I need to finish off outside on mine but, being waterproof, I now have the luxury of being able to work inside when I'm not doing other stuff - though it now means I have to trail an extension across the garden since it's pretty dark in there ? 

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Yes, if the rain holds off that will be great.  Anything else I can probably cope with.  It's been pretty fiercely breezy and rainy here for the last two days.  At one point yesterday I looked out of my office window at the observatory roof and the wind was driving the rain so hard up one side of the roof that it was lifting spray perhaps as much as a couple of feet above the ridge height as it was blown over the top.  I nearly lost the plastic sheeting that is covering my flooring ply today, too.  I had to go out and weigh it down with some scrap timber to keep it in place.  Doesn't sound like it's been a huge amount better over your way though.

James

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Love the way conversation always turns to weather for us lot.
Fingers crossed for you James, but weather in the SE is not good today either......see now i have joined in too!

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4 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Love the way conversation always turns to weather for us lot.
Fingers crossed for you James, but weather in the SE is not good today either......see now i have joined in too!

I guess when it's reliable, you don't need to talk about it too much :)

James

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Just now, JamesF said:

I guess when it's reliable, you don't need to talk about it too much :)

James

Thats probably why we DO talk about it so much then.

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The cladding has now arrived.  I felt sorry for the delivery chap as he'd brought it all on his own on a flatbed without a lift, so I helped him unload it in the rain.  It doesn't look like a very big pile to cover 36 square metres, despite ordering more than I thought I'd need so I could use a bit elsewhere.

James

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As it's wet, cover it with a tarp, but make sure that air can flow over\through each timber board, to help it dry out, before treating....

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I have to stack it next to the observatory, so I'll probably do that as I move it over the next few days.

James

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Well, it seems my nails will not be arriving until Monday now, on the grounds that the courier went to my in-laws' door instead of mine, ignored the A4 sign they put up on their door when they're out that says to deliver to our door and left a card saying no-one was in.  They can't attempt a redelivery until Monday and we can't collect today because obviously the parcel is still on a van somewhere :(

James

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Such is life :(  Typical that most unusually I was here on my own when they arrived, otherwise someone would have noticed.

I can still get on with the other side of the roof, close off the gables and think about how I'm going to make the fold-down wall section work (or just make something to close it off temporarily) and run the ducting for the under-floor cabling.

The idea popped into my head the other day that I could actually motorise the roof quite easily, by mounting a motorised drum on the top of the warm room wall and having a cable wrapped around it, anchored at each end of the roof.  Turn the motor one way and the roof opens, turn it the other and it closes.  I'm trying to pretend I never thought of it at the moment though, so I don't get distracted.

I also have a bunch of pheasants to pluck and butcher tomorrow otherwise there's no dinner :D   Might rope my son in for that as he shot some of them. And a delivery that did arrive today was two lengths of worktop for the cupboards in the boot room and some fittings for the new coat rack (also in the boot room), so brownie points are on offer there.  Oh, and yesterday the replacement bearings for the bandsaw turned up, so I can now get on with boxing in the electricity meter etc. in the cellar, which then means I can finish the ducting for the cables running around the house from my ethernet switch.  And I need to see if I can turn a piece of nylon in the lathe into a suitable form to repair the speed controller knob on our Kenwood mixer, as it appears impossible to source a replacement knob.  Many brownie points available there, not to mention a large financial saving as the only other option appears to be to buy an entire new mixer :(

I did say I wasn't short of things to do, didn't I? :)

James

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23 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I also have a bunch of pheasants to pluck and butcher tomorrow otherwise there's no dinner :D   Might rope my son in for that as he shot some of them.

He would be the pheasant plucker's son, then?

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13 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

He would be the pheasant plucker's son, then?

I guess he would :)

James

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Pheasant plucking ?. Eh, eh!, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.

Crikey, I'm worn out just reading your list, let alone actually doing the work. Do you ever stop?!

Lots of brownie points on offer there, as you say, but doubt if you're going to have time to actually use 'em!

Motorised roof, now there's an idea. My son was trying to persuade me to do that with mine but I've resisted so far. It would be fun to do, but think it'll be quicker to open mine by hand I think!

God speed this weekend. Hope you complete your list ??

 

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