Wednesday, August 8, 2012

7am and it is Day 2

Another fine "crisp" winters day dawned in Brisbane and I slept in a little later this time. The guys that would be doing all the hard yakka today started arriving at 7:00am.

The first order of the day was to load the old water tank onto a ute and choof it away. That freed up a bit of space. With the boys jockeying for position in the sunlight like a bunch of lizards, the day's work was sketched out and coffees consumed. I honestly don't know how some blokes can stand around in single digit temperatures with only shorts, singlets and thongs on! But that's the Aussi Builders way I suppose - me I got my jeans, singlet, flanny shirt and thick jacket on and thick woolly socks and boots!

So the first real work for the day was the boxing. Large lengths of timber were offloaded from the trucks and laid out and all squared up and laser leveled so as to keep the concrete under control when poured until set..

Next it was time to do some manual leveling inside the boxing to finish off what the bobcat had started yesterday and couldn't finish due to the doughy conditions underfoot for heavy machinery. The boys got into it with the shovels and made quick work of it.

Once the leveling was pretty much done, they started digging all the trenching around the edges so that a proper concrete foundation would happen when poured. There were also a few spots they dug out a bit deeper where it was fairly wet such as where the clay pipe busted yesterday - even though water wasn't flowing as suchm the heavy morning dew was enough water in the pipe to make it sloppy.

Whilst the reinforced steel mesh was arriving, the boys laid out the plastic under-liner for the slab.

Then it was all to it and the mesh was laid out into place. It was doubled up in places where it was wet underneath and where all the mainsupports and strength is needed. So all the mesh was then lifted up onto the stays that keep it off the ground and in the middle of the conrete.

Then of course you have to tie all the mesh together to make sure it doesn't move around to where it is not supposed to be.

So now we have the area ready to receive the concrete.

 It is at this juncture that the boys head off for some smoko whilst awaiting the big big truck that has the concrete and it's partner in crime, the pumping truck. We needed a pump as there is no way a big truck or even one of those smaller cement trucks could get down the side of my house. So the big truck arrived followed by the pumping truck.

So the blokes get to it and connect up all the steel and rubber pipes so that the contrete can be pumped all the way down to the back of my yard.

With the pipes now all in place, they setup the pump and all the blokes get their tools ready for the first big pour. The first thig is of course to make sure you have your wet weather boots on!

So I'll show you the various jobs the blokes are doing. First we have the guy at the end of the pipes that holds the monsters whipping head - it looks like it is always trying to fight him and have its own way.

Then you have the bloke with the big hook that follows the above bloke around. With the hooh he drags the rubber pipes around to keep it all in position and reduce the tension and drag on the guy with the nozzle.

Then you have the team boss. He goes around working out the levels and making sure it is happening. Here he is leveling a patch to measure the surface height and make sure the pour is going to plan.

The level in his hand is part of a laser level. His part beeps depending on whether he is above or below the height he wants based on a big laser beam flying around the yard. So here is a better shot of his end and of the main laser bean generator.

Next workers are the rackers. They rake the concrete slurry around into all the right spots.

Then there are two guys doing the screeding. This is where they do an almost final leveling of the surface of the concrete. All this must be back breaking work I reckon.

Now of course you still have the blokes out front running both the Hy-Tec cement truck and the Eazy-Way Concrete Pumping truck. So now they have another smoko while another cement truck is waited for. By the looks of it the slab is going to need about 2 and a half truck fulls to do the job. In fact I hear the next truck now. Time for more pictures to be taken. So here is the concrete pouring into the pumping unit.

So as the next load gets hooked up and ready to pump, here we are at almost half way.

Then we are almost done. A couple of wheel barrow loads are gotten and that's it for the concrete pour.

While the last is getting screeded another bloke grabs a big armed float and starts doing the final surface on the slab.

There is still some surfacing to be done and as it hardens the guys are using their hand trowels to add the finishing touches around the edges.

Here the actual edge get done with an edging trowel.

So while more troweling is being done, some of the guys start cleaning up the tools.

Do you know what this is? Well, it is a foam rubber ball that they pump down the concrete pumping pipes with pressured air. It then pushes the last of the concrete out of the pipes, thereby cleaning them.

So it has now just turned 12:30 and lunch time and the fellas have done the slab. All that is left is for the final finish on the top surface, but that can't happen until it hardens a bit more, so the boys are off to grab a bite.

Just going on 2 and the boys have got a really neat new power tool out there - the upside down helicopter! This is the big powered float that gives the final surface to the concrete now that it has hardened up a bit.

The only other thing happening is that some of the boxing is coming off too and they are making the "dent" or groove in the slab at about half way so that if it cracks it will be there.

So OK, the dent isn't happening - they'll come back in 2 days and do a saw cut instead. Also all the boxing has now come off. SO the boys have now fully packed up and gone for the day - time is 3:15pm.


  1. PK,
    We will excuse you from Tuesday Nighters last night considering that this was occuring yesterday and today. Rip Snorter!

    1. That is very kind of you good sir. Geez this shed is big - have I bitten off more than I can chew? Nahhhhh, she'll be right mate - more N Scale into it!

  2. Great work PK, you have gotten a big jump on. The shed will be up before you know it. Are you going to cover the slab while it dries?? I covered my 12m by 12m slab with black plastic for 7 days while it dried and 9 yrs on there are still no cracks!!! Have fun!! Darren

  3. Hey Darren, didn't get a chance to cover it as such, but 3 waterings a day has seen it moist pretty much the whole time. The neighbours think I'm nuts - got home from work last night at about midnight, and the first thing I did was go out and water the slab!