BUILDING A SOLAR HOUSE IN FRANCE - WEEK 10 - Putting up the oak frame
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The week began on Tuesday afternoon with the arrival on site of the "Merlo" crane of Mr Mazieres. It is an all purpose machine of the kind I've so far referred to as a "Manitou". This one has a telescopic arm with a reach of 19 metres, 4 wheel steering and different attachments for the end of the telescopic arm.
The next day saw the delivery of the whole frame, purlins and rafters on one lorry and a pickup.
The "Merlo" picked everything up and stacked it in the parking area in an hour.
The "echantignolles" or blocks that hold the purlins vertical on the trusses.
The first little truss over the mezzanine.
Assembling the first truss on the ground, beside the house.
Lifting the complete first truss - span 12 metres - in fact it will sit on the gable wall.
Getting ready to lift the truss.
Lifting the truss into place. Some anxious moments as it banged against the monomur wall.
The truss in place and being propped vertical so that the straps still holding it up can be removed.
Setting a diagonal strut in place.
A very anxious moment as the centre frame of the 2nd truss was lowered and racked over as the reach of the "Merlo" was not enough to lift it upright into the centre.
A triangular piece of the 2nd truss being lifted to fit into the centre frame. This first one took a long lime to get right, but after this, the rest went much more smoothly.
The 2nd frame in place.
The other triangle of the 2nd frame being lifted into place.
The 2nd frame completed by about 4:15 pm. Note the extension frame on the "Merlo" arm.
Hammerng in the acacia dowels to the 3rd frame before lifting it into position.
Trimming the bottom of the central posts of the 3rd frame with a chainsaw.
Bracing the 3rd frame.
the 3rd frame lifted and being braced.
Triangle bsing swung into position for the 3rd frame.
Two middle frames
Joint onto 2nd frame - viewed from bathroom
South triangule being eased into position on 3rd frame at about 5 pm on Thursday. Only one more frame to go tomorrow morning, so if all goes well, all the purlins will go on as well.
Mr Mazieres driving the "Merlo" ti ease the triangle into position
At 5:30 pm on the first day of putting up the oak frame.
Early the next day, Friday the 19th of October. Mr Mazieres and his assistant clamping a joist to the 4th and last frame to stop the straps slipping while it was being lifted into position.
Lifting it into position.
The south triangle on the last frame.
Oak frame completed by late morning on the second day. ready for the ridge and purlins.
First ridge being swung into place.
Mr Mazieres sawing a purlin off at an angle where they join over the trusses. He is making such a good job of it that It is a pity that all the Douglas Fir purlins will be hidden behind the ceiling. But to get the depth of insulation needed I have to hang the ceiling under the purlins.
Some of the purlins in place, with the blocks ("echantignolles") to hold them vertical. Some head shaking about my demand (for architectural reasons) to have them vertical.
End of the 2nd day of timber frame erection with Margaret to give scale. This is the most rewarding stage of construction of the house. when suddenly it takes shape in a few days, after months of creeping out of the ground, brique by brique. Next week Mr Mazieres and his carpenters will take advantage of the good weather predicted, to roof the house. Tiles arrive on Monday and it should be covered by Friday. I can't wait.
Album last updated on Oct 19, 2007 - 09:36 PM