BUILDING A SOLAR HOUSE IN FRANCE - Plastering with new machine - masons back on site. »  Viewing imgp0528     [Image 11 of 23]  :: Jump To  
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I asked the plasterer to put plasterboard on the vertical walls in the mezzanine. Albert, M Maziere's other assistant, had taped all the plasterboard joints and filled the screw holes.

Downstairs the wall of the shower was done by the plasterer in briques.

Mr Maziere showed me a clever trick for holding a door and frame vertical, using V's of battens held together by rubber bands (sections of car tube).   The door was closed to keep it square while it was built in.  Mr Maziere found himself inside the room after bricking it in, and I could not find the key to open it to release him. The outside door was locked as well and the key could not be found.  A way was eventually found to pick the lock.

Door and shower enclosure partition ready for plastering. Door removed to avoid future incidents.

On Monday the 14th he arrived with his brand new machine - a sophisticated plaster mixer and pump.  Our house was to be the first one on which to try it out. It needed a 3 - phase electricity supply and so he had also bought a new  3 - phase generator.  If only he had asked me, he could have used our 3 - phase site supply which I had to put in (at vast expense) for the crane that Francis Guinot used.

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imgp0528.jpg - Apr 14, 2008 - 09:57 AM
The new machine cuts the bag of plaster on the top hopper, automatically mixes it with the right amount of water, feeds it to a helical pump that pushes the mixture down a long hose that delivers high pressure plaster via a nozzle, greatly reducing the time taken to cover the wall.

But the down side of the machine is that it has to be dismantled and totally cleaned every hour to avoid clogging by the fast setting plaster.

The first day of operation was punctuated by much swearing and rereading of the operating manual, but finally it was mastered.

To complicate matters on Monday, Francis Guinot phoned at 8:30 to say that he would be on site on half an hour.  We had been waiting for him or someone from Faye's since December to come to carry on with the external work and garage foundations and walls. In the meantime Francis had been elected Mayor of St Front la Rivière in the recent local elections.  So I despaired of ever seeing him personally on our project again, knowing how much work being Mayor of a commune involves.  But he arrived with his JCB to dig the holes for the septic tank and sand filter, closely followed by another gang from Faye to build the stone wall facing.

The new machine was finally made operational and plastering started after all the windows had been taped and covered.

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