BUILDING A SOLAR HOUSE IN FRANCE - Plastering with new machine - masons back on site.
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On Tuesday 8th April M. Marcelin Mazieres, the carpenter, came to fix the leaks in the roof. Michel, Mr Desvergnes electrician, was working to keep just a few steps ahead of the plasterer, Mr Laurent Maziere, and I was trying to keep ahead of them both with partitions.
A record number of white vans (later to be exceeded the next week)
Even with 20 boxes of semi-rigid panels of hemp fibre insulation already stuffed behind the ceilings, there are still 16 boxes left which are always in the way. The next time I build a house the garage will come first to store stuff.
Benoit moved down to put plastic angles on all the openings in the sous sol, after having done upstairs.
Temporary landings I had made had to be partly dismantled to thread electrical conduit under them.
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.
Art Work ?
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.
Mr Maziere demonstrating to Benoit how to do it. He then took over while Laurent did the skilled job of smoothing.
Albert about to give the machine its first cleanup.
Francis began to dig the hole for the septic tank (in this case a "fosse toutes eaux" which takes all soil and waste water).
The other gang from Faye began to build the foundation wall for the stone facing wall.
The cavity is filled with extruded polystyrene insulation (find me a waterproof ecological alternative)
A 3000 litre "fosse toutes eaux" was delivered on Monday afternoon, but I had to break the bad news that the regulations required one of 4000 litres so it had to be taken back the next morning.
Album last updated on Apr 26, 2008 - 09:59 PM