Life at the end of the road

September 20, 2015

Fiddly jobs :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:31 pm

After 21:00 now and I’m just in and showered had I been outside I’d have been showered to cos it’s pishing down now. Can’t complain right enough, for it’s the first I’ve seen all day despite some of the ‘wet stuff’ being forecast. It has on the whole been the best spell of weather in months and I’ve been wearing safety sandals now for over a week, even had the shirt off at one point.

The controllers

To be honest, the weather wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference to the ‘work done’ tally this last few days as much of it has been inside. I’ve spent the best part of two days just fiddling about with my solar and heat pump controllers.


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After finding that both units were just too wide to mount flush on the wall between the corner of the corridor and the cupboard architrave I came up with a ‘cunning plan’. This involved the base of an old hardwood drawer which I trimmed to size on Donald Angus’s saw bench, I really am going to miss that when the house is finished.

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The plan was to mount them in this corner at the end of the corridor by the store cupboard. This backs onto the ‘Bunker’ and means that the cable run would be the shortest possible. It’s also just about the only place I could run 18 or so sensor and supply cables discretely. The sensors having to be routed in different conduit to the mains supply and relay cables to prevent interference.

Whilst I was fiddling away up and down the loft trying to get all this spaghetti sorted out my son was putting coat number 3 on the gable end.

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Iain, Raasay’s bespoke ‘bench joiner’ was working on our handmade oak units,

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look at those lovely joints.


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That’ll be the iroko getting ‘tried for size’, the sink unit will be the only one with doors on, and that’s to hide the plumbing.


An early finish and shower yesterday prior to heading around to ‘Number 3’ for a veggie feast and the makings of a sore head. Luckily the headache never materialized and I was up early this morning and off to the pigs with some veggies for them Smile

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Not from the kitchen I hasten to add but leftovers from the village shop, it’s illegal to feed pigs anything that comes out of the kitchen.

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Molly definitely prefers four wheels to two Smile This lovely Triumph Thunderbird must have spent the night ‘oop north’, I had a 1969 Bonneville the same colour. It never had indicators or an electric start but it did have drum brakes and plenty of oil leaks Smile

Back to the cabling or ‘whatever happened to the K taper’

Pigs hens and self fed it was back into the loft to bore some 32mm holes through the house, a size I chose on account of having a 32mm ‘K taper’ bit and some 32mm water pipe that would nicely fit through the hole. That would leave me a respectable 25mm bore to run the cables through, one for sensors and low voltage DC and one for the relays and power.


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When I bought my Hitachi 38mm ‘demolition pick/drill’ some 30 years ago it came with a ‘K taper’ fitting that was quite common in the eighties. It seems to have gone out of fashion now in favour of SDS or DSD Max, shame really coz you’ll never bend or break one of these at the shank, unlike SDS. The good thing is the bits van often be had very cheaply on eBay, of course that’s only when you don’t actually need one that size Smile


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First off I drilled a 52mm hole in the plywood then went through the middle with the hammer drill. I then pushed the water pipe though and finished both ends with a wooden plate with a 32mm hole in the middle and screwed it to the wall on both sides providing a nice air tight seal.


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Hard to see on the picture, but just off ‘The Aird’ or ‘The Cape’ as we used to call it is a yellow catamaran fishing for wrasse. These are caught and sold to the fish farms who put them in the cages with the salmon where they eat the lice off of them.

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For a bit of a change, and to help the neighbours out I went around to ‘Number 3’ to collect some more stone for the gable end, after I’d moved some trees out of the way for them of course. I’m gonna miss this too when the house is finished Sad smile


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I also fitted some cable tray beside the thermal store to run all the wiring for the five immersions, pumps and multitude of sensors.


  1. Fantastic progress Paul. What a fabulously beautiful place.

    Comment by Andrew — September 21, 2015 @ 6:19 am

    • Thanks Andrew, Oh, and congratulations to Errol 🙂 My wife won’t have a cockerel 😦 I once got one given and hid it in a shed from her, she was mighty surprised when it started crowing one morning 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 21, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

  2. Paul, How does the cooker hood function in your splendid air tight house? T

    Comment by Tom McNeill — September 21, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

    • Hi Tom and welcome,

      How does the cooker hood function in your splendid air tight house?

      It’s a recirculating one with charcoal filters.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 21, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

  3. Dear Paul
    been a long time since I commented on your blog it seems so ridiculous high tech you have become over the last few years how long ago is it since you put your wind turbine up and how long it took you to get up to a couple or three kilowatts laying long stretches of pipe all of it suck it and see good practical engineering. what got me thinking is that is that now you could virtually double your energy production with very little cost have you ever thought about putting in an offer for the turbine that went tits up at the school being scots they most likely stuck it in a corner of a dept. and forgot about it too embarrassed and too tight fisted to throw it away. you might put an offer in for it you have still got two steel towers you could use if I am not wrong. This is a great blog mate I really enjoy reading it.

    deep regards Yorkshire miner

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — September 26, 2015 @ 9:27 am

    • Hi Dave,

      it’s up at my house ready and waiting 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 26, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  4. Hi after a long gap Paul. My question – why is it illegal to feed pigs leftovers from the kitchen?

    Comment by neilking — October 1, 2015 @ 11:02 am

    • Hi Neil and welcome back, just wish I could spend more time on the blog. Re the leftovers, it’s all about cross contamination from other foodstuffs, apparently one outbreak of swine fever or foot and mouth or something was traced back to a ham sandwich fed to a pig by a walker!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 1, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

      • Paul, the long gap was on my part, not yours! Ref, the pigs and the leftovers, sounds like another bit of nanny state elfin safety nonsense to me – how can they be so sure the leftovers from the shop aren’t x-contaminated? Don’t answer that. Here in the Azores, try and tell one of the locals you couldn’t give the pigs kitchen scraps, they’d think you weren’t right in the head. Aye well ….

        Comment by neilking — October 1, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

  5. Hi Paul, I’m an architectural photographer trying to get in contact with Tom who built the house on Raasay that used to have the catapult outside it. Is there any way you could help? The reason I want to contact him is that a photography book is wanting to ask him if he would like his house included in a book on self-built houses that will be published early next year. Best regards, Johnny 07747748734

    Comment by johnny barrington — October 20, 2015 @ 4:08 pm

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