Life at the end of the road

January 4, 2019

2019, Begun in earnest :-)

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, daily doings, How I — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:46 pm

Apart from the fact I dunno what day it is, it would appear that ‘normality is restored’. That is waking up at ‘stupid o clock’ with a project in mind and getting stuck in. It’s my son’s last day at home and with mild settled weather perfect for going boating, diving and exploring I guess that’s what we should have done but he’s as ‘laid back’ as I am ‘manic’ so I left him in bed and started work once more on the boat/car port. Callum at the Raasay Sawmill has been cutting me timbers and I really needed to get mounts sorted for the eight 150mm x 150mm larch uprights. It’s been on the ‘to do’ list for long enough and today conditions were perfect, mild, dry and not too windy for mixing concrete, which is what I had in mind.

First off though it was crab on toast for breakfast and then out with the dogs for a walk,

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as usual Charlie seemed more interested in stones Smile I dunno what it is about him but he’s plain obsessed with stones and will chew them, bury them and chase them for hours, it’s a boodly miracle he’s got any teeth left.


Sure this dog walking lark is good for soul, not to mention blood pressure but me, I just cannae wait to get back home to get ‘stuck in’ Smile

The ‘boat park’

To be honest if I’d have given this project some thought years ago I could have made an easier job of it. However when I started on the concrete ‘hard standing’ in front of the house a couple of years ago it was purely as something flat to park the cars on. The idea of a car/boat/solar panel mount kinda evolved when the diving/boating lark got rekindled a year or so back. Had you told me a few years ago that I’d buy another boat I would have thought you were mad. I have spent my entire working life messing about, working on or working in boats. The last time I went out in a boat for pleasure would have been around 1985. That was of course until my son got interested in SCUBA diving and I bought the 1990 Avon Searider SR5M in 2017.

Anyway, this recent obsession has encouraged me to build somewhere to keep the Searider out of the rain and more importantly sunlight. It’ll also be a good place to hang diving gear to dry and clean scallops without bringing them in the house. It’ll also give me yet another roof to stick more solar panels on, you cannae have too many solar panels Smile Had I thought of all this before I poured several tons of concrete I’d have put uprights directly into the concrete base. As it is I’m making steel mounts from the 6 and 8mm shell plating of MV Hallaig that was cut out at the last docking. This is then bolted to the concrete using Hilti HIT RE500 resin and M12 threaded rod.

I’d already bored 14mm holes in most of theses plates so most of the day was spent drilling the concrete to take the M12 rod.

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Once the holes are drilled they have to cleaned out using a hoover, wire brush and air pump supplied with the Hilti kit.

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The plates are levelled using steel shims then the bar is cut to the correct length before injecting the resin with the gun.

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I lost count of the number of holes we drilled but by 15:00 we had all bar one done. The last plate needed boring before the concrete could be drilled and light was fading fast.

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Here’s a dummy upright in place just to ensure we have all the stud spacing correct.

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And here is my son the ‘engineer’ boring some of the 14mm holes in the 8mm plate using the magnetic drill/cutter. It cuts through steel like butter, boring holes up to 40mm in diameter allegedly. I can vouch that it easily bores 32mm holes in 19mm plate for sure as I did a couple of dozen that size for the big wind turbine.

So much for mixing concrete hey, I was hoping to fill in a few gaps where I’d run out the last time I did a mix but that never happened, ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ hey. Still, was well chuffed with what we did achieve and before I go back to work I’ll torque up all the studs once the resin has set.

September 25, 2018

Better than expected :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, How I, pigs, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

Well, I got me concreting done after all, though I didn’t start until much later, that heave in the sea didn’t moderate until early afternoon. A good gale of south wind flattened it sufficiently by midday so I decided to ‘go for it’.

I’d spent the fine dry morning creosoting the pig arcs and then finishing floor number two.

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I can’t remember exactly when we bought these insulated pig arcs but it’s way before I started blogging in 2007 so they’re at least 12 years old and this is the first repair work I’ve done on them. The company I bought them off is long out of business but it certainly wasn’t cos they made an inferior product. They’re 8 x 6 so plenty large enough for the biggest sow and a litter and insulated too so they’re warm in the winter and cool in the summer without any problems with condensation. Sure I could have made some myself but to be honest, by the time I’d bought the materials I would not have saved much and at that time I didn’t have the same amount of cordless tools to make these projects so much fun Smile

Once I’d sorted that I decided to at least go down to the shore and bond all my bolts and rebar into the bedrock by the slipway. It was pretty wild and I didn’t seriously think I’d actually be mixing any concrete but at least I could get some prep work done for tomorrow.

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I’d drilled some 20 or so 14mm holes yesterday to take 150mm x M12 galvanized bolts and 12mm rebar. With the tide now well out I washed out the holes again then blasted them dry with the Hilti hand pump. The RE HIT500 resin is then injected into the hole with a special gun that takes and mixes the two component parts. This resin is the ‘dogs bollox’ but boodly expensive. The first time I used it was 2005 to bolt my first wind turbine directly to Scotland. Back then I paid the full price for the stuff and hired a gun. Can’t remember what it cost but now it’s getting on for £30 for a 330ml ‘twin pack’

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Me, I just buy em off eBay now, just out of date for about a tenner and I bought the applicator kit for around £25, brilliant stuff and I’ve now used it on three wind turbine bases and lots of other projects. A word of caution though, make sure you buy the correct gun for the correct resin, they are not all the same Sad smile

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By the time I’d bonded all twenty odd bolts and bar I had manged to convince myself it was calm enough to mix and pour. At leas calm enough to grout some of the larger rocks to the bedrock anyway. So over the next 3 hours I mixed some two tons of aggregate with 20 bags of cement in my wee Belle mixer, a nice strong stiff mix for the lower section.

After dinner of sausage, chips and baked beans, yes really Smile I went down to check it out as the tide was rising and all seemed well.

Over the last month

So, that was it really for today and as I’ve no idea what I’ve been up to this last month since we got back from Lewis I’ll ‘ave a look at me pictures.


The shed got another coat of Leyland Paints Frigate grey floor paint, well impressed with it’s durability, only painting it cos it’s dirty Smile


I bought some fine Chinese waders with the feet on the wrong legs, you gotta laugh hey Smile

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The Portree Lifeboat Stanley Watson Barker racing to Kyle ‘on a shout’, some poor girl jumped off the Skye bridge. She was pulled out of the water alive three hours later but tragically died on the way to hospital.

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Cows on a mission in Inverarish Smile

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Another anchor recovered and dragged ashore to be checked out at low water.

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A prawn, a velvet crab and me boy with some scallops Smile

That was it really, got another couple of tons loaded onto the trailer ready for tomorrow and it looks like being a half decent day Smile

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