trees felled, study takes shape and the chipper gets a workout: days 24-29

Friday was a quieter day. With Dad, Sophie and Greg heading up to Mona for the day Deirdre and myself potted around the place drinking tea and tidying up a little. The tank company were coming out (finally!) to give as some ideas at 10am so there was no point really getting stuck into anything big. When they arrived early I was a little disappointed to find it wasn’t the boss but some younger guy who, after a few questions, we soon found out was still learning the ropes.

We showed him around and worked out that the tank we currently had was not 8000L as we’d been lead to believe but only 1950L. (No wonder we were running out of water quickly. We also worked out the best spot to put a header tank and were pleasantly surprised to find that the 8500L tank we were quoted was only going to cost us $1300 (a lot less than the 5 grand we’d been budgeting).

Saturday and Sunday was spent cleaning up and clearing out some of the small trees from behind the bus. With a little more confidence with the chainsaw I felled some small trees. Deirdre and I then took turns  using the chainsaw to cut the wood into sections. We also started a mulch pile ready for the chipper we were having delivered on Tuesday.

On Monday Nish and Mick (the tree loppers) arrived to clear the areas around the carport, the bus and bathroom. It was hot and difficult work with the need to climb some of the trees…they did a great job! There was a number of times we looked up in awe at them chopping down a tree from another tree!

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Nish climbing the stringy bark near the carport to block it off.

Whilst they were outside felling trees, we got to work on the study (front section) of the bus. The first port of call was to work out what to do with the engine block. It was covered with a metal covering that could be lifted up. Effective in providing access to the engine it was a little too busy for our design.

After much discussion and fiddling around with filling the gaps around it we decided it was best to block the engine in and create a series of shelves over it. We begun by creating a frame around the edge and the front. On top of this we were then going to build our series of shelves.

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The engine hood off and the frame being put in place. At this stage we were intending on leaving the hood off but soon realised it was needed to protect us from insects and to be used as a base for the shelves we wanted to build.

With the frame in place we also then set about framing the pedals and the fusebox. Thus creating a wall around the drivers side. We now had the beginnings of a shelfing unit and walls. The bus was also bathed in more light as the trees to the north came down!

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Deirdre content in the afternoon sun with how work is progressing.

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The carport,mid mulching, with the cleared section on the right where the tank is going to go.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were: mulch, mulch, mulch. We’d naively thought we’d be able to chip all the tops of the trees in a day or two. Three days later and we’d  finished just over half of them with more to come!

To make matters worse I got a bout of gastro on Monday night which took me 3 days to get over. Lots of getting up and  down from the house pad hoping that I could hold it in until I got there. I’m sure I went through half the toilet spray and saw dust those three nights. The only silver lining at least it wasn’t out both ends!

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The mulch pile as it stood on Tuesday morning!

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Deirdre mulching away to the new backdrop of a cleared bathroom.

 

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Our growing mulch piles: wattle in the foreground, eucalpytus in the back.

Friday Nish and Mick came back to finish off the area behind the bus. This gave us a much needed break from mulching and a chance to get stuck back into the study. In next to no time we were bathed in sunlight as Nish and Mick set to felling the trees.

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The trees cleared near the bus. Once this area is cleaned up and levelled it will become our kitchen garden, outdoor kitchen, mini-orchard and give Oscar and Yoda a space to run in!

Our intention was to complete the set of shelves. As we’ve come to learn the intention at the start of the day is invariably not what we end up with at the end of the day. In the case of the shelves we soon realised that the unevenness of the engine hood was going to make it difficult to create level shelves.

Since we were going to be covering it over and creating a desk we decided that our best bet was to make the front section into a bookcase and build a desk over the top of it. Having started on the path of multiple shelves this meant some retrofitting of a frame. We settled on replicating the back of the bookcase, as you can see in the photo below. And this is where we left it at the end of the day. Content with our weeks work we headed down to Franklin for dinner.

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The end of a weeks work. Our study taking shape. Walls on front and side, half a desk and a bookcase built! Our first room is coming along nicely!

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