Building an observatory. Work commences.

Once I’d mowed the grass in the planned area I wasn’t entirely happy about the steepness of the slope. The floor deck will be built off six concrete pads and the pad at the bottom of the slope would have been over 600mm high. To reduce the height a little I decided to move everything about another metre away from the house.

That done, this afternoon I started digging out the space for the first two pads. Having the right tool for the job should save a lot of time.

Sadly I was a little slowed down because I managed to jump one of the tracks off the digger. I knew I needed to check it but I forgot and paid the price. Fortunately it wasn’t too hard to lever back on with a long steel bar whilst holding that side of the digger in the air with the bucket and running the track forward (not recommended practice, I imagine, but probably happens far more often than anyone will admit to.

I got the shuttering in for the first pad late this afternoon, recycling the base of a trailer in the process, though I have to admit I’m not entirely sure how reliable the ply is any more. It may not look it, but the spirit level does actually say it’s level in both directions.

I managed to get the shuttering in for the pad on the left (also recycled, this time from a shelving unit that has seen better days) as it was getting dark. Need to check the levels again in proper daylight.

I’d really like these two pads to be a bit lower, but the top of the one in the photo above is only 150mm above ground level and I’m not sure I want to go closer to the ground than that with the timber. Perhaps 100mm clearance would be sufficient. I shall ponder on it before I start the next one.

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