Sunday, September 21, 2014

Catalan vaulted roof/ceiling

This was a project done last year and  I thought I had made a post about it, but looks like I did not.

After several small span  Catalan  roofs  we decided to roof this room using our new skills.  This method is referred to by many names:  Catalan, timbrel, cohesive tile.  I will use Catalan.

(Note the modern scaffolding!)

First we built end walls to draw the catenary shape  templates, run strings to control the shape, and "glue" the tiles.
  I bought handmade  floor tiles for the first course for aesthetic reasons.

 Butter two sides of a tile with gypsum plaster.
Tap into place and hold 1-10 seconds.

And then move on to the next one.  It is a bit tricky as the first one has to be "set" so better to build in two places or use gypsum that is almost set.
  A video is found here

Building on each side .

Conduit pipe for ceiling light.

From above 3/4 done with first course of tiles.  Sometimes extra gypsum plaster applied to help hold until an arch is completed.  gypsum gives no strength to the vault, it is just to hold until an arch is finished.

About to close the first layer.  We were excited about how good it looks.

 After finishing the first course.   We had disagreement on whether to do the other 2 laminate layers as we went along or finish one course at a time. 

It did bring and issue .

Before I talk about the hole.  This shows the 2nd and third courses with different bonds, first at 45* then at right angle to original bond.  After 24 hours you can stand on the 3 layers.  Mortar is cement - lime - sand  1-1-6.

Mason Dickson preferred to finish first course then sit on the end wall and lay 50cm of other courses, next day sit on the first 50 cm and lay another 50cm.  Worked okay until someone put something heavy on current days work and it collapsed!

As it dried out efflorescence occurred on the beautiful tiles but i figured it would dry and fall off like our bricks.  It is a year and still ugly like this.  I just tried washing it off and that looks like it will work.
we filled in level and then put heavy plastic and then 5cm concrete sloped into a drain pipe.

On a small Catalan vault we roofed with tiles to see how well that would waterproof the roof.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

First real concrete counter top

there is some water on the counter and why it is so shiny, which I like. I found some acrylic cement additive and replaced the water with that on the top slurry. Dickson Mixed some red color and a bit of black to make it dark red, then spread some black and troweled that in.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marble dust, Concrete counter tops, masailand bush walk

I have long wanted  to make concrete counter tops.  If you don't know about them they can be attractive and  granite  replacement.

this is not mine but want I strive for.

masons in north america can buy prepared mixes.  I need to make my own.

A friend told me about marble dust.  I finally found some and have been playing with it.  This is where I have reached.  cement-sand-marble dust and some red color.  then later some black color.  When i seal it it will become shiny all over.

I wonder how and where the marble dust comes from as it is pretty cheap.  I hear that we have marble in Tanzania and wonder where it is found.  

Easter Friday we go to a tented lodge camp and next morning we go for a walk and I notice these rocks lying around.  I realize they are marble.

And our guide notices my interest in them and says they are collected by trucks and taken to Arusha to grind them.  This is un natural pile.

Some interresting examples for our rock collection.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Product: Thin facing bricks

For years we have been asked for facing bricks. Well we are now making them.

Here is to compare with our standard 24 x 11.5 x 7 cm brick. Facing bricks are 24x7x2cm.  So
So they look the same after installing.  The 3 rows at the top in the picture below are thin bricks.  The are covering an exposed beam.
This is what one guys stamps out in a day.  Each mould makes four bricks.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Just a garden wall, with corbel at top.

As I have a clay brick factory I often have "reject" bricks , like these under burnt/salmon/soft bricks in the wall below and over burnt and misshapen bricks in 2nd picture.

Here is a project using both. I am about to rent the groined house, and an employee of the United Nations was interested but their security ruled it out as the thorn hedge had no chain link in it. So i decided to try a 2m garden wall with a masonry cap. We had a brick kiln go bad so we had many salmon bricks and made this wall. footings then stones to get me above ground , then clay mortar up 170cm.  columns every 3 meters.

What do you do with this junk below? You bang and chop on it and get a reasonably shaped clinker. I want over burnt for the overhang for strength and water proofing.
These clinkers are laid at about 45degrees in rowlock bond.  We had to do the angle otherwise the overhang would be 1/2 instead of 1/3.
Dickson putting on second corbel this time straight rowlock.
finished wall with half way putting on thin brick "tiles".  Very little rain is getting on this wall.
looking from another angle.  The pointing makes a big difference in the appearance from the first picture.
I have always been negative about perimeter walls.  They feel like prison walls.  With this wall i changed my mind.  This takes so much less space than thorn bush hedges, and there is no upkeep.  Bernice is now wanting places to hang flowers.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Floor finished

It has taken awhile to sand the floor smooth.  Or to the point it is "good enough".

I put three coats of two pack Polyurethane gloss.  Here is more pictures than you need.

These first four pictures are after the first weak coat of polyurethane.

I put the same on the brick steps. With both I don't really like the gloss as opposed to matt, but i can only get floor polyurethane in gloss.

And the rest after the third coat.  I wish I could take when there is no glare.

I did a fair job of few gaps
close up to attest to the few gaps.