by guibi


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Brrr! turns to Ooooo!

Due to public demand, It's time for another update.
As you can see, winter has arrived. We had our first frost at the end of Nov, and the cold has brought about an increase in activity here in Okayama, both to keep warm by moving during the day, and to keep warm once the moving has stopped at the end of it.

The 'un-shed' has come on leaps and bounds. After cladding the walls with 'Yaki Sugi' boards, it was brought to my attention that a single skin of boards was going to be pretty drafty. Indeed, it was. So, after extending the floor out to the second bay (as reported earlier) off came all the cladding, and up went a skin of plywood...

This pic was taken mid November, and you can see that the roof is still just felted at this stage. Please note the lovely fascia board which is now in place!

Having got the plywood up, it all of a sudden felt a darn sight warmer in there, and, dare I say it, quite homely to boot! Some transparent bin-liners stapled over the window spaces, and yes, we had succeeded in cutting out almost all the drafts!
In fact, it felt so snug in there that I even started to think about other stuff, like vegetable beds and the area where we're going to site our real house some years down the line. In fact, in a couple of days of recklessly not-getting-on with-un-shed-building, we dug the first vegetable bed and on another day I went and cleared all the brush and scraggly trees that were going to be in the way down the bottom.
Here we have the first vege bed complete with cabbage, onions, spinach and strawberries... should make for some interesting salads, hmm?

Anyway, I was brought back to reality and resumed shed building activities with the return of Iain and Tomoko, which coincided with the early morning discovery of ice in my kettle and frost outside. Time to get back to work.
I decided that seeing as Iain was around, it was time to get the tin roof on, so we did. I opted for 0.3mm painted corrugated iron roofing as it was cheap and thicker than all the other varieties available locally. We fixed 9 sheets across and 4 rows of 7 '尺-shaku' sheets and one row of 8 'shaku' sheets to cover the roof. Much to Iain's disdain, I gave in and used synthetic caulking in various places, just to be as sure as I could that we had a water-tight roof. Now it's dry under there, but the quality of the water that comes of the roof is debatable. Good enough for washing clothes though, I'm sure, and if I pass the rainwater through some sort of filtration beforehand, I'm sure it'll be ok for irrigation purposes... Just as an aside, with rainfall of a mere 1mm in an hour, we stand to get almost 50 litres of water off the roof. Seeing that rain rarely falls so lightly (average local rainfall figures here) and with a monthly average of approximately 121mm, I should be getting well over 5,500 litres of water a month off that roof! Where to put it all?! Something tells me it's not all going to fit in here!

Meet 'Ern', btw. A monstrous great earthenware bottle that we found in a recycle shop that was closing down. Had to be had!
Anyway, with the roof in place, while the shed was dry, it soon became apparent that it wasn't all that warm after all. Iain to the rescue once again! "While we're off searching for our plot, why don't you use our woodburner?" Blimey! What a dude! So, we figured out a place to put it, and in she went!

Man, you have no idea (or maybe you do) just how big a difference the stove can make. No more frozen kettles in the morning, just put a monster log on before turning in, shut down the air flow to a minimum, and the thing's still warm come first light. Excellent things!
Trouble is, the stove used up one of the three vertical windows that I like so much, so I've now moved it to exit through the wall to the right (North) of the stove in the picture above. Now I have my three windows and the luxurious heat of a roaring woodburner!

What else have we done..? Well, Kazumi, being a sensitive wee lass, found that the only significant draft was coming from the entrance area where the hole in the floor was awaiting a gravel and brick sunken 'genkan'. She undertook it as her job to build, and has done a really nice job of it with no end of scrabbling around under the floor shoveling stone and dirt in as the base for the bricks. It looks really cool, and I'm sorry to say that you'll have to wait for a pic (keep an eye on the photo gallery, btw. I often upload pics there even if I can't find the time to write here in the blog).

Other stuff?, yes, there's more. We've put a vapor barrier on top of the plywood, battened it in preparation for the 'Yaki Sugi' boards mentioned earlier, made a solid start on planking the exterior (rain stopped play today and yesterday, hence the blog update), dug a couple more vege beds, planted some more trees (Acacia, Yama Boushi and Bay Laurel), logged a windfall Sugi and built a temporary wood pile. All in all, a pretty productive six weeks since I last wrote here.

Sorry about the slow rate of my posts here. As you can probably imagine, I don't spend much time in front of the computer anymore. I'll probably get the next post up in the new-year, and just as a teaser, I'll leave you with a visual hint of what you can expect to read about then... bye for now.

by guibi | 2010-12-14 15:01 | Other Work:その他の作業


About Us:私達について
Early days:初めは
Forest Garden:食べる森
Lower Field:下の畑
Other Work:その他の作業
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