Now I understand how a block and tackle works…

Last time, I explained how we had been stiffening the walls with plywood to prepare for…

…putting in the penultimate steel. Those who have been following the blog will know that the other steels were put in place with the aid of a telehandler (a large piece of kit that is rather expensive to hire). As we only had one steel that needed lifting eight feet, we decided to try working out a process for ourselves.

We erected the scaffolding tower to just above the required height, in an unorthodox manner which left a clear passage for the steel to be hauled up through the centre, and slung a block-and-tackle on a couple of scaffold boards at the top of the tower.

We put a strap around the steel, and attached this to the block-and-tackle, nd started hauling. At the start, we placed blocks beneath the steel as it rose, so that if our cunning plan failed, no-one would get hurt, but as we raised the steel higher…

…we relied on our hard hats and ensuring we did not get in the way of the steel, should the worst happen.

Once we got the steel to the right height, we inserted the end of the (previously constructed and pre-drilled) cripple stud in between the plates welded onto the end of the steel, inserted the bolt and tightened everything up.

Here you can see Mike making a finely judged engineer’s tap to adjust the positions until the bolt went home properly.

Once the piece of studding was in place, we added washers and nuts both sides, and below you can see me cutting the bolt to size….and in the picture below, you can see it in glorious close-up!

We repeated the exercise on the other end and…ta -da …all in place and safely several feet in the air.

I’m not sure if you can tell from these pictures, but it was VERY COLD whilst we were working. As I watched Mike working, I caught a glimpse of Siabod enjoying a crisp winter morning…

…and Mike and I enjoying a warm Bovril amid the frost.

I will admit I breathed a sigh of relief when the steel was in place, knowing there is only one still to put into place…but that’s a problem for another day…

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