Saturday 31 March 2012

Deep Joy

Well, maybe not the deepest joy but any kind of progess here is sexy.

The truck loaded with the timber for the new shop and house finally arrived at some indecent hour of yesterday morning. I could tell by the way the trailer tyres seemed half flat that the forty foot HiTop container on the back was loaded to the brim and so it turned out.

First job was to get all the wood stacked in the Jango which, once the woodworking machines arrive, the planer thicknessers, table saws etc., will become a temporary woodworking shop and out of this mountain of wood we will carve two buildings.

And those buildings will be erected on my new piece of land here:

Ignore the odd bit of builders waste, isn't it beautiful? The shop will be on the area in the foreground and the house will be built on the higher bit of land towards the back of the site. A bit of a clean up and some irrigation, and this plot will look lovely.

There'll be no parties in the Jango for the forseeable future but the smell of all that wood stacked up was evocative of my time in the Black Forest. I am also going to end up with a heap of sawdust and shavings to practice my fish smoking and this thought was just as pleasant. It took from early morning until nightfall to unload the container so I thought I had better throw a another fish on the barbecue:

Just a four foot tiddler but enough for half a dozen tired and hungry blokes.

The only bummer was my old truck shearing a propshaft UJ mount late last night so we had to have that towed in this morning and, it being a weekend, there'll be no chance of the simple part to execute the simple fix until Monday. The Lord giveth, and He taketh. Wish I could work out a way to jimmy His scales in my favour for a change.


  1. Looks good, all that progress! I like how you're planning ahead and realising that the waste sawdust will go to help fuel another part of the overall project. This parecel of land where you are going to put the shop and house is a bit more inland, isn't it? What shall happen with the parcel you have now, where the jango is?

    I wonder why things tend to break on the weekend. I had that happen with my boiler. While i was grateful that temperatures stayed mostly above freezing, so i didn't have to worry about frozen pipes, I did wonder why i only discovered it wasn't working late on a Friday night when i was looking forward to a hot shower, and there was no hot water.


  2. Hippo

    Sawdust is good for composting - especially heating powered by compost, but its plannings you want for the smoke house, sawdust contains too much oil from the machine tools and tastes vile apart from probably being quite unhealthy.

    You can reassure M though in my experience getting the materials on site always takes up more time than anyone could imagine it would, and after that things really get into gear.


  3. Megan,

    Things are programmed to stuff up at weekends, in your case a boiler so plumbers can charge all that extra time. Oh, sorry SBW, didn't see you there.

    I will build the house for the family and the new shop on the new bit of land and, once we can move the kilometre down the road and vacate the restuarant site we can finish that and open. It is all part of a cunning plan that came to me when I was lying in a hammock drinking whisky as the sea smashed everything up.

    SBW, I like your idea about compost heating (just let me turn the aircon up to full chat, it is over 30 degrees now and I am sweating like stoker), sorry, as I was saying, the compost heating sounds great but I take your point about the oil from machine tools.

    Are you saying that all those commercial wood chips and bagged sawdust you can buy in the shops for smoking has been chipped by hand, using only the fingernails and handtools wielded by elves in some eco forest?

    I take your point, though, so I shall lubricate my machines with extra virgin olive oil.

    BTW, how many times do you have to bang an 'Extra Virgin' until she isn't a virgin anymore?

  4. "How many times do you have to bang an 'Extra Virgin' until she isn't a virgin any more?"

    Forever, Tom, forever. Till the bottle is spent. And then some extra.

    Make mine a Magdalene.


  5. Oooo, I like to see a pile of timber like that Tom. Gets my woodworking juices flowing that does.

    Did you literally thow the fish on the barby Tom? Can't see where you've cut its guts out on the photo. PS '4 foot tiddler...' you've rubbing it in now you sod! ;-)

    Looking at the state of your roads Tom I'm not surprised at your truck damage.

  6. Wow! Lots of labour of love ahead in that lot. Love the smell of rough cut timber.

    You should get some ideal 'smoking' sawdust' out of it all.

    Fish on the Barbie looks great - au naturelle the way we used to do them on the beach next to the boat ramp at the coast!

    Us - We'll be putting a roast of lamb leg rump in the Weber Barbie this afternoon. Some garlic, rosemary sprigs, olive oil, a rub of sea salt and a sprinkle of "Tasmanian Bush Dust" (Google it) and sit back with a few coldies and wait for an hour or so as it and the vegies roast away inside!

  7. Chris, that's how I landed it and is the photo I took after my camera bearer, having seen me come in, brought my camera. Then the fish cleaning boy took over and prepped the fish before taking it to the kitchen where another boy chopped up the onions vegetables and herbs which I used to stuff the fish before wrapping it in tin foil. In the meantime, the barbecue boy lit the barbecue and the maid boiled up the water I would need to make the rice before laying out fresh clothes for me to change into after the other maid had scrubbed my still aching back in the river.

    As you know, with cooking, timing is everything so Marcia knew that once I was dressed she should serve me an ice cold gin and tonic with three slices of lemon and a good squeeze from the rest and I was ready to serve.

    It isn't just that the roads are bad here, every driver you hire thinks he is better than a Finnish rally driver and is keen to prove it.

  8. JohnD, now you are rubbing it in!

  9. I remember reading that you wanted to put a restaurant there. I didn't realise that was still part of the plan once i realised that the home site was also going to be for the shop and not immediately adjacent. Also, wondered if the encroaching water had changed your plans.


  10. What kind of timber, Tom? I'd love to have such to work with, too. Sadly, I'm left scouring for scraps at our craigslist "free" site, and harvesting our "edgelands" - the camphor trees that volunteer around the edge of the fence.

    Another nice fish. I'm growing less fond of you every day.

  11. Josh, the majority of it is pine from the highlands but there is also Eucalyptus which is a very dense, heavy wood. The pine will need to be treated to proof it against beasties, Eucalyptus is naturally beastie and rot proof and is used structurally and for making furniture. Then there is African Teak, also used structurally (that is what the Jango is made of). The teak was US$1200 per cubic metre sawn to size but since the new buildings were bought as a completed deal, I have no idea of the breakdown of timber costs.

    Megan, the water inundation only changed my plans in as much as I decided not to place all my eggs in one basket and, having bought more land, will build the house and shop there, then finish off the restaurant and use the profit from both to truck in infill to raise the site around the restaurant before building the chalets.

  12. We are lousy with eucalyptus here in California.

    Wow, a house made of teak! Now I think you are hoytie-toytie.


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