Life as an Amateur Woodworker #50: Going off at a Tangent!

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Blog entry by PhilBello posted 04-23-2015 01:54 AM 1498 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 49: Scrap Coffee Table Part 50 of Life as an Amateur Woodworker series Part 51: Getting there very slowly! »

Not really woodwork related, but this is an update on my Carport build…

The tropical storms and high winds are threatening to undo my work, so I made the decision that I would have to build the walls of the carport from concrete block to make sure it was going nowhere. I thought I had put enough support in the original build, but I have witnessed storms over the last few weeks that would test any freestanding structure.

So yesterday my supplies arrived in three loads, they had to use a small vehicle due to my location, now for the time being my workshop is a Building Supplies Store!

and the parking area has the 300 blocks and 2m sand blocking access for anything else

I dry laid the first course of blocks and drilled for the rebar, which will support the first four courses, there will be nine courses in total plus some top filler bits. The rebar comes in 6m lengths, so I cut it to a metre, and set it up ready for work to commence today.

once the rebar was inserted I removed the blocks and stacked them, which was my first mistake!

This morning I started work, I have always been taught to take my time laying the first course as this is critical, then the others will follow on, so I was doing just that, until I had laid block No.6 and I knew I had a problem… Out came the tape measure and sure enough my blocks were from at least three different manufacturers, and all varied in size, despite being sold as 40×10x20cm, they varied up to 2cm, consequently the planted rebar, did not now match with the holes in the blocks. I thought of re-drilling, but ruled that out as I would have the same problem in the subsequent courses, so I had to start cutting blocks, the air turned blue! You would think that the Colombians could at least get their concrete moulds the right size, I have come to accept that most things are not what they should be, but concrete blocks!

I haven’t done any serious building work for over four years and it told. I have to wear a back support when lifting due to a longstanding problem, but by lunchtime I could hardly move, and I still hadn’t finished the first course. After lunch I completed the course, by which time it was 3pm. Despite having beautiful mornings, it is still winter here, at 4pm we are normally guaranteed a storm of varying intensity, I wanted the mortar to have a chance to set enough not to be effected by rain, so I cleared up. Then crawled upstairs for a shower, then made the mistake of having a siesta, when I woke, I couldn’t get out of bed!

This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the build, I am just hoping that I will loosen up as time passes, and I can get this finished. I can’t say that building is my favourite pastime, but I was taught by a friend in Spain, so I know I can do it, and won’t pay someone else to do, what I can do myself. Fortunately, there is no pressure on time, other than it is stopping me woodworking, which is another incentive to get it done.

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

4 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3442 days

#1 posted 04-23-2015 02:27 AM

Damn, Damn, Damn! Getting old sucks. Hope it works out, as Murphy appears to be down there taking a vacation at your place.

I am actually doing some wieght training exercises to prevent that from happening to me. Your shop is starting to look like mine. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3597 days

#2 posted 04-23-2015 06:55 PM

At least your trying.
I still try to do the things I used to do, it hurts like “heck”at night, but I can still do it !
I would come and help you….....checked my schedule…......whoops busy that day …
Take it slow…...have fun…...keep us posted.
You will be proud after your finished.
Take care.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2567 days

#3 posted 04-24-2015 12:54 AM

Tom… Lycra and dumbells ha! ha! good on you :)

Canadianchips… you’re so right, night is the worst, and trying to get up in the morning, Ouch!

I have decided to take it easy and do a half day, instead of a full day, I have the time, so why rush, the only downside is the state of the workshop, until I have finished :(

To make things a bit easier, I decided this morning to sort out the blocks, so I only work with one size, and when they runs out, I will switch to the next. As you can see they are not the same size, so why not deliver all the same, I have no idea, unless they were trying to wind me up, in which case they succeeded.

The holes are different, which threw out the lines with the rebar, I didn’t realise until too late

The blocks are a different depth, which again made the courses look odd, but because I intend to render the walls when finished, I am not too bothered, and to get the courses level, rather than use a plumbline I am now using a measuring stick, it seems to work better. Now I know why I have yet to see a decent block built building in Colombia!

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3442 days

#4 posted 04-24-2015 03:01 AM


Glad you are feeling good enough to complain. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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